Fiesta 5k – what I learned

So, last night was my first real race since last winter. I signed up for the Fiesta 5k in my hometown to get myself into “race” mentality again as part of my half marathon training. I can’t say my race performance was stellar but I can say that I learned a lot from it which is what matters more in my mind, anyway. And no – I’m not beating myself up for where I landed in the race finals (ok – maybe a little but that’s my perfectionism coming out) but I’m taking this race and making it a learning experience instead. I figure – the more I can learn and gather about how I run and what works for me, the better off I’ll be come September 25 (aka the big, the bad, the Wicked Half).

So, first things first. Where I landed: 31 mins. Which is respectable, yes. In my head, I was hoping for at least under 30 mins, if not 2 mins under that. BUT, again – I ran the race, and I’m happy with that, I promise (Jo is ready to comment away on this one, I can sense it!). Also, I consider the time to be good considering the weather was super muggy and I was mentally not in the game. My sister’s cat, Nala, who I love very much, is still pretty sick and I was so worried for her. Jo ended up missing the race to bring her back to the vet for more meds. So please, please say a prayer for Nalllls. I really appreciate that.

Anyway, what did I learn from last night’s experience? Here goes…

My body is firmly entrenched in the slow and steady mentality. Run a little slower and more consistently, and I am in my element. I feel great. I’m not anxious. I enjoy the run and I can run longer. Hence, half marathon training is working. 🙂

Running faster and shorter isn’t my favorite thing anymore – 5ks for me are tough. It takes me at least a mile, sometimes more, before I get into a groove so by the time I get to that point, the race is almost done and I have barely hit my stride. I officially like longer routes versus shorter. Again, half marathon training is working (well, my “version” of training – I’m not going by any particular training plan…yet).

Mentality has everything to do with it. Yes, running is totally mental. It plays tricks with your mind. But this time, my mind was just so far removed from the race that I couldn’t focus. I was so upset and concerned about Nala and my sister that it definitely impacted my race…but I wouldn’t change that fact for the world. I love my sister and Nala unconditionally and would do anything in the world to heal her, and to take away my sister’s pain and sadness over the whole thing. I know, that was one big digression, but it had to be done. Bear with me.

Long story short – the race was great, I’m glad Scott and I ran it together (with my in-laws cheering us on at the finish line – probably the best part of the night!) and now today I’m firmly embracing my rest day (look at that – ME actually enjoying a rest day?!). AND an unexpected day off from work which is much needed in so, so many ways. So – I’m off to disconnect for the day, heading to the beach to do nothing but just be in the moment with Scott, ignoring the world for a few hours. Serenity now…