I made a last minute decision to run a 10K on Saturday (ashamedly, I was waiting to see what Mother Nature was going throw down on us). I've been working on my pace for the last few weeks, thinking it might be possible to beat my time from last year for this same 10K. I could not have been more wrong.
Apparently, running a good race requires sleep, and I counted 0 sheep the night before. Not 1 tiny little lamb (I wasn't even near the pasture). Bedtime is my nemesis. My adult years have been plagued with erratic sleep patterns and poor habits. I've had a particularly annoying two weeks in the sleep department and not functioning at 100% (60% is generous). I proved to myself just how low-functioning I am on Saturday by running my worst race ever. Not only did I not beat my time from last year, I added 6 minutes to my total. An entire minute to each mile.
I started out much too fast and I knew it before I got to mile 3. I was toast. Day old toast. I considered throwing myself to the side of the road and wait for Poseidon to report me missing. I don't know how, but I pulled it together, opting not to look for the nearest ditch. I was dragging. My effort was pitiful, but I managed to run the entire 6.27 miles, though the last quarter of a mile was more like a determined-not-to-trip-over-my-own-feet jog. I've said it before, I'm not fast and my form is never pretty, but oh my, this run takes the cake!
I felt terrible for thinking I could just show up and do this thing, and I thought about literally kicking myself, but I didn't have the energy. So, now what?
1. Running a race does require sleep. OK. Got it.
2. I ran 6.27 miles without stopping, knowing my time would be terrible. How about instead of kicking myself, I give myself a little pat on the back? Done! Feeling better.
3. Shake it off! I was online this morning searching for my next race. Anxiety and that nagging fear of failing again is strong, but so am I. Gordon Pirie (British runner in the 1950s) said, "Any runner who denies having fears, nerves or some kind of disposition is a bad athlete, or a liar."