Saturday, January 14, 2012

Nookachamps 5k

Before I elaborate a bit, here's what I wrote in my Daily Mile post about the race:

Cold, rain, sleet, snow, wind. That pretty much sums it up. I was literally drenched to the bone, from head to toe. I was humbled this morning. Did not have a good run at all. Went out at 7:23, followed by the same time for mile 2, then my lungs & throat tightened up to where I couldn't breathe well. Slowed down for a 7:36 mile 3 (23:13 finish). Aside from pacing my daughter, I've never run a 5k this slow. Even though it was miserable and I couldn't breathe, I expected to run faster than this. Perhaps 12 miles of running per week isn't enough? ;-)
Next up will probably be the Smelt Run 5k in La Conner on Feb. 25th (unless I retire. Only half-joking).

It took me about 20 minutes in my truck after the race (with the heat all the way up) to thaw out, even with fresh, dry clothes. Since it's about an hour's drive home from where the race was (Mount Vernon, WA), I had some time for reflection. I concluded that, even though I've gotten back into running (after a LONG fight with an injury) in a restricted and minimal way, I just don't feel like a runner right now. I know that just getting out for a run — period — defines me as a runner, but I'm so blasted goal-driven and time-focused that when things don't go well, it's hard to accept.

Running and I have a one-way co-dependent relationship (I tend to depend on it, but it certainly doesn't depend on me). Right now, I'm not particularly happy with this relationship. I've tried to slowly bump up the mileage and intensity, but more mileage right now doesn't agree with my injury. So I'm sort of stuck in a "Runner's Pergatory," where I can run just enough to whet my appetite, but not nearly enough to perform the way I did prior to the injury.

So...what to do. I'll tell you one thing I'm doing immediately, and that's taking next week off from running, entirely. I don't want an activity that has brought me so much pleasure the last 28 years (well, the times I wasn't injured) to be something I dread or fight against. I'll do some rides on my bike trainer and lift some weights next week, along with a few dog walks...but the running shoes will go untouched.

Speaking of the dog, I'm still suspicious that I may be allergic to him. I wheeze a lot when I breathe deeply, and I've really had some respiratory issues during the last several runs. Might have to visit my doctor.

As far as effort goes, maybe I'll back off during my next race (Smelt Run 5k, Feb. 25) instead of fighting it. I'm nowhere near being able to bust out a PR, so it might be best to run the first few 5k's this year more as training runs. Can I really do that and not push? I don't know. But today's race unfortunately left a foul taste in my mouth and, like I said, I don't want an experience like that to define what running means to me.

1 comment:

  1. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

    That's okay, Colin! We all go through many rough spells. That's what makes all the more glorious our inevitable resurgence.