You win lose some...

Yesterday I ran the Tampa Bay Corporate 5k. I was very excited to run this race for several reasons. The main reason was that I know the race directors - Benjamin Mena and Beth Shaw. They are awesome people and recently put together a virtual half marathon and 5k for the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook elementary tragedy. They raised fifty thousand dollars to donate to the families with these virtual races. You can read an article about their amazing efforts here. 

The second reason I was excited about doing a this race was because I hadn't really been running lately. I was excited to get back into it, and what better way then this amazing race?! I had run the Sarasota Half Marathon on March 17th, and the American Mud Race on March 30th, but in between I hadn't gotten in many training runs, if any at all. Work has been extremely busy, I've been moving, and I've been putting a lot of focus on changing my eating habits and getting back on track with eating healthier again and that has all consumed my time. But I knew it was time to get back into running - because I'm a happier person when I run. So the 5k has me excited. 

The third reason I was excited about this race was the location and time. The last time I did a race around this time at Curtis Hixon Park I PR'ed. I'm still chasing a sub-30 5k. I knew the odds were against me on this one because I hadn't been training, but you never know what could happen. I wasn't expecting a PR, but if it happened it would be nice. And the last time was in this very area, at 6:30pm. This race was at, you never know.

I had the day off so I ran some errands in the morning, had some lunch, got ready, and relaxed a bit. I decided to try to put together a cute and bright outfit for my come back to running after my short hiatus.  It was my first time wearing a running skirt and I found it to be quite comfortable. I'm going to have to look into buying some more of these. 

Then it was off to meet Mera and head over to Curtis Hixon Park. We met up at Westshore Mall, and then drove over to the Park together. Parked, ran into a bunch of friends, and picked up our bibs. I also got to meet Katrina & Rebecca for the first time in person after reading their blogs and chatting on instagram/facebook. Then of course it was time to take a few obligatory pictures.

Beth, Me, Kurt

Ben and Me!

Mera and I hung out with Johanne, Alyssa, Yarisi, Kurt, and Candi (maybe it's with a Y, I hope I got it right I met her for the first time - if not I apologize!) before the start. We chatted for a bit, about races and about how I'm a little crazy for doing the Dopey challenge. Then we headed over to the start. Chatted with a few others we ran into, and then it was start time. 

I forgot to turn on my watch, and it was taking forever to locate satellites, so no timing for me today. I was just going to wing it. I crossed the start line and off I went. I started off the race strong. Probably too strong considering how hot and humid it was and the fact that I hadn't been running. All things I knew in advance, but chose to ignore. I started too fast out the gate, something I still struggle with to this day, and it wore me out completely. I would glade at my watch just to look at the time, and by 7:05 I was tired. I was walking. 

I was having trouble breathing. I didn't want to walk, but I knew I started too fast. I figured if I slowed down to catch my breath I'd start up again slower, and I could keep a steady pace for the rest of the race. I told myself it was ok to walk now, I'd just keep it slow and steady for the rest of it. That didn't happen. 

One to Plan C I suppose. I ran hard for as long as I could, and walked when I needed to. The slow and steady wasn't working, so I figured I'd try to make up time in between the walking. If I needed to walk at least I'd run my fast pace in between. This was working for a while. I had no idea how far I had gone because I never saw a mile 1 marker. I'm sure I had passed 1 mile, and I'm sure the sign was there because I saw a mile 2 marker...I probably just missed it. 

My mind played games with me during this race, which doesn't usually happen during short distance races, but it did. I was feeling dehydrated, which was odd since I've been drinking so much more water. I was hot, it was humid, and my chest felt on fire. I felt a little dizzy at times, so I would slow down. I was getting disappointed at myself. I wanted to give up.

Then I would get angry at myself for thinking I wanted to give up, and not doing better. It was an interesting mix of emotions. There was no way I wasn't going to finish the race no matter how long it took. I WAS going to cross that finish line. 

And I did. The clock said 37:something. Geez. I was pissed off at myself. And I was exhausted. I had never felt that was after a 5k. I finished and had to sit on the curb. Was this really from not running for just 2 weeks? 

After a few minutes I composed myself, Mera finished a few minutes after me and we both talked about how we were disappointed in our performance. After a few minutes of sulking we went in search of water. I realized that my arms were blotchy. That never happened before. I knew they had felt very hot during the race. I guess I had gotten flushed. 

We found water and Bananas. Said hello to our speedy friend Tim and had him take some finish pictures of us.

Mera and I after the race

We saw Ben being a busy bee doing his race thing so I didn't really get to tell him i loved the race (minus me sucking at it). The race was awesome. The after party was awesome. I just wasn't. I'm pretty hard on myself about these things, but I have to look at the bright side. There were a lot of things going against me during the race. I haven't run in heat and humidity in a while. It was HOT and it was HUMID. I hadn't run in 2 weeks. I've changed my ways of eating completely, and I haven't run since doing so, so I'm not used to fueling for races. All that said, my mind was also telling me to stop and I didn't. I finished, with my official time of 36:29 and I'm taking it. A finish is still a finish and that's all that matters. 

Not every race is going to feel great. Some races are just going to feel bad. You're not going to do well in every single one. You're not going to always PR. It will help you appreciate the good races and the PRs even more and they will feel even more satisfying when they happen. You need to take the good with the bad in order to be a great runner.