I’m really struggling with this post. I’ve never had such a roller coaster ride between two runs. That’s what it was though. My last post was about this unbelievable 6 mile run I did and how great it made me feel. I was going into my first 10k feeling strong and confident. Then Sunday afternoon, my stomach starting hurting and cramping up badly. Nothing I ate was agreeing with me and I started to worry about race day. I got up Monday morning and ate my normal pre-run/pre-race food..a banana. My stomach was still cramping going up to the race. I tried to smile through it and kept telling myself that it would go away when I started running.
I was stressing a little as well because this was the first race my family was doing. My mom, brother, and sister were all doing their very first 5k race. I’ve been running with my mom once a week to help get her ready and I was excited to see what she thought. I did have to come to the conclusion the few days before the race that I couldn’t make her or the rest of my family like running. I wanted them to be just as excited as I was about the race…I think they were excited..just not as excited as me. So..we (Andy and I) got to the school where the starting line was around 7. Our race started at 7:30 and the 5k started at 7:40. My family showed up at like 7:25…talk about stressing me out! So I tried to situate them real quick and then lined up for the 10k start and tried to get in my zone.
The horn sounded (I actually remember seeing and hearing a horn at this race) and we were off. I quickly lost site of Andy per usual and began to focus on my race. I got about a mile into the run and my stomach really started to make itself known.
I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of each mile because it wasn’t pretty. I was hurting bad and running was just miserable. There was definately some walking in this race. There was actually thoughts around mile 4 that if anyone I knew drove by at that point..I would seriously consider a lift back to the school..yea a dnf…on my first 10k. However, no one drove by and so I just kept moving. I took water at every stop and even though I didn’t really need to fuel on this race..I ate the last shotblok I brought with me for just in case. It didn’t help. Nothing helped. I got to the point where I was about a half mile to the finish..it was also the most visible portion of the race…everyone at the school would be able to see you..I knew I couldn’t walk the last half mile..although by that point I was doing run 1/walk 1 intervals. My pride wouldn’t let me walk where everyone could see me though. So just before I went around the corner for that last half mile, I stopped. I literally stopped during a race and allowed myself 20-30 seconds to breathe, pep talk, and pull it together for half a mile. Then I ran…I ran the last half mile to the finish and as I turned the final corner to the finish line I ran harder. I pushed with everything I had. I opened my stride to try and pick up speed and I just pushed. I wasn’t going for a time at this point, I had way passed my hard time and was just past my slow time. No..I was pushing because I knew the faster I went, the quicker I would get to the finish line and could stop running.
And that’s what I did. As soon as I crossed the finish line I stopped running. However, I couldn’t stop walking. Andy said that he and my family were waiting at the finish line, but I didn’t see them. I was in too much of a zone of pain, disappointment, and embarrassment. So I kept walking past the crowds at the finish line. At some point someone handed me a bottle of water…I don’t remember seeing who it was..I just kept walking. I walked closer to the school and leaned against the wall to stretch. I needed some sense of privacy and facing a brick wall was the best it was going to get. I knew I needed privacy because I was angry and upset. As soon as I started to stretch, the tears started falling. I don’t know why I was crying, but I couldn’t stop. I was so upset over my first 10k being such a failure.
Andy came up after a few minutes to check on me and as soon as he placed his hand on my back, I felt fresh tears starting to fall. He always has that effect on me when I’m upset. I think that when he holds me or comforts me..it opens up a whole other level of vulnerability that just makes me cry harder. Anyway, I told him what went wrong and how bad my stomach was hurting. I was trying to calm down, but I could tell that I still probably looked like a red face cry baby. I could feel my family somewhere behind me, but I just couldn’t stand to turn around and face them looking like such a mess. I was embarrassed by my race and embarrassed that I broke down so publicly. I wanted to motivate them and set a good running example and make their first race experience a happy one where everyone had a great time. Not one where they saw me in tears after a grueling race that I almost didn’t finish. I felt defeated.
Eventually I was able to gather myself though and join the group. We hung out for the awards and for the times to be posted. I’m so proud of everyone. Andy for doing his second 10k race and still having a good time, my mom for doing her first 5k and finishing in 10 minutes less than any time we did during training and my brother and sister for actually waking up early to race and for both finishing 2nd in their age groups. I tried to smile and laugh my way through for the sake of not being a total dud..but I just really wanted to go home. I wanted to wallow in my defeat. Thanks for everyone for not making a big deal out of it though.
I wish I could say that I’ve moved past it. I understand that everyone has a bad race every now and then and that I can build from this. Mentally, I know that…I know that it’s just one race..but emotionally..I’m still defeated and hurting. Emotionally, it’s still too raw and it’s uncomfortable to talk about the race. It was my first 10k and it totally sucked. I was miserable the whole time and I don’t even want to think about reliving it. Writing this brings tears close to the surface that I struggle to keep down. I haven’t moved on yet and I don’t know when I will…it was my first 10k and it went very poorly.
I know I have the opportunity to redeem myself in a few weeks at the Dam run…but it won’t be my first. I have no doubts I’ll have better runs..but they won’t be my first 10k. I think I’ll remember this run for a while. I think it’s going to take longer than a minute for this run to not feel so raw.