It has been said that you have to be willing to fail in order to be great. True, if you don't get to the start line of a race because you let your worries get the best of you and never attempt, for example, how can you win the race? In my world, getting to the start line has sometimes been the hardest part. There are injuries to avoid, fears to wade through and the challenge of waking up with enough time to get to the event. Obviously I'm not alone in this. I suppose it's the same with writing. If you don't risk putting it out there, you can't get feedback and grow. In the same way I get too in my head before I run, I fret and worry about every post I publish, every article I submit and each story I complete, afraid my writing's not substantial or appealing enough. I look at passages in my novel and have no clue if they are good or not. I've decided that fiction is in some ways easier and in some ways much harder than non-fiction writing. Non-fiction writing is about finding an interesting way to say something, and fiction writing is about finding something interesting to say.
Today I didn't quite risk failing. I got to the start line, but I didn't run the race I wanted to run. I did push the 2nd mile a bit, but I'm battling something, probably something in my head more than anything. Maybe it's a fear of pushing it too hard. Will I break? I don't know, so I get just a little outside my comfort zone and settle. I keep thinking, "ooOOOo I'm running fast...or am I?" Obviously, if I have to ask, I know I'm not, but I'm not sure how much more to push it or really how much more I CAN push it. I so wish I had an occasional training partner to encourage me and keep the electrical activity occurring in my frontal lobe more mellow. The bottom line is that I need to have more fun and be more social with running.
I probably shouldn't have used vegans as an example in my last post. It may have come back to haunt me today. Even though I explained it was a select few who tend to cite studies incorrectly, some people assumed I was making a big generalization about all vegans. I wasn't. I guess with the literature and information available that's legit about the benefits of a vegan diet, why mess around with studies that don't accurately show that? Just to show that I really do admire non-meat eaters, I have decided to take the 30-day vegan challenge. I think. OK, maybe I'll make it two weeks and see how it goes. It has been a long time since I was a vegan. When I tried the diet ages ago, I lasted less than a year, but I did give it a shot. I hope I'm smarter about how to do it in a healthy way, and I think there are more options for vegans these days. I'm not sure when I will start the challenge, probably in October, maybe sooner. I figure if I can resist chocolate for three months, I can do just about anything, right? On the other hand, giving up cheese is going to suck. I'll keep everyone posted, though I don't want to make a big deal about it. I don't see myself avoiding animal products forever, but I do want to give it another try, just to see how I feel.
Here's why I'm wondering if karma came to bite me in the ass today. I wasn't feeling 100 percent going into the race. I'm not used to running early, and my legs have felt kind of tired and heavy lately, despite resting well the last two days. Mentally I'm just struggling, and that's probably my biggest issue. It results in a HUGE lack of confidence. However, I felt OK on the warm up, and after the gun went off, I was running comfortably with the lead pack. We were climbing a very small hill, and, unfortunately, I ended up on the inside, right next to the edge of the street. Well, hell, it's a fun run, so no need to worry, right? Wrong. I saw it happening before it did, but I didn't think it would, if that makes sense. Around the first corner I got cut off by a lady wearing a "Go Vegan!" shirt. Yes, she stepped right in front of me, and there was no sidewalk to jump on at that corner. I got pinched out of place, my stride got fucked up and I let it get to me mentally. SHIT! As the race continued with me struggling to find my pace again, I kept thinking, "Really? You're going to cut me off without a word in a fucking 5K?" Maybe she didn't sense me. I doubt it. I can't imagine running that close to someone and not sense it. Well, I'm just glad that I don't race like that- never have and never will. It's dirty and lame, especially in a TINY little race. I guess it's an eye opener though. I've been out of competition way too long. In the past, I would have died before I let someone like that beat me, but that was when I was tough, sound and fit, the perfect winning trio. Today I had to shrug and let it go, locked in my broken body.
The funny thing is that after the race, I talked to this incredibly sweet lady who finished ahead of me, and she invited me to run with her group. Unfortunately, they are in the next town over, but I hope I can do it every now and then. The first thing she said after mentioning the group was, "You should join us. We're not snobby." Ha! I hadn't even told her about being cut off at that point!
I did throw in a few good surges around mile 1.5 to mile 3, but it was too little too late. I never got into 2nd gear. Plus, for whatever reason, I was expecting a big hill, which would have lifted my spirits. Looking at the map before the race, it looked like an enormous mountain was planted in the middle of the thing, but the entire course was as flat as a crêpe. The whole race I was like, "Where's the fucking hill?" Huge disappointment. I later found out that the first portion of the race was a gradual uphill. Oh.
My foot was sore after the run, which alarmed me. It seems to be better with some massage and stretching, but it did make me want to cry, mostly because of the worry. Again, my body is so far behind my heart and lungs. I could have held that pace for quite a while longer as long as my body would resist breaking, which tells me I didn't go fast enough. It also tells me that I'm not in horrible shape. I just need work, lots of work. I also need to figure out something for the chronic soreness in my legs. All in all, it was an OK effort. I ran 7:15 pace, and I'll have to be OK with that for now. There's clearly room for improvement. I'll add that I'm glad to have completed another race, and I even landed in the top 5. Yes, my time was super slow, but it's OK. Oh, and I got 2nd in my age group behind the vegan chick. Grrr.