Here we go again!
It has been just shy of 1 year and 7 months since I last set out to run a race, and while I’m not doing a marathon, half marathon, or even 10 km for that matter, this Sunday, when I snap my Garmin around my wrist and lace my sneakers up for the Vancouver BMO 8 km run, I will be racing – against the other runners on the road, against myself, against Garmin, and most importantly against those frustratingly pokey demons in my head!
Given that it’s been so long since I a) have run a race, and b) have raced a distance this short, I’m not sure I prepared as well as I should have…
I’m not sure if it was wise I ran speed repeats last Monday; one of the windiest days I’ve ever endured on a run. And even if it was okay, I’m pretty sure running my third and last set of 400/800 metre repeats straight into a super strong headwind ruined my speed confidence! I’ve already got issues with speed work, and when I saw an average turtle pace of 5:05 and 5:14 glaring up at me, I felt my competitive heart crumbling 🙁
And then there was Wednesday. I was feeling pretty down on myself coming off Monday’s speed debacle and wanted to redeem myself. And so, rather than go out for an easy run, which I would typically do in a “taper” week (do we get tapers for 8 km???) I booked it. I did NOT want to run anything over a 5:30 pace; that would not be acceptable. I wanted to know I could complete 8 km in 45 minutes, which I used to be able to do no problem. And so, I left Little Ring and BOB with my parents, and set forth on the farm roads. Only thing was, I had completely forgotten how hilly this route was. And so, not only was I speeding, I was also doing hill training. Why hello there glutes!
And finally, today. After a month of nasty, cold, rainy, windy weather on Fridays, we were finally blessed with sunshine. And you know what that meant, I was finally able to saddle up on my dear, sweet Holly Goquickly – the first time!
Big Ring and I set out this afternoon on a “get to know you” two-hour ride. Within minutes, I felt the fatigue in my legs from the week’s activities, and a tightening in my upper back and shoulders from the riding position (it has been nearly 2 years since I last rode) and not to mention, ahem, my butt and bits!!! But, with the Living the Dream fondo next week, the sun shining and my moms at the ready to take Little Ring, we couldn’t pass the opportunity up.
But I refused to blow out my legs; refused to be competitive with my cycling husband who was fields ahead of me; refused to do anything but enjoy the ride. There were a couple mishaps. My blood sugars went low practically seconds into the ride. I nearly fell over a couple of times; she’s a lot lighter than my Kona was. And, well, I kinda got stuck halfway up a hill after I shakily clipped out of a pedal on a corner when a couple of cyclists coming the opposite way took my wide berth away. I tried to get back going, I tried to hold onto the rail for assistance, I tried to push through the steepness. But, unless I wanted to fall over, I was not going anywhere. And so, I did what any proper cyclist would do. I turned around, went down to the bottom of the hill, and started all over again 😀
Good thing Sunday’s race is only 8 km, because otherwise I may have really hooped myself!