So. The St. Patrick’s Day 10k road race has come and gone. I have mixed feelings about the day. I’m not talking about just the race. I mean I’ll get to that in a minute. I’m talking about the whole day from start to finish. I am of three minds when it comes to this 10k. Fear. Fun. Frustration. Fear – for starters, I woke to snow coming down in huge glittery flakes. That in and of itself was enough to get me jittery. I have always been afraid of injury this time of year. It will do me no good to turn an ankle just before Just Cause. As I watched the roadways become blanketed in white I wondered if I really should be running at all. But, this is the year of courage. Or, at least that’s what I told myself. Can’t back out now.
Fun – the whole race was fun. 7,000 people all vying for road space. Sidewalks still snow drifted. Yet, this was my strongest race by far. I powered up every hill with a smile on my face and even a laugh once or twice. I ran through puddles while others tried to dance around them. I just didn’t care. On every incline I looked around for exhaustion but never found it. The whole six felt comfortable and even, dare I say? simple. I found myself goofing off – high-fiving and fist-pumping little kids and adults a like. I didn’t take anything seriously. Even the downhill sprint – I sort of lollygagged my way down, not really paying attention to anything except the clear blue skies and the throng of people trying to hand the runners beer. The first year I ran this 10k I just wanted to finish. Accomplished. The second year I wanted to conquer the hills and not feel cowed by them. Accomplished. This year I wanted to beat my time…but somehow I forgot that along the way.
Frustration – when the finish line was in sight I had two simultaneous thoughts. One, I could run another 10k right now because I felt that good. Second thought – Oh yeah! This is the year I wanted to beat my time! Too late I turned on the jets. There was so much more in the tank that sprinting the last 1000 yards was a breeze. Only. It wasn’t enough. I beat my time by thirteen small seconds. That’s it.
I’m mixed up. Normally I don’t compete with me or myself. At one point numbers were just numbers and times really didn’t matter. Not yours. Not mine. I simply didn’t care until suddenly this year me, myself and moi – we care. I’m confused because I’m mad at myself for making a mockery of the run. I ran so easily that surely I could have run harder for longer. The hills proved that. I could conquer every incline without losing pace. I felt strong the whole way. This lack of focus has bothered me enough that it actually has taken over my sleep. I had a dream that I was able to watch myself run. How stupid is that? A coach pointed out every time I slowed to high five a little kid. “See that?” he would accuse. “You lost three seconds right there!”
I’m not going to worry about it. I’ll take it for what it was supposed to be: a training run for the Toronto half. I haven’t registered but it’s time I put St. Patrick out of my head and started thinking Maple.
ps~ I can’t even post pics from RaceWire. They sent me a group of what they thought were pictures of me at the finish. Yes, I’m in the photos but all you see is a hand, a tip of a shoe, a suggestion of what might be bib #7238. The good news is Kisa got a blip of video when I ran by him at the start 🙂