Do You Really Race?
By Kate G.
As I face down my dreaded second half marathon of the year this Saturday, my fires remain at a slow glow rather than ablaze. I will admit I’ve been kind of hoping the weather report would call for heavy downpours (I will run a race in a light sprinkle but I’ll be damned if I’m going to run for much more than an hour in pouring rain in November.) But so far things look sunny. Ah well. Guess I’m out of excuses.
I ran my last tempo run this afternoon: nearly 6 miles with 3 miles at about 20 second faster than my goal pace. I felt like I was really pushing it the entire run (even during the easy miles) and I felt downright queasy during the speed work. I’m feeling super unprepared, mentally and physically, to tackle this half at the speed I’d intended.
This leads to the question: when you are running a race, do you push it, even if you’re not feeling it? In the past I’ve found myself unable NOT to. I don’t hurt myself, but during a race my philosophy has always been It’s A Race. You’re supposed to feel a little uncomfortable. You’re supposed to surprise yourself. I’m just not sure I have it in me for the weekend. I’m happier to face Saturday telling myself, “Hey. If you want to run 10 minute miles and slide through this, you can do that. Whatever it takes.”
The thing is, when I’m running a race I just want to be over, a little bit of my ego tends to take over, and a little bit of logic comes into play as well. Let’s face it: The faster you run, the faster it’s over.
Who knows which way I’ll go on Saturday? I could flip a coin. But I’ll report back next week when I announce the winner of “Run Like a Mother.” (It’s not too late to enter that giveaway—go here to leave a comment and be included in the drawing!)