Anxiety, Nerves, and Tension
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve had a birthday and a lot has changed in my life. My desire to train has waned, but since it’s race season, I can’t quite give up completely.
Right now I’m really nervous. I have to drive down to San Diego (from Berkeley) and then race two days later. The worst part? I then have to drive back. I think at this point, that’s what’s causing me this really terrible anxiety I’m feeling. I’m to the point of being slightly panicy, and I really just don’t like it at all.
I’m trying really hard to stay motivated and keep my eyes on what I’ve been training for all year, but it’s hard. I’m still in college and making new friends. I want to hang out with them. I just turned 21. I want to have fun. Right now, though, I’m trapped with going to SD. It’s weird, I’ve spent the last seven or eight months feverishly training, and now that it’s time to actually race, I’m basically chickening out and self-sabotaging.
Last night in an effort to, kind of, quell my fears, I agreed to cut my season short. After nationals I won’t race again until June. It seems like the best way to effectively study for the lsat and have enough time to hang out with my new friends.
I don’t want regret in life. I don’t want something I feel “passionate” about to ruin memories. I did that already in high school. I’m cognizant of my mistakes and shortcomings. Of course, I’m torn by the fact that I set these goals. I want to achieve them and I’m so close to doing just that. Maybe now isn’t the time though. Something feels weird about the season. I’m only $50 deep right now. Maybe I won’t do Collegiate Nationals. I don’t know. I just, don’t know. I think this weekend will be really telling.
New Year’s Resolution Day Race
I don’t do “resolutions.” Never have, never will. I don’t like setting boundaries for my self. Sometimes I’ll set goals, but I’m more about intentions. Even before I got into yoga I would set blanket intentions for the year. Generally it’s something along the lines of “this year I’m going to be fast” or “this year I’m going to appreciate everything I have.” This year, I want to be healthy and strong in mind and body. As I’ve been working harder, I understand I have to be careful and respect my body, but I also have to realize my strength and that sometimes my mind limits me.
While I don’t keep resolutions, I did a resolution run race way back on the first. I was going to do both the 5k and 10k, but I chickened out of the 10k. The 5k, however, proved to be a new PR for little old me, despite feeling kind of sluggish, and even slow. (In hindsight, it’s because I was falling really sick—sick enough to keep me from working out for the next week.)
The race began like any other. I pushed the pace a bit hard for the first mile, but I was really hoping to break 20:00, so it wasn’t unreasonable. I believe my first mile was right around the pace for a 19:59, but about half a mile later, I knew that goal was completely out of the question. I was tired, and I was cramping (too much fun the night before?). I still managed to push it for the second half and come out in a respectable 21:06. (My watch reads a 21:02 for 3.12 miles, though, so… I’m pretty proud to start the new year off at this speed, as last year I was at a 24:41. I can’t imagine what I’ll run over the summer at Nite Moves if I keep honest with my training. I’m really quite excited for what 2014 will hold for me, athletically.
"You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and God damn it, you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about the business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way."
- Elizabeth Taylor (via quotestuff)
Spoiler Alert: I PRed!
Starting from the beginning, though…
I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting other SF Marathon Ambassadors at Packet Pick-Up. Now I just have to work on being 21 so I Could have stayed at Pyramid Alehouse and had a brew or two… (Almost exactly two months, but who’s counting?)
I was pleased to check race time and see a nice late 8 o’clocker. When I woke up at 6:45 I was still less than pleased, though. The drive there was easy. The boyfriend dropped me off. Took about 5 mins. I used the porta potty, (PORTA POTTIES EVERYWHERE, IT WAS BEAUTIFUL), checked my bag, and headed for the start line. Along the way I ran into my buddy Gabe. He’s a fellow SB Tri teammate and endurance junkie. We made our way to the start and nestled right behind the 1:40 pacers.
As race time approached, we were serenaded by a precious boys choir, then set off by a Berkeley City Councilman. Off we went. First mile beeped in at 7:33. Solid. Right on pace. Next mile? 6:52. Ok pacers, you’re gettin a little speedy here. Of course, they slowed down a tad, but I just kept going.
Before I continue, it must be said that this final time is wrong, I forgot to turn off my watch (hence why the distance is wonky).
Continuing on, the first about four miles were literally straight downhill. Then it was basically all flat. We had a little tiny freeway overpass. For a while we were on a gravelly trail section. This sucked worse than any other part. Due to the fact that I had been going at mach speed (for myself) for quite a few miles, my legs were a bit jelly-ish when transitioned to gravel. It was unfortunate. Then at about Mile 13 there was a biggish hill. It was killer only because my legs had been painfully running downhill for the better portion of an hour and a half. However, I got to the top and made the final sprint to the finish line. BOY was it SWEET to see a 1:38:15 on the clock. I had been looking to crack 1:40 and, dare I say, I CRUSHED it. I’m so darned excited. Now I just have to beat this one!
Overall, I thought it was a great race. I am looking forward to next year!
An oh so slight change of plans…
So i had a “goals” meeting with my coach last night, which was really cool. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like him when we went into the season, but I couldn’t be happier to have him as a coach now. Truly an inspirational person. Also, just an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience in triathlon. I have a feeling that many years down the road I’ll still credit him with any successes I might have.
I digress, though. So as you all know I’m Ambassadoring for the SF Marathon. Well, that hasn’t changed, but my race distance certainly has. At his recommendation, I’ve decided to drop down to doing one of the halfs instead so that I’ll be able to adequately recover before Age Group Nationals.
Now, after our talk I called my mom and told her and asked her if she wanted to jog it with me, and guess what? She said yes! So what was going to be special because it was my first 26.2 is now going to be special as my mom’s first 13.1. We’re going to jog it together! I am truly beyond excited.
My excuse is that I didn’t have the photos to accompany this recap until now. That’s a half truth. The other half of the truth is this was a race I literally never want to relive.
I feel like this should be self-explanatory, but I’ll fully recap anyway. Basically, I woke up, picked up my friend, drove on over to SF, parked, super easy. The struggle began with the bathrooms. Literally my only complaint with the organization of this race is there was a severe lack of bathroomage. I had to wait a solid fifteen minutes, and since I had had my coffee already, the struggle became very real.
I finished my… ahem… business and ran on over to the start line. I sort of weaseled my way in to the front of the pack because I was done with the BS of being trapped behind walking people. I started out strong. I wasn’t really mentally prepared at all. I’ve gotten to a point in my fitness where a half really isn’t that bad and anything shorter is downright easy.
Mile 1,2,3 came and went. Mile 4 was that demonic hill by Crissy Field that NWM had as well. Mile 5 was almost entirely a downhill. This is where problems began. One of my abdominal muscles was feeling a bit twangy from the start. I figured I probably wasn’t hydrated enough and so I was getting a little crampy. Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.
As I crested the Golden Gate I realized this was more than a simple cramp. I also realized the view was beautiful and eh maybe it will go away. False. So, SO false. The pain intensified and halfway out on the bridge I quite literally stopped. I did my best to stretch and rub my side. I then kept on. I mean, by this time I think you get the point: this pain didn’t go away. The cruelest part? Downhills were the most painful. The glorious moment I was supposed to enjoy became even more of a difficulty.
My Garmin would beep every mile and my heart would sink. 8’s and 9’s? What? No… I ran a 1:43:55 at NWM just two weeks before. This was frustrating, demoralizing, and painful. I finally finished in 1:55:59 which, I guess, for the amount of pain I was in, is pretty impressive. I crossed the line, grabbed my medal, and laid down on the grass. I tried rubbing out my side, but the pain literally wouldn’t relent. After a while, the pain eased up a bit, but not by much. Unfortunately, as I’ll recap soon, this cramp is a muscle tear that affected my performance the next week in Santa Barbara — the race where I was on the hunt for a PR.
My view from the Golden Gate!