Custom Search

Monday, December 2, 2013

Turkey Day race 2013: I discovered I have a pride problem

Even though I hadn't quite worked up to five miles yet, I decided to run this year's Thanksgiving Day race, a 5-mile tradition for over 100 years. I knew I could just take it slow, and I offered to pace David to a PR. He turned me down. I insisted. He told me he was out of shape. I pressured!
He still told me no, but I planned on doing it anyway. There's no better way to start Thanksgiving day than yelling at your spouse for 40 minutes, right?!

So, with that in mind, I got to the start of the race and pinned on my bib. But I left my D-tag in the car. David noticed it was missing. "You forgot your chip! You really have been out of running for awhile!" I hemmed and hawed. "Oh, it's too far to go back to the car," I said. But really I was too proud to put my tag on. I knew I'd be slower than usual and I kind of didn't want that time recorded. As I stood in the bathroom line a few minutes later, I realized what I was doing. I mean, how silly! I was proudly refusing to record a slower time.

But that's how I run now.
That's what I'm capable of now.
And we all have fast days, slow days, injury days, and healthy days.

If I left off my tag, I'd be pretending I was "really" faster than my speed today. I'm not. This is as fast as I am right now!

So, humbled, I went back to the car and put my chip on.
Post-race proof!

And humbled I should be. I was slow. I didn't pace David: we started together, and I ran 7:30s like a stopwatch (which is fantastic, since I didn't wear a watch or Garmin) for the first two miles. Then I turned around and realized David was gone, like long gone, and who knows how far back he'd left me??
I'd purposefully started well back from the fast people at the start, even though I usually try to get up front at NOTC races since they are chipped, but not chip timed (they only have a timing mat at the finish, so your chip records gun time. Weird, I know.). But this time, I wanted to avoid the pressure of faster people at the start. The result was that I spent the last three miles either passing people or all alone. And then I was done. 35:55. Yes, I cringed. Yes, I'm kind of sort of a little cringing to type it now! But my time really doesn't matter. For one thing, I bet you don't even care! And for another thing, I didn't get HURT running the race. That's for more important to me. And from that perspective, I'm happy with the race.


  1. I think that, in spite of the fact that you weren't happy with your time, you did an amazing job b/c you were mature enough to hold yourself back. Keep that up and you're going to keep progressing and before you know it, you will be happy with your times!

  2. Being smart and responsible pretty much sucks, but running pain free has to be the best consolation. I'm quite sure that if you get healthy you're going to be posting the kind of times you want to shout to the world. And my way-too-fast first mile at Thursday's 5k was 7:31 and almost killed me, so now I'm just that much more amazed by you.

  3. This is so funny because I ran a race with Michael on Thanksgiving as well, and had a similar experience. I told her I probably wouldn't wear a bib and she was pissed. She was like "Why, you just don't want a slower time showing up on 'your record'?". (Which I don't even know what "my record" means.) But it really was just because I didn't want to mess around with finding safety pins.

    Glad you didn't go all out in this one. I've notice in the past that you just can't help yourself at races. Me too. But I think if you get the leg stronger first, you'll be better off. I know - "thanks captain obvious"!

    1. SURE, because you don't have 99 safety pins all over your house and car like every other runner. Hmph.

  4. Yay!!! You raced and didn't hurt! That is progress. I have been in the same boat recently - having to accept as I come back from being injured for a few months this summer/early fall that I am not as fast as I was. But it is coming back and there is a lot of freedom in just accepting where you are at right now. Congrats!

  5. Happy this didn't hurt you!! Cringing at a 35 min 5 mile makes me smile. I would be dead on the side of the road :D

  6. I totally understand. I got lost in a race once, and when I finally found my way (SIX MILES LATER), I refused to cross the actual finish line. I didn't want that time recorded! We're our biggest critics, though. No one judges us as hard as we judge ourselves. Sometimes it's easy to lose sight of why we run to begin with. So glad you are running pain-free!!!!! That's the important thing. :)

  7. This was not the recap I expected by any means. Maybe you know your times better than I do, but it seems like your 4 to 5 mile times in the past were about 6:30 to 6:45 pace (based on your prior races). So the fact that you aren't even running 5 miles right now and went out and ran a 7:30 pace race seems fine to me. If anything this seems almost too aggressive to me. Anyways, I wouldn't have any expectations for yourself in regards to time right now, since the last thing you want to do is to get injured again.

  8. I know what you mean but you should not feel bad about it... but happy you are healthy... you will have much faster times in the months to come! I'm glad you are back at it!

  9. So glad you were able to run 5 miles with no pain, and I think you are speedy! You haven't lost much fitness, so its just a matter of letting that leg come back slowly! :) Congrats!