Today I participated in the 11th Annual Portland Sea Dogs Mother's Day 5K. Long name, I know. This is the second biggest race in Maine and the biggest 5K, capped at 3000 people. It's the largest one I've ever done. The Portland Sea Dogs is a minor league baseball team. Their major league team is the Boston Red Sox. The race ended in the ballpark at the stadium. Me, my sister and friend all did this race.
I had a plan for this 5K. I was a little worried about it because my achilles has been hurting ever since I pulled a double speedwork session this past Tuesday. I stretched it out a couple times before the race in hopes it would help. My plan was to practice negative splits for the race. Start off conservatively, then pick it up and get faster after each mile. My plan was to finish in the 28 minute mark. I hit my mark for the first mile, was 4 seconds slower for the second mile and had my fastest mile at the end. I cut myself some slack for the second mile because it was more of an incline than the first. I picked it up more when there was half a mile left to go. I was feeling pretty good as we entered the ballpark. The path was much more narrow and it was hard to manuever around people. I was stuck behind two jogging strollers blocking the path, side by side. Have a little consideration! I crossed the finish line, stopped my Garmin and looked at the time. 29:04. I cried. Not tears of joy. I was so upset. I had failed at what I set out to do. I couldn't even be happy about getting my first sub 30 5K. Notice there was no exclamation point in my status? This race was a PR for me. My last 5K in March, I got 30:12. I shaved 1 minute, 11 seconds off my time in 2 months. That 5K, I went all out, getting my fastest mile at the time. But each mile after that I got slower and slower, having nothing left to give at the end. So the negative splits do seem to work better for me.
Courtesy of Maine Running Photos.
I texted my trainer and said that things hadn't gone as planned and that I had failed to meet my goal. She called me. She's always so good about making you feel better. We talked about my goals and expectations for this race. Except for the second mile, I had set out what I had aimed to do with the negative splits. So we'll work on that. Work on making my second mile stronger. She said I did good. Everyone said I did good. Except me. I am so hard on myself. I wish I was more confident in my running abilities. Instead, I continue to compare myself to my friend, who always blows me out of the water. I wish I could be good enough for me. I wish I could run a race without pain. In looking back on this race, I should've looked at my time on my watch at the end. If I had, I probably would've picked up the pace more. I had set the Garmin up to view each mile individually, instead of the race as a whole. Perhaps I should have left it alone, so I could've seen what my entire time was as I was going. If it had been less crowded at the end, maybe I could've shaved some sections. There are so many what ifs. I wish I could have a re-do. There's no going back now. I can only move forward and learn from what I've done today. Take what I've learned and use it for future races. I wonder why lessons are always learned the hard way?
I wanted to end today on a good note. So I decided to try out my new trail shoes, the Saucony Peregrine. I wanted to try the route of the 5K I planned on doing next month. It is on the cross country trails behind the local high school. Well, my legs were a bit tired as I was running from the parking lot to the entrance. The trails are horrendous. Awful. I don't think trail running is for me. Sorry, Speedydog. It was really hard on my arches and I had a lot of pain running on the bottom of my feet. It is much more difficult navigating all the ruts, holes, rocks and roots. I have enough problems with my feet as it is. I don't think I need to add more by having sore arches and risking twisting ankles. It's harder on my achilles too because I'm much less stable. I'm thinking of returning the shoes and bailing on this race. There's another one that I can do in it's place.
The next race is a 5K in two weeks. It's more hilly than today's was. For the next couple Tuesdays, we'll be doing some hill repeats to better prepare for it. Hope you all had a nice Mother's Day, especially my mother friends. :)
P.S. Thanks for listening and sticking through to the end with me. One day I will look back and be happy about this.