Well, my running race came and went. I had my best finish there to date, a 20:23, which was about 23 seconds slower than I’d hoped but nonetheless a good time.
So, why or how did I miss it when I’d already run a 19:19 for 3 miles on my own. Well, here’s my post-race analysis for you:
• My last training run was on snowshoes, which, I figured, was safer than running on our icy streets. But, alas, snowshoe running is a little more fatiguing than normal running. So that was probably a bad move.
• My last training run was about 35 minutes. The 19:19 came after a few light 20-minute sessions.
• I quit weightlifting too early. I’ve now concluded that weightlifting does indeed help me run better, and it might help me ride better. (Now, granted, if I were the sort of person who puts on muscle easily, strength training and running might be bad ideas—but I’m not.)
• I stopped doing intensity in favor of form work and lower-intensity runs.
• I never really did intervals.
• I chose to run the same 5k that Sarah Palin chose for her turkey trot, darn it. (That meant there were an extra thousand people on course that day compared with the year before.)
• I wore a watch. I’m quickly learning that I race better and have more fun when I leave the watch, the bike computer, etc. at home and just GO!
Well, no matter. There’s another 5k that might be a winner on the Fourth of July, so I’ll prep and run that one. But next year, I’m hoping to run a turkey trot just for fun. And I think I’m going to bag the idea, in all my races, of trying to hit a certain time or trying to achieve a personal best or whatever. I’m not always going to be able to train optimally or eat the perfect pre-race meal beforehand or taper perfectly, but that’s no reason to skip the race. So my goal for the next race I do? A good performance—I want to come away from it feeling like I’ve done my best with what I’ve got, like I left it all out there without compromising my health or my family relationships. And, yes, I plan to leave my watch at home. Besides, there’s always a race clock.