Alternative Title: Three Reasons Why I Did Not Run the Mini 10K
I skipped a race yesterday.
It isn’t the first time that I have done that. The last time was a four-miler in the fall when I had the flu.
But this time around the decision felt less forced. It was simple, really.
There were three distinct reasons why I chose to stay in bed on Saturday morning.
3. I wasn’t really that committed to running this race.
I ran the 2012 Mini 10K last year. It was a crowded course. The start was sort of a schlep from my apartment and was set for a rather early time. I was disappointed with my time.
But I really wanted to give this race another shot. I wanted to experience it for what it seems to me it is supposed to be — a race for women to run together.
So this year, I had planned to run this race with a friend. But a reasonable way through my training cycle, it became pretty clear that she wasn’t training, and that I would be running this race alone.
While I am a huge advocate of doing things you enjoy, even if you do them by yourself; I really wanted the experience of running a race for fun, with a friend. Maybe it’s all of the pictures I see on other blogs of happy friends on race courses, smiling and running together. And I so want that experience! That experience of not freaking out about my time, calculating my finish from the start…but just running happily, alongside a friend.
When it was clear that she was bailing, I just mentally checked out of this race.
2. I needed a break.
I went from a hardcore half marathon training cycle right in to training for this race.
I barely took any time to rest and headed out for a time trial 10K less than three weeks later. I ran that race extremely well and am thrilled with the PR it yielded. Yes, I want to get back out there, but maybe this was just too soon.
I chose a too-hard training plan that left me feeling burnt out with weeks to spare before race day.
Maybe if I had trained less seriously, if I just ran a bit more casually, a bit more conservatively, I would have eased through this training cycle and ran a great race.
But that isn’t what I did.
I sort of beat myself up. And I’m tired.
A couple of weeks ago, I started to take stock. What was more important — PRing in a 10K that I wasn’t that invested in, or beginning marathon training with a well-rested mind and body? So it should come as no surprise that I chose the latter.
I scaled back my training significantly – down to just one or two runs per week – and lifted and did barre exercises on other days.
In other words, by the time the Mini 10K rolled around, I probably wasn’t in the best shape to run it. But I was actually okay with that.
1. I was in pain.
The number one reason to skip a run.
I was in so. much. pain.
I have no idea why. It sort of came on out of nowhere.
My legs had been pretty sore from the move; from constantly lifting heavy items and carrying them up and down on a step-ladder. Imagine spending all day, every day for three days doing squats and lunges with heavy weights. That was basically how I spent Memorial Day Weekend.
The soreness subsided within a few days, but came back with a vengeance on Thursday.
Maybe it was payback from my legs for forcing them to carry me around the office and work functions day-and-night in stilettos. Maybe I ran Thursday morning’s run too hard after running casually in the weeks before. Maybe I was dehydrated, deficient in some nutrient, tired…or maybe it was just cramps. I don’t know.
But my legs hurt right up and down, hip to ankle.
So I sat out this race. This race that I was only sort-of excited about, that I just barely trained for and was in too much pain to run.
And the truth is, that I really don’t feel like I missed out on anything. If anything, I feel that I have given myself the promise of starting out a new training cycle, well rested and well prepared to face the challenge.