Saturday I ran the SPARC 5K. I ran this race last year and I enjoyed the experience so I decided to go back and run it again. My experience this year was completely different though. This was in no way a reflection of the race. The race was fantastic. The volunteers were helpful, the course was an actual 5k, it was well marked, and it was close to home. The only problem that I had with this race was that I am not as fast as I was last year. Last year I may have told you that I wasn’t as fast as the year before–that is also true. The problem is really with me and not with this race or any other race. I just haven’t been motivated or excited to run.
Saturday I got out of bed around 7am. I was already wearing my race outfit because I slept in it. I ate some oatmeal, drank some water, brushed my teeth, put on my shoes, and ran to the race. By the time I got there it was probably 7:35. I didn’t know what to do for another 25 minutes because I ran to the race as a warm up and I was alone. Being alone at a race is really strange for me. In all of my life this has probably only happened two other times. To pass time I just focused on the fact that I was going to race in my pocket shorts and my key and coffee money would remain zipped safely inside of the pocket. I love this particular pair of shorts and wearing them makes me feel fantastic. As I was looking up (I had been staring down at my shorts) I saw a woman I knew so waiting for the race to begin wasn’t so bad anymore.
I was the first female finisher for the second year in a row. That is just a factual statement and nothing more. At this point in my running journey winning arbitrary. I wasn’t trying to win. I was just a girl who entered a local 5K on a Saturday morning because she needed a reason to run. I love to run and I always will, but I am not training and when I am not training I struggle to run. The race got me out of the house and I ran.
There is a distinct difference between running and training. For me, training is running 50-60 or more miles per week, doing workouts, never missing long runs, and racing regularly. It also includes specific goals, a training plan, and the promise of seeing progress in the future. Right now the running I am doing doesn’t fit into that description. There were a few weeks back in March and April that I felt like I was ‘training’ and then I fell into a rut and I haven’t been able to dig myself out, but I am trying.