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M&Ms Make the Whole World Brighter

06/20/2011

Yesterday I ran the Levittown Kiwanis Father’s Day 5K. It is a small race in my hometown. I’ve run it 3 times and really enjoy it. One year (2006) I ran the BIG Father’s Day race on LI and it was just too much (plus it has a 10:00 AM start which is just way too late for a summer race). Not only do I enjoy a race whose starting line is slightly more than a mile from my parents’ house, my old Long Island running buddies were going to be there and I always enjoy talking some running smack with the boys (although I am far more humble than I was 5 years ago without the 21:02 5K to back me up).

I had wanted to run a sub-23:00, something I haven’t done since the summer of 2006. I ran a 23:18 in very windy conditions back in March so I thought anything below 23 was in the bag. What I didn’t consider was:
1) A post-Warrior Dash hangover lasts 10 days. I swear I recovered from childbirth faster.
2) Stupid dumb deadlifts at the gym Thursday would = hamstrings that were STILL sore Sunday morning.
3) I’d be out until midnight (which is so, so, so very late for me) the night before yucking it up with some elementary school friends I hadn’t seen in 20 years (my throat is killing me from scream-shouting every story).
Sure, I know what they say about excuses… but when I woke up Sunday morning I actually considered bailing on the race. However, if I did bail, I reasoned with my oh-so-tired self, I’d be severely overcome with a case of the guilts and I would force myself out for an 8 miler later in the morning and, at that point, a really painful 3.1 seemed way better than a sluggish 8. So I dressed and brushed and laced up for the race.

When I started my warm-up I KNEW it wasn’t going to be my day. There would not be, in the words of Bob Monaco, veterinarian and running partner extraordinaire, any “race day magic.” There was the possibility of race day chafing and race day puking. But the gun went off and the race was, you know, ok. First mile was right where I should be (7:10), second mile was extraordinarily slow, third mile was fine, and I actually had a little juice for the point 1 (emphasis on “a little”). I finished with a 23:48, good enough for 3rd in my age group.

Hardware in hand, I was still a little mopey that I just don’t seem to be bouncing back into racing like I thought I would. Aside from my injury (that I cross-trained through) last summer, I have been back a little over a year now and I’ve been training really smart. I hit the weights several times a week and have really tried to focus on my core. I am more muscular that I have ever been (which isn’t saying much), but I just can’t get that leg turnover going. While I am probably being way to hard on myself, it is frustrating. To end the pity party, I turned to the running archives (and a handful of M&Ms): Last year I ran this race only 3 months into running again following my 3-year hiatus (stress-fracture and back-to-back pregnancies) and I finished in 26:21, 2:33 slower than my finish yesterday. In 2005 I ran it in 24:00, making yesterday a 12 second PR for that course. Ok, maybe 23:48 was not so bad after all. (And damn, can M&Ms taste any better?!?)

So I showered and spent the day all happy in the pool with my screaming children. And when I got back to PA last night, I curled up with my trophy and fell into a semi-contented sleep, then I woke up today and worked out:
Stationary Bike (level 3) 30:00/8.1 miles
Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred (level 1) 27:00
Jillian Michaels 6 Week Six Pack (level 1) 35:00
Not a bad way to start the week!

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