As I have previously stated, distance running isn’t always about glamour and personal bests and puppies and rainbows and hugs. Sometimes you get your ass kicked real bad. This past weekend’s race wasn’t a complete disaster, but I definitely fell short of what I wanted to do. I ran the McFarland Rowlands Downtown 5k in London on Friday in hopes of kicking off a long string of spring/summer races with a solid performance (in numerical terms, run around 16:45 if conditions were absolutely perfect and break 17 if they weren’t).
From the gun I didn’t feel great. I ran the first kilometer in 3:20, but I felt that I had to push a bit harder than I wanted to in order to do it. Then I ran a 3:28 (not so good). By this point in the race, I had long since been dropped by the group of guys from the club that I was supposed to be running with. By the time I went through the 3k mark in 10:19, I was really starting to fall apart. My legs felt completely flat; I was unable to push them any harder. Then the high-3:30s started to come and there wasn’t very much I could do about it. I finished in 17:34.55, almost 35 seconds off of my conservative goal (not to mention that I hope to split faster than that in a 10k this year).
It turned out that this time was actually a 5k road personal best for me, but that is because I haven’t run very many competitive 5k races on the roads. However, I split a 17:29 at the 5k mark of Harry’s Spring Run-Off. So as one can probably guess, it wasn’t a very good day. I was a bit angry upon finishing the race, but it was hard to be too upset when it was a great day for most of the other runners in our club. I finished second overall among the women, so I got a bit of a payday out of the event. So now all that is left is to figure out what went wrong and adjust for next time. My guess at the moment is that my low week of 115 km left me feeling pretty flat the week of the race. I’ll be racing off of higher volume in the coming weeks (so as to not miss much training for early-season races), so I should have plenty of time to figure out what works and nail my taper for track nationals in June.
For now, I’m using the best post-bad-race therapy known to humankind: running over 100 miles this week. I might be a bit angry about my performance during the Downtown 5k, but being angry isn’t very helpful in a long distance event. Sure, you can run an 800m on pure hate, but doing that in a 10,000m is a recipe for disaster.
Then, why the quote from Hobo with a Shotgun? Well, it sort of fit the theme, and it was one of the more ridiculous parts of the movie. Like Machete, Hobo with a Shotgun is another fake-trailer-turned real movie (though Machete was definitely better). Somehow, the movie ended up being more violent than I expected (for a movie named Hobo with a Shotgun, I expected something very violent, so that’s saying something). I would go into a more thorough movie review, but I don’t want to ruin it. Seriously, it’s a movie called Hobo with a Shotgun. Go see it already.
For now I will simply keep banging out the miles instead of getting angry or upset about my race. What I do on June 24th is much more important, anyway. In the more immediate future is the Forest City Half-Marathon on May 1st, the London 10,000m (Athletics Ontario Championships) on May 8th, and a chance for redemption on the roads of Goderich on May 15th. Back to work for me.