Yesterday I ran in the Ponseti Races, a local race that supports the clubfoot method developed by Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, who would have been 100 this year. They have a 5k and a 10k race. This is my third time participating in the race, but my first time running in the 10k race.
It was a small turnout this year, so it was a small group running in the 10k. Most of the runners looked like they’ve been running a while. A few of us hanging out in the back of the crowd joked about which one of us we thought would come in last. I kept insisting it would be me. A couple of other women insisted that it would be them.
Oh yeah, did I mention that it as was 37 degrees, with a wind chill of 27?
I always start out slow until I find my pace. Normally, this isn’t a problem because I find my pace and before long, I’m passing people who started out too fast and are walking.
That didn’t happen yesterday. Everyone started out fast, and I looked at the backside of everyone the entire race until eventually, there was only runner I could see ahead of me.
It was a tough course. There were a lot of hills and we were running against a gusty wind at many points during the race. And then there was that other thing nagging at me: I was in last place. I started thinking about the half-marathon I’m supposed to run next weekend and about the marathon that I want to run next year. That self-doubting voice in my head started talking to me. You run too slow. You suck at running. You’re in last place, loser.
When I started approaching the finish line, my husband and friend, who both ran the 5k, were cheering me on. I looked up at the race clock, and I saw the number 1:12. I thought that couldn’t be right. I’ve never ran 6 miles that quickly. My fastest so far as been 1:15. The race organizers had this really cool computer system where you could walk up and enter your bib number in the computer and you’d instantly obtain your result.
My result 1:12:46. A new PR! I ran a really great race! And it was a tough race with lots of hills. Why was I so down on myself throughout the race?
Because I was comparing myself to those other runners. Those other runners who probably run 10ks in their sleep. My husband said that many of them looked like they were members of the cross country team. I had also forgot to activate my Garmin watch at the start of the race, so I had no idea how fast I was running. I was just going by how I was feeling and measuring myself against the rest of the pack.
Important lesson definitely learned yesterday. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER RUNNERS!
I am a runner. I don’t suck. And I’m definitely not a loser.
I don’t have any photos from yesterday’s race. I think it was so cold before the race that I was more focused on staying warm than on taking photos. And then immediately after the race, I just wanted to forget about it because it was such a demoralizing race. When I found out how well I had actually done, I think I was so happy and surprised that I didn’t even think to take a photo.
I’m supposed to do a practice run today for my virtual half-marathon run next weekend. I’ve plotted a 6.5 route and I wanted to run it today and then next weekend I’ll run the route twice if it works out okay. It’s cold out. I have a million other things I could be doing today. It’s going to take a lot of inner strength to get myself out the door today.