Energizer Night Race

Last night I ran the Energizer Night Race. I did it with 2 yoga friends…it was the first race for them both.

The place was so busy!! It is the same park as the women’s runs but was way way way busier. We got there an hour before the race and parked so far (yet still in the park) that we needed a shuttle to get to the starting line. I didn’t even have time to pee before the race…and of course I’d drank tonnes of water all day to hydrate…more about that later.

I finished the race in 1:05:35. So that is about 60-90 seconds slower than my typical 10k times. I thought I’d do great because it was night and my best runs are night when it is cool and I’ve got a day’s worth of calories to burn but…I think 2 things slowed me down:

1. I haven’t done anything (like see chiropractor) about my foot yet and was very worried about it so I ran on grass a lot to reduce the impact, which helps (it never got too bad, though I was feeling it by mile 5) but also slows me down. Pounding pavement bounces me up…pounding wet grass, not so much!

2. I had to run off the course to pee behind some trees. I am sure that whole episode took around 30 seconds or so.

My first 4 miles were great, all running at a pace right under 10 minute miles (my first 5k was 29:07…best 5k evah!)…then the last 2, between peeing and just starting to feel lazy and not push myself very hard, weren’t as great. I walked before the pee (around 4 miles in, looking for a place to pee), 1 minute at the 50 minute mark, and a 30 seconds or so at the very end…where it is all pavement and my food was smarting. I was walking when I saw the finish line…so I’ve course I booked it then and ran through.

Around mile 5 I started to feel so tired and lazy and think, as I always do, “I don’t want to run this much anymore. A few miles for fun and fitness is great but I’m tired of this”. By the finish line I has convinced myself that 5-10ks were great and I would do this (a 10k) again…but the half-marathon was not happening. I even told my friends that. By the time I got home I realized that is stupid. I committed to the half, I’ve done 2…I can do one more! I must admit I really don’t want to…but I can and I will!

I have 2 different plans, but haven’t committed to one yet and must soon:

1. Wholeheartedly commit to walking intervals, for training and for the race. This thing I’ve been doing where I do them in most training runs (because I got used to them) then try to avoid them in races and wear myself out because I’m used to them in training is not working for me. I gotta either do them or not. Accept I’m not the fully committed runner I was a year ago, finish the race with walking intervals throughout, and move on.

2. Commit to the race like I did my first. Cut my yoga way down, focus all my energy on running and cardio cross training, KILL the race, and move on.

Obviously, I’d hate to do that I love yoga and lot a lot from it, physically and mentally. However, although yoga is a great accompaniment to running for my body…it takes up my fitness time and energy energy without increasing my cardio and lower body endurance like spinning did. I am pretty sure that switching spinning for Yoga as my main other fitness activity is why my running has taken such a hit this year. Spinning is great for building the lower body muscles and stamina I need for running. Yoga…is not. It is great for my body in many ways and helps to keep my running injuries to am minimum…but I do not feel like it actively improves my running performance like spinning did.

There is an appeal to option 1 for sure, walking more, taking it easier and just getting this last half done. Accepting that where I am is where I am. I know I should do this.

But there is also an appeal to giving it my all, and really killing the race. I’ve done it before (to my admittedly low standards…basically run the whole thing in under 2:30) so I know I can again. I want to on race day…but I don’t want to do what it takes until then.

Eh, I’ll see. The race is still far enough ahead of me that I have time to decide what approach in taking. Either way. I’ll start running, finish running, and do it.

In related news, both my friends beat me last night, one by 3 minutes, the other by 1. I have always been the fastest when I’ve run with people before so that was a bit humbling…but they had a great time and were so proud and excited I had little time to be anything but proud and excited for them!!

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