That was the story of my 5k race on 9/8. It was the Shawn M. Nassaney Memorial 5k (http://shawnmnassaney.org/). I signed up for this race for a couple reasons.
1) It was part of my August goals to run another 5K
2) The hubs works with Pat - Shawn's brother and the race organizer
3) My company decided to be really awesome and cover the cost of the race for the first 50 registrants.
So good cause, free to me, and helps out one of Joe's co-workers...why wouldn't I do it?
Well, a couple things were weighing on my mind. This race started at 1 PM vs. a usual 9 AM start time. I was not sure how to eat and hydrate for the race. Plus the weather is a big contributor. Because I had heat stroke as a kid, the heat really effects me. The hottest I tend to run outside in is in the mid 70's. I know, weak. But I am sensitive to the heat and due to my high heart rate when I run, my body temp soars...I end up a sweaty, red faced mess when I run when it is in the 70 degree range. So I was really concerned with how the weather would fare, but I signed up.
Come race day...forecast called for 80+ degree weather. There was a chance of thunderstorms...my saving grace I convinced myself. I love running in the rain. Unfortunately by noon when we got there, it was 82 degrees.
Then, they changed the course. No longer on the (very shady) cross country trail. Nope...it was loops in the sports fields...almost full sun. So not only was it in the sun, but it was loops. Big bummer.
I tried to keep my head in the game...but doubts ate away at my confidence.
By the time the race finally started, I could have predicted what would happen next. By the end of the first lap and a third of the way in I was struggling not to overheat myself, willing myself not to give up. Halfway into my second lap, I walked. A HUGE disappointment to myself which only made it worse. When I was halfway through my second lap, the fast guys were finishing. Not good for the mental battle.
I do have to give myself some kudos and say that I did not give up. I finished. I did a lot more walking than I wanted to, but even with that my time was somewhere in the mid 33 minute time frame, meaning I averaged around an 11 minute pace.
After the race I was feeling it. The ever growing pain that has been bothering me on and off in my left leg burned and screamed. It still hurts a week later. On top of losing my mental battle in the race and being super down on myself, I think I hurt myself too. Huge bummer. I still have to call a doctor to get it checked out. We will see how that goes I guess.
Overall, not a good feeling. I know I can run a 5k without stopping, but I lost the mental battle that day and then felt worse because of it. My plan is to remember this, learn from it, and move on. In hindsight, if this is my worst 5k ever, I feel lucky.
I have another race on 9/30 and barring not having a serious leg injury, I am planning to rock it. It is earlier in the day and should be cooler so I will have that going for me. Only time will tell though.
In this battle of brains vs. brawn, brains won and not in a good way I am afraid. But I can and will do better.
Have you lost a mental battle in a race? How did you overcome it?