Running the Boston Marathon in ridiculous conditions has really caused me to question my confidence in my running. Running an 8:30 pace for 10 miles caused me to hit a wall. That is 30 seconds per mile slower than my goal pace that I would love to run at Vermont.
My running has been great, post-Boston, but I have pretty much thrown out my goal of PRing at Vermont. Why? Because I am scared of failing again and shuffling in the final 6 miles like I did less than 3 weeks ago. And I am not alone. Last week at the gym I saw a friend from my run club. This year's Boston Marathon was his 30th Boston Marathon! He ran 30 minutes slower than last year and could only shake his head when speaking of the race. I was thankful to see that I am not alone in my frustrations with how I ran that day.
This past weekend was my daughter's big race that I promised her she could run. The town over from us puts on an amazing 5k/10k and kids run every year. Since I promised Bridget she could run the race, I decided I would run the 10k. Unfortunately, I forgot about how hilly the race was when I registered.
Next up was my 10k. Because my confidence had been pretty low after Boston, my anxiety for the race was at an all time high. I hate 10k's to begin with and here I was running a difficult one less than 2 weeks after the hardest marathon I have run. I decided to let go of any hope of PRing in the 10k and just try to run the race as hard as my body would allow.
The race started out pretty good. My goal in my mind was to keep the pace under 7:30 for the entire race which I figured I could probably do. Mile one was a 6:55. Way too fast but I knew I had plenty of hills that would soon slow me down. Mile 2 was 7:20. This included some pretty big hills so I was happy that I was still maintaining a pretty good pace. I hit the 5k point in 22:30 (average pace of 7:15) and I was running out of steam pretty fast. At that point I just ran as hard as I could up every hill and tried to mentally not quit. I crossed the finish line in 46:34 (average pace of 7:24 pace with the extra distance that I must have run). This was 2 minutes slower than my PR but over a 3 minute PR on this course. (My PR is on an incredibly flat course.)
Overall, I was pretty happy with this race. Since I decided to not pressure myself to PR, I feel like I never gave up out there when I was slowing down. Normally, I would see my pace dropping and totally give up. I may have slowed down, but it was not due to lack of effort. I was spent when I crossed that finish line.
Because the lack of pressure on myself to PR seemed to help me mentally push through my race, I am thinking of taking that same pressure off for Vermont. I need a strong race, not a fast one to get my confidence back. I hope in the next few weeks, I can find a time that I can be happy with that I know I can hit with confidence. I would love to see a faster time than Disney, but I don't think I am ready for that yet. What is funny is, I am OK with knowing that I am not going to run as fast that day and am actually kind of relieved. My priorities have changed as I have set goals outside of running that excite me just as much as my BQ goal of the past used to. Thank you to Mel from Tall Mom on the Run and Erin from See Mom Run Far for opening my eyes to this.