Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Ferocity of 1000 Lions

Normally, I post a race report with a few pics of us from that day, I list a finish time (or approximate), give a play by play of the race, discuss what went right, what I could do better, and state my general pleasure with myself and the course of events of the day.

FYI, picture taken before.  I have some pictures also from the o-course but I just don’t even want to deal with them so this is all you get…

Humility.  Humbled.  Disappointment.   I’ve never really felt unabashed disgust with a race finish before and I definitely did yesterday.  I’m not looking for pity.  I know that going from barely able to walk across the parking lot in 2007 to running a 5k  for any time is awesome.  I’ve not lost sight of that.  It’s just that I’m terrified of backsliding.  Going back to that.  The idea that I’ve done the best I can ever again is terrifying.

Anyhoo, on with it.  Let me give the circumstances of the day – woke up, got ready, and things were going well and good until we got there.  TMI warning (you know runners and their poop talk…) – things got a little gurgly in the guts.  I had to make two visits to the bathroom before the race (which was ONE stall for hundreds of women, you can imagine THAT didn’t work so well) and while it helped, I started the race feeling pretty crappy (ha! ha!).

However, mile one.  I rocked the crap out of that mile.  My goal was to stay between 8-9 min miles the whole race, and I stayed under 8:30s and even dipped into the 7s on the downhills.  And it felt pretty comfortable.  I was elated.  If I could keep at that pace I could do really well today.  My body was holding up.

Then, at about 1.25, the ascent began.  I have gotten better at hills but this one went on forever.  Seriously.  The rest of mile 2.  It was brutal.  I tried to push through but I climbed into the 9s, then 10s, I even think I saw an 11.  I figured all was not lost, and I could pick up the pace and get through mile 3 like mile 1 I could at least finish decently.  Unfortunately, the body problems came back and every time I tried to go beneath 9s, my body was like NOPE!  It did let me sprint it in since it was a pretty nice downhill stretch, but it was already in the 28s.

Don’t have the official time, but it’s most certainly my worst 5k time ever.  My first 5k?  Better.  My 5k last year I ran after a 3 hour brick workout the day before?  Better.  I have no excuse.

I was feeling a bit down on myself but figured I could redeem myself on the obstacle course.  I’ve been swimming a lot so I figured I’d have less issue with the arm strength stuff, right?  No, not at all.  I made it THREE FREAKING RUNGS of the monkey bars.  I even had my weight gloves with for gripping.  I even had to get a small boost on the rope wall (they only gave me one try, it took me a few last year).

Again, worse than last year.  I left feeling… shattered.  Like I had let myself down really badly.  Like I’m a weakling.

Also, to add to the craptastic day, while Zliten had a fantastic 5k finish (35 ish mins), he fell hard on the monkey bars and hurt his shoulder and it knocked the wind out of him.  He’s ok – but definitely has an owie shoulder that will need lots of ice and pampering.

I drank my champagne, although I didn’t feel like I deserved it.  After a while, I just finally broke.  The last week or so just came crashing down.  Something got botched at work that was under my purview, and it was meaningful to me.  I felt like I let my boss down, my team down, and my self down.  But if things are going shitty at work, at least I can take solace in the fact that I rock my hobby, right?  Oh wait, that brought me to my knees today and served me a slice of humble pie.  At least I’m happy with my body… or not.  Sigh.  Double sigh.

I’m pretty much a robot.  I don’t cry.  I sobbed like a little girl multiple times yesterday.  Enough is enough, life.   I went into my little mental hidey hole and wallowed.  I came out a while later feeling better.  I can move on from here.

This seals the deal – I’m focusing on my short game this year.  I can’t expect to be good at anything if I keep changing what I’m doing.  If I stick with 5ks and sprints this year, I can also work more strength training into my workouts.  Plus, Zliten and I can train for these together (he is not into the idea of distance running).

Also, I have the goal of being able to get across the monkey bars on the playground by the end of the summer. Eff this feeling so weak.  Maybe I can even do the coveted pull up.  It will definitely help my swimming.

I’m going to roll with the training plan I put out last week, except try to add more strength in.  Pullups and pushups will be my BFFs.  After the tri, I’ll evaluate what the next steps are.  I will definitely need a redemption race, good thing 5ks are a dime a dozen here in Austin.  Literally, I can just drop by one on a Saturday morning once a month on the way to my rents and pay 1 dollar for entry.  So the opportunity will present itself, I just have to make it happen.

More soon.  I am honoring my rest day today, but tomorrow?  It’s on.  With the ferocity of 1000 lions.

MONDAY EDIT: I feel sorta sheepish admitting this, but I looked at my results overall, and while it was 28:26, I finished 32/154 overall women’s.  So just shy of the top 20%.  If it was a tri and I placed that high, I would be FLIPPIN’ GIDDY.  I can’t be too unhappy with that.  I guess I wasn’t the only one having trouble with the race…

The emotions are still there though.  There is still the lack of strength issue and a lot of other things that aren’t just magically wiped away with this new tidbit, but at least I can feel pretty decent about my 5k finish time.


Going Gaga, Conscience, and Training Schedules




  1. I think you have a solid plan, lady. Man, I’d love to be able to do a pull-up. Keep us posted on your progress!

  2. Wow – sometimes exercise has that effect on me too: it just lets out all my pent up emotion. I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve started sobbing on a treadmill… Sorry it was such a craptastic week. But I have to tell you – as soon as I saw that pic at the top I broke out into a huge grin! Love you, love the post, love the warrior stance, love the green skirt! You rock a running skirt, girl.

  3. Sorry it was a tough race and you got so emotional, but usually that ends up being a good thing. Focus on your short game and KILL IT!

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