Big Adult Decisions
I was contemplating if I should run another 5k track race because I felt I had unfinished business. I was not ready for a break but I wanted to hit my goal time which was to get as low as 16's as possible. So I called my coach and I knew there was a track race up at Portland and my sponsor Skechers Perfromance will be hosting it. I told him that I felt I had some unfinished business. I couldn't end my season if I knew what I was capable of. He then said, "Let's train for that 5k but I can't go to Portland because I have class." I was stoked but I was sad because I wanted my coach there. I then called up my friend Nina, hoping she'll be free to join me on this trip. She said, yes she'll go so we bought our plane tickets and we were set to go. Every workout was focused on the 5k and I knew I was in shape for a huge PR. My workouts said it all and I was hitting my splits right on the dot, 78's!
Night before the race
When arriving to Portland, Oregon. I felt this rush of nervousness rushing through my body especially more when I found out I made it into the first heat at the women's 5k. I was happy inside but I knew I may kill myself due to setting higher expectations for myself. I brushed it off and knew that I needed to find my inner confidence in myself and not to give up hope.
The Day of the race:
I arrived to the race, two hours from my start time. My friend Mariel and Grace were in the second heat of the 5k race. While they were getting ready for their race, I went inside the gym room and I meditated for about 20 minutes. While meditating, I saw one of my idols, Shannon Rowbury. I smiled at her and she did the same. I saw her meditating in the next room. I then texted my boyfriend and my friend Valerie that I saw Shannon Rowbury. I texted them that I couldn't believe I was going to toe the line with an Olympic qualifier. I then began to be more nervous. So I called my dad, hoping he'll give me words of wisdom. He stated to me, no excuses after the race. Just race fast and don't give up. You have it in you, just believe in your self. I hung up the phone and I began chanting, "Be fearless and believe. Dig Deeper!"
When I got to the line, I buried my fears and went with the pack. The rabbit pressed through at 66 while I ran 74 the first lap. While the cluster of women took off faster- I hung back with a 5:03 mile. While this was surely not an easy pace. I knew I had to stay strong and not give up. At 3k, time 9:36 I honestly wanted to just collapse on the floor. Reminder, I have been practicing running 78's during practice, while this pace was outside my comfort zone. After mile 2 and on, I heard my teammates, my friends, and Skechers Performance manager yell out my name each lap. They were yelling and cheering me on. All I kept thinking while racing is I don't want to let them or myself down. As my legs wore and I wanted to faint, I realized these moments I won't get back. I could have easily dropped out of the race but I kept going. Focused on each lap and trying my best to reach for the next woman in the field was the hardest moments of my life. I have never felt so much pain or felt dizzy. In the end, the race was disappointing. I was 12 seconds from my PR and to make it worse I did not PR. I ran 16:42. It felt a little wrong because I didn't run a PR. But in the end, I knew I gave it all I had, this is why I call this race, SUICIDE PACE. "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die......" accurately sums up how I did/ felt during the race. After the race, I felt I did something wrong but then I spoke to friends and my coach. Cheyne, the Marketing Manager told me, there wasn't much I could have done except run with the pack or run alone. I chose to run with the pack! This then put me to ease because he was right. This was an experience and glad I had the opportunity to run with such a fast field.
One thing I can tell you, having bad races, is what moves me/us forward. The possibility that something good will turn out great. As for now, I will run two more races and then take a little break. I know there will be more speed bumps a long the way, but all I can do is keep working hard and never give up hope. Turning disappointing days to rejoicing days. Moving forward and staying positive no matter what. Stay tuned for the next race.
Pictures Below. :D