The Struggle is Real

I have a confession to make.

I am not happy with the way I have been running lately. I am not sure when it began, but I feel as though I’m in a rut as far as progression goes.

But it isn’t even that unfortunately. I feel like I may be getting slower. This displeases me greatly.

I had such great running momentum last year, and now it just doesn’t seem to be happening for me. Today’s race was when it really hit me, and I need to make a few changes. Let me recap.

Today was the Cornfield to Cornfield 10k in Nebraska, somewhere near Omaha for those not familiar with the area races. I knew it was going to be hot and HUMID, but I was still hoping to beat my last rather disappointing performance, which was around 52 minutes. Unfortunately, I didn’t.

I started out well…not too fast, not too slow. I kept at it similar to how I did in my last successful race-a half marathon. I mean, if I can maintain that pace for a half, why not for 6.2, right? Wrong! The half was in 30 degree weather, but while I could use weather as an excuse, it’s just an excuse. I have been a runner for a long time. I can handle weather. Though I am better in cooler temps, my ultimate problem was lack of proper training.

I cringe when I think just how poorly I’ve been using my running time this year. I am so great at training for half marathons, you’d think training for a 10k would be cake. Unfortunately I’ve succumbed to what I believe many ‘veteran’ half marathon runners have succumbed to…the idea that training for a 10k is easy, or, in fact, maybe just not all that necessary, if I’ve successfully completed a rather quick (for me) 13.1 race. Though I suppose being a true veteran, I realize that is just a false illusion.

This is where I have failed. At around 4 miles my head got to me…I just couldn’t get past the physical stress of the run. I have successfully trained to ignore those negative thoughts-to simply not have them.

Today was not one of those days.

I know how to break through the pain and have a successful run.

Today was not one of those days.

I finished with an official time of 53:54. I was 19th in my age group. There were a couple thousand runners. But when you’ve completed an unofficial 10k time (just last year) of around 46 minutes, this is incredibly frustrating. My best official time was around 50 minutes. This was a couple years ago.

So I’m stuck in a running rut. The good news is, I’m pretty sure how to get out of it and come out the other side successful. I need to make a plan, and stick to it, like I always do when training for a half marathon.

This brings me hope…so while I’m very disheartened by my result today, I am now more than ever motivated to improve.

Remember, every runner’s journey is different. I know that some would look at my time and think ‘wow, what is she complaining about, she’s fast!’ Others would probably look at my time and think ‘wow, that girl really needs to step it up!’ But every runner has their ‘good days’ and ‘bad days’ specific to them. I was excited to see others reach their goals today when scrolling on social media, but I was also admittedly a bit jealous.

One gal pulled out a 10k in 42 minutes. I can’t even imagine pulling that off! Someone else finished a half in 1:31! At this point, that’s a ‘pipe dream’ for me. I’d take 1:42! 😉 But what these runners have in common is they are parents with day jobs. In other words, not elite athlete types. It gives me hope that with the right amount of proper training and commitment I could shave more time off my runs.

We will see. To those of you that ran this weekend and had success, congrats! For those who may have done worse than planned, just know, you have the power to change that! I know I can!

Happy running!

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