Sunday, May 3, 2009

May 3, 2009 - out with a whimper; the potential Nfld swan song

the 5k road race started just 2k from my house, so i had a nice little 2k jog as a warm up. well, i dawned my boston marathon jersey and cap.. i missed last week's season opening 5k but everyone knew that this was because i was in boston and waterloo!

anyway, i got off to a bit of a slow start and found myself in shock to see all my other colleagues whom i used to run closely with, fly by me right from the get go..

having run a 24.00 five weeks ago in a 'fun run', i was hopeful of vastly improving on that time. but most of all, i wanted to run a steady race... this was my chance to see just how fast i could go over a 5k period, and to then assess my fitness levels at the end..

i crossed mid point at exactly 12 minute mark and knew i would have to dig deep to better my result. i don't think i have ever ran a negative split for any race in my life but decided that this would have to be the day.

i dug deep and picked up the pace just a bit.. as i hit the 3k mark, i started to pass by other runners.. at no point during the race did i ever feel good. i think the tank was running on empty having run 3 marathons last week and having swam 2 hours yesterday.. but still, that should be no excuse for someone who prides them self on being in great shape and being resilient..
anyway, i felt myself getting stronger as the race went on. as i hit the 4.5k mark, i saw one of my colleagues already finished and walking towards the parking lot, having finished several minutes ago. this really made me feel embarrassed.. that aggravated me to give it my all for the remaining few strides. As i approached the finish, i could see that i would be comfortably ahead of 24 minutes..

crossing at 23.56, i couldn't help but remember last year at this race when i sprinted hard for the finish line on a buzzer-beater for 19.59.

as excited as i was about finally running a negative split race, i guess it was at this point that i had realized just how far i had fallen in the past year.. hard to believe that one year ago, i was running marathons at a faster pace than today's 5k. i had given it my all and i knew that i couldn't have gone on much longer at that pace..

Pictured here is me crossing the finish line. the look on my face sort of tell it all. lol

anyway, i entered the post-race reception and just couldn't keep myself together. i found myself crying uncontrollably and decided to remove myself and head home..

oh well, i'm gonna have to shake this off and get myself refocused for next week's mississauga marathon.. bottom line, i am not, and have never been, a fast runner. the 5k distance has never been my strength.. marathons is what i am all about and this is where i hope to make my mark next week.. but today's 5k certainly won't act as a confidence booster. i'm starting to think that mississauga will be nowhere near where i want it to.

anyway, as i sit here and type this, i can't help but realize that with my future up in the air, and a move likely to occur next month, this may have been my very last road race in Newfoundland as a local. and given that this was such a miserable experience, i'm thinking this may be my last 5k race for a long long time as well..

oh well, i suppose it's ironic that i exit newfoundland with a whimper. interestingly enough, my debut race in newfoundland was my one and only DNF in my career, as i dropped out of the 2007 Eastern Marathon at the 30k due to heat stroke.

oh well, time to put this sad and depressing morning behind me.. gonna start off the afternoon with a visit to the pond to see the duckies and then have a slow and gentle swim in the pool..

Jenn

2 comments:

Drayton said...

Jennifer,

I am not going to claim to be a big fan of you but I do follow you a little bit and your story interests me from a number of reasons which I won't get into right now. If I could offer you some advice it would be these two things...
1. Train Consistently - your training is all over the map. I know you have knee problems but you can overcome that with good nutrition and consistent exercise. Right now your training is up one week and then down another week. Your taper for your marathons was too few km's over the final 3 weeks. Any experienced marathoner will tell you that...and take it from me, I am a 2:50 marathoner. Just get out there and run 6 days a week...in order to run a marathon, you HAVE to do this. Take one day off from running and use it for core work, stretching and meditation.

2. Emotions - Be conscious about them and use them to your advantage. Think of negative emotions as useless garbage that you need to purge your system of. When you experience them, be mindful and have a plan to get them out of your head. For example, you had a bad race today...we all do. I didn't run the time that I wanted today either but I will use it as an analysis tool to realize what my strengths and weaknesses are. Once you know your weaknesses then you can eliminate them and eliminate them.

Anyway stick with it and just focus on being consistent in all aspects of your life...training, emotions, nutrition, etc. When you can control that then the rest will fall into place. Good luck in Ontario.

Jennifer McCreath said...

Hi Drayton,

thanks for your continued interest in my progress.

congrats on your 2.50. that's an extremely impressive time.

emotions are definitely something i am struggling with these days. getting used to estrogen has been an interesting roller coaster ride. and being a perfectionist doesn't help.. but you are right, there are definitely lots of positive learning experiences that i can take away from today..

definitely true about my taper strategy being less than ideal. i felt i had to adjust things after clearly overdoing it in march..

nutrition is definitely something i need to work on in the coming months.. gotta work extra hard to drop that weight i have gained over the winter..

all the best
Jenn