Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Race Or A Final?

School. Do you remember it? Are you still attending it? My cousin is in school and mentioned having a final yesterday. Ick, the word just gets me anxious hearing it. I hated finals. You try to memorize everything you’ve learned in the past few months and your brain gets overloaded. Like her, I hate having limited time to take a final. Each time I spent more than 3 seconds to answer a question, I could hear an annoying tick-tock, tick-tock playing in my head. The pressure always gets to me.

And then it hit me. Running in a race is similar to taking a final. Since I know I’m being timed, I seem to choke come race day. Before each race (I’ve only ran two 5k’s), I would tell myself to just run as if I was running at home.  Well that didn’t work out so well since my times on race day are always slower than my times when I run in my neighborhood.

Two days after my first 5k, I ran 2.9miles in about 35min. That’s only 2 tenths shorter than a 5k, which is 3.1miles. But my time for the 5k was 41:54. Those times are minutes apart! Yes, I have a problem with hills but I’m starting to think that maybe I’m thinking of a race as a final. I’m being timed. And all my training (like studying) will be reflected in this race. Oh the pressure.

But I remember reading that running should be fun. And it usually is, except for race day. I need to find ways to get around this and just have fun on race day. Maybe it’s because I’m still a newbie runner and that I’m not as fast as most. Or maybe it’s because I’m always hard on myself in whatever I do. I must get passed this. I’ll let you know what I come up with after running my next and last 5k of this year.


  1. Don't be discouraged. My 1st 5K was in September and I thought it was a disaster - my legs hurt when they never had before, and I was slower than normal. The 2nd 5K a few weeks later wasn't too bad - I think it was because I was more relaxed, I had warmed up by running a little of the route prior to the race and I focused a little more on my form. And like you said - I run for fun - I'm not about to win medals anytime soon, so just improving on anything from a previous race is a win!

  2. Yeah, that happens. :( Maybe you are going out too fast. I'm new to your blog. Do you have a Garmin? That totally helps me pace myself. I didn't have one during my first 10K and I was sprinting the last two miles because I thought I was closer to the finish line than I was. It was awful!

  3. @Tanya I think getting somewhat familiar with the route would help. I should try that on my next 5k coming up next month. I guess being unfamiliar with the environment doesn't make me feel comfortable.

    @Kerrie T. No, I do not have a Garmin. I often thought about getting one though. As we started up a hill, I knew that I had to push myself hard from the beginning and I think it wore me out early on.

    Races are interesting experiences. But the more I do, I think the more I'll feel comfortable and get over the slump.


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