Saturday was my first 5k in almost 2 years. I was bubbling over with excitement to see what I could do. Workouts had been going pretty well and somehow the idea of pushing myself over 12 ½ laps sounded fun. (Which, for the miler at heart, is impressive because normally that many laps sounds torturous). The first 4 laps felt like I was cruising, the next 2 reminded me that this was in fact a long race, and then the last 6 laps I hit the pain cave. The “wow I am tired, maybe no one will notice if I drop out” pain cave. But I hadn’t made it that far to concede that close to the end, so I suffered through.
I finished in 16:01, which in theory is my second fastest 5k. But it felt like a disappointment. My coach had told me her goal for me was to just go out there and compete, but let’s be honest, who really just wants to compete? There is always that desire deep down to have a breakthrough performance. To believe that there is more in there than your race results have shown so far and that this is the day it will be unleashed.
Saturday wasn’t that day. Maybe it is still coming, or maybe instead I will slowly chip time away with each race I run. Either way, sometimes reality bites and we have to stare it in the face, acknowledging it for what it is and learning from it.
That is where I hang, in the balancing act. The place where you know you have more potential, but your most recent results don’t show that. Where you want to be exuding positive energy but feel like you need a few days to sort through your thoughts before you jump back in. Where brushing off the disappointment feels wrong, but dwelling in it too long will only bring you down.
I told myself I had to sort it out by Tuesday. Tuesday it is, so I am surrendering to my deadline and moving forward. I am acknowledging the positives from the race, believing that the next one will be better, and looking forward to continuing the journey. Each opportunity to race is one that I never want to take for granted. I want to make the most of those that I am given. So onward I go!