‘I Don’t Care If You Fucking Feel Ready’

This was something Hillary send to me this past summer when I told her I didn’t feel like I’d be ready for IM Wisconsin. I thought it was kind of funny. The second half of the quote is: “You will be ready.” The point there being that you sometimes you have to stop worrying about how you feel and just do what you need to do anyway.

I was thinking about this again this past weekend. I ran the Super Sunday 5K as a kind of kick-start to remember running races before Kaiser Half-Marathon this weekend. I really felt terrible going into it. I mean really really terrible. I didn’t sleep much the two nights before, just because we were up in Tahoe and the room was hot and the bed rocked every time Steve moved. Saturday, I tried to learn how to skate ski (a kind of cross-country skiing that is very hard to master), which it turns out is exhausting. I ended up doing a couple hours of that and then another hour of classic cross-country skiing and I was so tired. I was so tired I couldn’t sleep. I was so tired I kept waking up in the middle of the night, after barely dozing off, and wanting to cry. I felt awful. My legs hurt; my hip flexors hurt. Why was I even getting up early to do this 5K? It wasn’t a race that mattered; why wasn’t I just staying home to sleep instead? Everything hurt. I was about to start crying, which happens when I’m really tired.

But I got up and did it because I didn’t have a good reason not to. I was still not excited about it at start. I was 95% sure that I was going to run a very mediocre race, but whatever. Just do it anyway.

I ended up running a PR. 18:50. It wasn’t a pretty race. I’m an ugly runner under the best of circumstances and these were not the best circumstances. I thought I was going to have to make a port-a-potty stop in the middle. I was wheezing and then when I couldn’t breathe right, I stopped being able to swallow too. Even while I was running I felt terrible and thought I was doing terrible. It wasn’t until I came around the very last corner and saw the clock that I realized I was actually doing pretty OK.

I don’t care if you fucking feel ready.

There aren’t any photos yet of the 5K. So instead here is a photo from the Spartan Race I did down in Temecula two weeks ago. Don’t I look like I know what I’m doing:

spartanfinish

This is what I actually felt like most of the time, though:

spartan

Turkey Day 5K — The One in Which Steve Runs

Because I skipped the PA cross-country race last weekend, I wanted to do a 5K or something this week to get the legs moving before CIM. It’s my theory that if you run a fast race a week or so before a marathon, then marathon pace feels much easier.

Fortunately, Thanksgiving is the most popular day in the country for races. So, I picked a turkey trot near my parents’ house in Lincoln Park in Chicago. The only downside was that it was cold even for Chicago, like 18 degrees by the lake. When I took my gloves off to pin my race number on, I had to do it quickly before my hands froze, but it got harder the longer it took because I couldn’t feel my fingers. It was like trying to dismantle a bomb.

Somehow, I managed to convince Steve to run the 5K too, even though he hasn’t run in seven years. I figured it was my last chance to beat him ever if he starts running again soon. And, I didn’t want to be out in the cold on my own.

So cold after the race. Still, so cold.
So cold after the race. Still, so cold.

We warmed up for about 15′ and took off the top layer of sweatshirts, but that was pretty much the extent of getting ready.

Steve dropped me in the first mile, but I figured my only chance was that he would blow up. Also, I was running the fastest I really should/could right now. I hit the first mile around 6:10, but it felt great and easy. The second mile was a 6:25 or so, but it still felt pretty good until the very end when we turned and the wind made my eyes start to water. The last mile I felt shitty, but I suppose that’s to be expected. If you didn’t feel shitty in a 5K, then you probably aren’t trying hard enough. I was fighting to not slow down too much, but I’m pretty sure I still slowed down. Instead of passing people, people started to pass me and I started to wonder where the end was going to be. Where? Where?

I ended up crossing the line in 19:44, about 50″ behind Steve and about 20-25″ slower than I had hoped to do. It was never going to be my fastest 5K, but I thought it’d be a little faster. Still, it was about as good as I could have hoped for and it got the job done — ready for CIM next weekend.

Then, about 10′ later I probably could have done the exact same thing again, but I couldn’t have gone any faster. Steve, though, was sure he could have run faster, but was also crippled from running at all and has pretty much struggled to walk down stairs since Thursday. I guess that’s what being in marathon shape is. I hope.

North Korea Run and Bike Tours

This is a video advertising the first-ever 5K charity run in North Korea. Apparently, the same company also does bike tours of North Korea (which they naturally call the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).

I’m not sure how I feel about this. Actually, that’s a lie. I know exactly how I feel about this pandering, white-washing, PR-laden crap that glosses over the problems people in the country actually have — though I don’t think the tour company is aimed at them.

Things I Thought While Running a 5K This Morning

This morning, I jogged the 2.5 miles over to the start of the Marin Human Race, ran a 5K, and jogged home. I figured it’d be a good workout and a good kick in the ass to get me moving again. Of course, I expected it to be shitty, but I always run a 20:20 even when I run terrible. (Just like I always run a 40:30 10K, which is actually a faster pace, but don’t think about it too hard. It’s a mystery.)

I did not run a 20:xx today. I ran a 21:13. I can’t remember the last time I ran over 21 for a 5K. I don’t think I’ve even run over 21 for a 5K within a 10K in years.

This is what I thought during the race:

  • I’ll just run with these girls. Just hang with them.
  • Oh shit. Running with these girls feels terrible. I am in so much pain. This is so hard. How am I this out of shape? We haven’t even been running a full minute. There’s no way I’m going to be able to finish this.
  • Oops, there go the girls. And we’re like 400m in.
  • I am so out of shape.
  • Really out of shape.
  • This is terrible. We must be at least a mile in. Definitely. We’ve been running for so long. I’ll just glance at my watch. 5:00?!? How are we only 5′ in?!
  • Did a 70-year-old just pass me?
  • Did a 12-year-old just pass me?
  • God, I guess I’ll finish. So slowly. So very slowly.
  • I wonder if I look as slow as I feel. Gotta keep up appearances.
  • Oh look, two miles in 13:25. That’s not as bad as I thought. It’s not good either, though. Maybe I’ll still run a 20-something.
  • Hey, there’s the finish. Oh crap, we have to run all the way around this lake before we get there.
  • God, I’m out of shape. Why is this so painful?
  • I could pass those guys right ahead of me.
  • Nope, no, I can’t.
  • Ugh, I am not going to be under 21:00.
  • Well, that’s done. At least.