I ran the first of the New York State Park Winter run series today at Heckscher State Park with results that can best be described as sucky. I shouldn't have had any expectations since I haven't really ran due to a variety of injuries, aches and pains for quite some time. I did almost all of my Ironman training without real running although that was not by choice.
I signed up for this 5K series to make me get out and run a little harder than I would have on my own since I know that a time clock can do that to me. I saw that the last 5K that I ran was last year as part of this series. I shouldn't have had any expectations but that is against my goal oriented nature. Needless to say I wasn't anywhere near any of my expectations, even my lowest expectations.
The series sold out at 1100 participants and more signed up for the single day of race registration so it was crowded at the start. The way the race routed was that most of the first half would be into the wind, we'd get some relief at the turnaround and the finishing 1/2 mile or so was into the wind again. I started near the back and my plan was to mix in some walking with the running for 3:1 ratio to gradually get into it.
The race started and almost immediately I realized how slow I was. I started trying to set different expectations in my mind. Obtainable expectation. Rational expectation. I was failing even at this.
I caught up to a mother running with her son (estimated age 8) at about the turnaround. She asked him if he wanted to take a walk break. "But Mom, we're not going to win!" I also wasn't expecting to win but I liked his attitude and it got me going a little more.
I finished up this race more than 4 minutes slower than last year's time at the same race. I saw my sister and my niece at the finish line (they were done for some time already). I commented on how I really sucked. Nobody disagreed. At least there is an opportunity for redemption during next Sunday's 5k at Caumsett State Park.