It's been a looooooong time since I have run a 5K race. In fact, I can't really think of any that I've done. Is that possible? Our meets in high school were 5Ks though (I think?), so if that's the last time I've run one, it's been 10 years. But after the marathon it seemed like a good idea to ease back into racing at the end of the summer with a fun little 5K. The thought was that even a 3.1 mile race would be motivation enough to start running again after hitting running burnout during marathon training. That thought was wrong.
The starting line crowd.
Basically... I did not run all summer (well, maybe once or twice). I wasn't motivated to even do speed work for this and challenge myself that way. And I guess it was a good thing I didn't because, as I quickly learned is the case with these fad-y 5Ks, this was not a race for runners. I should note that there were two starting waves, one at 7:30am and one at 8am and I signed up for the 8am wave (c'mon, it's a Saturday morning), so that was probably my first mistake if I wanted to take the run seriously.
Well apparently a 5K is a pretty approachable and fun activity for non-runners to get dressed up in silly themed outfits and enjoy some outdoor fitness with friends. I have nothing against that. Actually, I think it's great. Will I sign up for another one anytime soon though? Not a chance. Although the Aloha 5K was a well organized race on a beautiful and humid morning at Mission Bay, there was a major flaw: they had 500+ people running out AND back on one sidewalk. As our race wave poured out of the starting line, we had hundreds of people taking up the sidewalk while the 7:30am finishers were coming back. If I was one of them, I would have been incredibly annoyed. As it was, I was annoyed with the people I passed in my wave on the way back who, as I realized, have no concept of runner's etiquette since most of them probably aren't runners.
I know I sound upset, but I'm really not. I understand that this was a fun event and the people behind it made it really enjoyable with some dancers and musicians along the course and a luau breakfast after. Plus the proceeds went to a great charity, greenbeach, which provides housing for veterans with disabilities.
My time was totally shitty, but since I was forced to walk in sections from the sheer mass of people around me, I didn't take it too seriously. The crowd was great and I met some really nice, happy people including these guys who talked their way into a picture with me. ;)
Most importantly though, I was right about it being a good race to get me back into the groove post-marathon. I realized how much I missed the runner's world of camaraderie that I felt like I was surrounded by during marathon training. Lately, I've also been missing how in shape marathon training got me. I mean, realllly missing that.
Cue Sunday afternoon, about a bottle of champagne into football. While procrastinating MBA homework, I started looking up winter marathons in San Diego and, lo and behold, I learned that the Carlsbad marathon is January 19, 2014.
Back in the day, getting drunk and making bad decisions meant really terrible embarrassing things. Nowadays, apparently I just sign up for marathons.
Yep. I signed up for my second marathon.
I swore up and down to anyone who would listen that I was one and done with marathons unless I worked up the motivation to register for one of a handful of races that I think would be awesome to run (Big Sur, NYC, London, etc.). Part of me knew that probably wasn't true, but I thought the louder and more open I was about my retirement from marathon running, the more likely I would convince myself to never do it again. I undid all of that with one bottle of Barefoot Bubbly.
I'm still not sure how I feel about this decision and I'm sure when I come to terms with what I've done, I will have a lot to say about the various challenges and fears that come along with running a second marathon and training in the winter months. But I'll save those for a later Motivation Monday, when I need the motivation to disregard them....
What have I done!!??!
9/2/13 - 9/8/13 Health and Fitness Stats:
- completed the Aloha 5K with an official time of 0:34:29