Today I did an easy bike.
Tomorrow I've got a race and I want to reserve my energy for it. It's a 5K at the Longwood University cross country course in Farmville. The 5K is by far the most popular racing distance in the U.S. It accounts for about 45 percent of all runners who race each year. I suppose I've done 50 of them since I began running 6 years ago.
But I hate 5Ks. I seem to do everything wrong during a 5K. I go out too fast. I run at a higher heart rate than I want to. And I'm way too competitive, especially when the course is flat. My 5K PR was set at a race in Dallas. This part of Texas is really flat.
There's a vast difference between running for fun and running to compete. When I am running a 5K race I have to think about precisely what I'll need to do to run a race I can be proud of when it's over. The point is that sometimes your experience in a 5K can be as bad as an old episode of "Hawaii 5-0." Don't get me wrong. 5K runners are awesome people. I experience a new level of amazing when I see runners of all ages and shapes out there on the course. Problem is, if you are about my age, I will hunt you down. I will reel you in if I possibly can. I will transform myself into an Olympic sprinter until I catch you. I know I will feel completely demolished afterwards, but I am a competitor at heart so what can I do?
I can't imagine how different my life would be if I had given up while running my first 5K race. Running has become a part of who I am. I want to suck everything out of a race that I possibly can. When I'm old and sitting in my rocker I want to be able to remember every good, bad, and ugly detail of my life as a racer. I've been blessed with a body that is willing to run. I want to take advantage of that while I can. I strive to run wisely and within myself. I really do. But 5ks? They're another story.
Maybe tomorrow I'll do better. But I'm not promising anything.