|Shift from thinking to feeling–feel yourself accomplishing your goal. Take that feeling out of your head and put it into your heart. Embrace it as the reality.|
|– Erin Taylor|
A friend asked me why I race without headphones. I responded with, “I like to be in tune with my body, hear my breathing and really feel my pace.” When I said it I felt like I was getting a look of “OK, you odd hippie.” It’s true though. On regular runs, you know I have my headphones rocking. It’s nice to tune out a bit, but during my races or workouts, I want to feel them. That’s why I felt this quote really hit it on the head. I set goals for myself each race, and I want to feel them. I want to know what it feels like to run a certain pace. I want to feel the pain or struggle or even the euphoria and endorphins. Whatever it may be. It tests you. You know how to improve the next time. If I tune out those feelings, then I may never really know myself as a runner.
During the Surfing Madonna 10K, I was set to run 7 minute pace. That was my goal for myself. I hadn’t run, but three short runs the week before and I hadn’t put in any good workouts for a couple of weeks except a 5K race. Logically, that pace was pretty much where I was at physically. The Surfing Madonna 10K was on the sand, which was definitely new for me. It was also a lot of fun and very hot! I still have the sunburn of a sports bra etched into my back and chest 7 days later.
The race was set to start at 12:30 pm. This is the latest race I have ever partaken in. I assume it was so the tide could lower. Nic and I drove down an hour before the start and checked out the vendors. Nic didn’t want to run the race, so he became my photographer. It was probably about 80* to 90* degrees. At least it felt that way. We tried to find a smidgen of shade that wasn’t overtaken by other eager runners. This run was super fun, there were locals, elites, barefoot runners, and costume goers.
Standing on the line with what looked like avid and elite runners was somewhat intimidating. They are intense and stand with purpose. It’s both inspiring and daunting. I kept reminding myself that I am here to run my race and no one else’s. I cannot size myself up to other people in negative ways. Everyone puts in their own work and they are there to run their own paces. I wanted to run 7 minute pace and that’s exactly what I did.
The race started on a downhill, soft sand slope. It immediately changed to hard sand, so the running was just as easy as a trail or road race. I had a small group of people around me, so it was a good start. The thing about running on the beach is you can see for miles. I could see the first turnaround at Ponto Jetty for like a whole mile. I had to really talk myself through it and that was not even half way. I caught up to a woman wearing a super woman outfit, she was a great rabbit. She took off, but I could still see her, so I kept chasing her. She kept me on my pace. Chasing super woman will definitely keep you motivated.
Over the rocks and water, I kept my paces even for miles 2-4. As I was running south, but to where I came, I was coming across other runners heading toward the turnaround. They always cheer you on. Even when you’re running alone, you’re never actually running alone. Strangers are just as excited for you as you are. It’s awesome. I could feel myself get a second wind during mile 5.
When I hit mile 6 it was like my entire body went into remission. At that point, I was holding on. The heat hit me, the lack of workouts hit me and the 12 o’clock bed time hit me. My legs were tired, but I kept pushing. Around 200 meters to go, I felt nauseous. It has happened to me several times before. My sophomore year of high school, I threw up in the finish of almost every race. I have no idea why my body does it. But it was happening all over again. My body was involuntarily heaving and finally I just had to let it happen. I stopped, bent over, got it over with and kept going. Sorry for the details. I also apologize to the beach goers. But I covered it with sand and crawled up the soft sand hill into the finish.
My last mile was the slowest, but on the average I had 7:03 for 6.2 miles. So, I was happy. Complete miles were: 6:43, 7:02, 7:00, 7:01, 6:55 and 7:15. My time was 43:21. It was hot and I felt this race was more of a mental test for me. I set a goal for myself and I wanted to test it. I run without headphones, so I know how these paces feel. I enjoy being completely aware of my body during a race. I think it’s important to know how paces feel because then you know how to improve, you know what it feels like. Pacing eventually becomes second nature.
All in all, I had a great time and would love to do that event next year. After the race, there was a Dr. Bronner’s bath soap machine. So you know I had to take the opportunity to hop in that fun suds machine. We walked into a giant glass paned semi and people sprayed us from above with soft, bubbly peppermint soap. That’s the cleanest I have ever felt after a race. It’s as magical as they say. I use it at home too. We then continued the party with a delicious Quinoa Burger and a couple of beers from the local spot LTH in Oceanside . I love celebrating with my family afterward. My parents are always and will forever be excited about my races. It’s what keeps me going too.
Workout Recap Week Oct 19-October 25 (I’ll try to be a bit more timely with these):
Monday: 3.3 miles
Tuesday: 8.5 miles
Wednesday: 6 miles
Friday: 5.5 miles
Saturday: 9.5 miles total. 3.3 mile warm up and 6.2 mile race.
Sunday: 3.3 miles
Total: 36 miles
Any one have any races coming up?
How do you practice paces?