Friday, January 23, 2009

Fierce or Wimp?

I headed to packet pick-up for the 2009 Groundhog run for this Sunday. I always like to get that out of the way. The one day I did packet pick-up on the day of the race, there was a problem with my registration. So, I drove the hour to get there, walked in and was quickly asked, "5K or 10K?"

For a moment my brain froze on this question, as if it were a challenge: "Are you really a runner? Or is this a charity event for you?" Or, "Which distance can you complete, the 5K or the 10K?" Even better: "Are you a wimp, or are you fierce?" Finally, I translated it to this: "Real runners, over here. You 5Kers, over there." I managed to mumble out 5K, and was pointed to the correct table, kicking myself the entire way.

What is wrong with me? What is wrong with a 5K? I've run / raced four full marathons, three half marathons, two 10Ks and maybe a dozen or so 5Ks. I could race the 10K on Sunday instead, and most certainly PR the distance easily. Why on earth should I feel remotely "less a runner?" In fact, I've run marathons more comfortably than the suffering I've experienced in an all out 5K. It's as if there's some badge of honor in running the longer distance being offered. Maybe it's just in my head (probably is). But I'll be running this 5K all out, and it will probably be one of my hardest racing efforts ever, if all goes as planned.

I had a fantastic speedwork session on Wednesday, felt like my energy just wasn't ever going to quit. But I woke up at 5 AM the next morning with a terrible sore throat that continued into today, which saw the addition of a congested nose to the mix. I skipped yesterday's run as a result, and today was a scheduled rest day. That's ok, though. I now no longer believe missing a day or two of training will make me lose fitness. In fact, I think I just might even have a better race for the super rested legs.


Rick said...

You will do great on Sunday. You are running so strong!

If the goal is only to complete then 10k > 5k... but that's only for those who don't understand racing. If you're truly racing, the pain involved is inversely proportional to the distance. A 5k is a hard enough effort to be painful throughout.

Get some rest!

runner-grrl said...

Rick, Great way to put it! You are exactly right. Good thing I'm not focusing on the mile! Thanks for the comment :-)

ECrunnergirl said...

I think an all out 5k is WAY fierce! The last one I did was one of the hardest runs ever....and I felt fierce. And running paces that fast makes me feel like a very real and competitive runner......hope you feel better and enjoy the rest time :+)

runner-grrl said...

EC, You are right... the speeds of the 5K Definitely pump me up :-) thanks for the visit!