Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pear Blossom '14: Some Things I Just Can't Explain

Some things you just cant explain...
  •  Why is grass green?
  • Why is the sky blue?
  • Why do people close their eyes when they sneeze?
  • Why are yawns contagious?
  • Why do I run the worst race of the year every Pear Blossom?
James & Makenna ready to rock the Mayor's Cup Mile 

I went into this years Pear Blossom with a this is the year, can do attitude, determined to finally bring home a course PR.  Everything was perfectly lined up for that to training has been solid {comfortably hitting paces that used to be hard}, I was well rested & hydrated, felt mentally prepared, and the weather was ideal.  I started the race with two great friends and running partners, inspired by motivating & encouraging text messages, confident that this was the year.  My goal for the race, and what is key for a PR, especially on this course, was to negative split.  Well that didnt happen.  We went out faster than I had planned, but I also told myself, YOU CAN DO THIS! I backed off a little, but not much, hitting the half way mark averaging 8:24s.  Evidently, too fast! Things went downhill from there! I was struggling breathing, not sure if it was a result of my flared up allergies, being tired, the heat, or a combination of everything, and my legs seriously had NOTHING in the tank.  When I turned onto Main St, with 3 ½ miles to go, my goal of kicking it in {like I had successfully done during my two course trial runs} quickly turned into just finish! I even took a couple walk breaks {Yes, I said, it I WALKED} in hopes of regrouping and finishing strong.  Lets just say it took everything in me {physically and mentally} to finish AND to not completely lose it.  To say I was disappointed:

noun: The feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations

would be an understatement.

This year was supposed to be different! I was supposed to finish with a smile and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and joy as I ran the race I KNOW I am capable of running.  Not a slow-struggfest- you wouldn’t even know that I have been training race.  For me, the race was SLOW!!!  I am not going to share my finish time, not because I am embarrassed or ashamed by it, but because I want to be sensitive to everyone reading this as they might consider my pace fast.  Pace is SO relative and one persons fast may be another persons slow, and vice versa; its important to focus on your own goals and improvements, without comparing to others.  Feel free to look it up if you feel so inclined. 

More things I cant explain:

  • Why did I run the course twice during training significantly faster than I did on race day?
  • Why do I constantly train faster that I race {by 30-45sec/mile}?
  • Why can I run a ½ marathon, with 3 potty breaks AND a 15K with a gnarly climb and a bathroom break, faster than I raced the Pear Blossom?

I dont have all the answers.

What made this day and race still enjoyable was celebrating others victories, and the support, love and encouragement from friends & family.  My friend Sarah crushed her first Pear Blossom, exactly a year after deciding to take up running! She ran the 5K last year and immediately emailed me about running a half marathon just 5 weeks later.  She did it, and has been cruising & inspiring ever since.  Another friend had a goal of breaking 2 hours, and it brought me so much joy to see her cross the finish line in 1:55 with a huge grin on her face.  Words like youve got speed hiding in you, the message you send/represent is so much MORE that the results, keep your chin up, and You are an athlete and awesome runner; todays run doesn't define you” along with the cheers and hugs from family and friends at the finish line,  made running the Pear Blossom another year worth it.

Today I cry tears of disappointment, but tomorrow I will lace up my shoes with joy, determination, and confidence, as I continue to do what I love and focus on what I know I am capable of...running fast.


  1. I'm sorry your race didn't go as you planned my friend. Race day is like that sometimes. We never quite know what we will get. The only thing I can think of to answer some of your questions is nutrition (have you been eating the same things at the same times before your training runs and races and being totally hydrated) and were you properly recovered from your training on race day? I truly believe that the races we finish that suck the most and that are the hardest are what make us the strongest athletes. You could have easily quit. You could have walked off the course. But you didn't. You finished. You kept going even when you were feeling miserable. That is a small victory. Loved your candor in this post and confident the next race will be better! xoxo

  2. Holly- I have so much empathy. So much. It makes me tear up for you. I have done and felt this way so many times- I have been in your running shoes. Who knows why these things happen?! so frustrating. I do know one thing, struggle is the pathway to peace. God presents these situations to us as a way of guiding us to that peace. There are several things I know about you, you have an incredible spirit, deep faith, trust and loyalty. Wishing we could go for a nice easy trail run together-I'd love to be able to listen and give you a big sweaty hug. Love you! xoxo

  3. I hate running, so I may not be qualified to comment, but I used to run cross country and track in high school. My parents are avid runners to this day. It could be that your body just doesn't like the distance. You ask why a 15K or a half marathon come more easily. You could be more attuned and suited for those distances. 5K may not be long enough for you. I know I did better in the 2 mile in track than the mile. Keep on running. As you said, the joy it brings you is more important than anything else.