Monday, July 15, 2013

2013 Bastille Day 5k

Some races are more difficult than others to wrap the head around.
This 5k was one of those races.

The long and short of it is simple...
races are hard when you're in shape but even harder when your mind is completely and entirely out of shape.
And my mind is a million miles away from feeling fast and confident when pushed to the limit.

As I stood on the line next this this speedy lady, my head was kind of just blank. 

It wasn't until the gun went off and my legs had been moving for several minutes that I realized I was in a race. From then on the remaining 2.5 miles of the 5k became a solid mental fight to continue making any form of forward progress. The thing I find insanely funny about racing that there is no initial thought in my head to get my legs to start moving when the gun goes off, they just do. It's poetically natural. Not until I've let my mind stray that I begin to wonder how they are going to make the remaining distance and my body begins to feel foreign movement stirring uncomfortably about.

"There are people who have no bodies, only heads. And many athletes have no heads, only bodies. A champion is a man who has trained his body and his mind, who has learned to conquer pain for his own purposes. A great athlete is at peace with himself and at peace with the world; he has fulfilled himself. He envies nobody. Wars are caused by people who have not fulfilled themselves."
Coach Sam Dee
There certainly was a war going on inside of me.

You do what you can on race day, take what your body and mind are willing to give, enjoy the experience with some cool peeps, and move forward with what you're willing to take from the experience.

Then do it all again.

Photo courtesy Sara

Photo courtesy Maggie
Think I finished in 19:22 for 2nd place female by a minute from the lead woman.
Not my best 5k, but by no means my worst.

The course was kind of wonky, I never started my watch and ran rather erratic splits, let myself slip off into a no-mans-land when my mind started to stray, had to talk myself out of pulling out of the race entirely for most of the last mile, and waited around for what seemed like years afterwards for the award ceremony that never seemed to happen.

But I would do it all again in a heartbeat. 

And after all, there will always be another race on another day at another point in time when events have the slightest glimmer of hope of unfolding differently. It's what keeps me coming back for more.


  1. Britt, congrats on your 2nd place woman finish... it says a lot about your talents that even on an "off" day with other wonky stuff going on, you can still pull off such an impressive finish. Love that you'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

  2. I've come to realize that half the fun of racing is finding out what head/legs/etc you'll end up with for the day and making the best of it. Great job for dealing with what the day gave you, having a great attitude, and still such a fantastic finish time!

  3. Nice job even if your head wasn't into it! I love that first part of a race when you are just moving and then there is the part where your head wakes up.. I like it better when my head wakes up in the game.

  4. Great way to overcome the mental challenges and demonstrate mental toughness! Congrats!

  5. That is still a great 5k time!!! It is always hard because you want every run to be a PR but way to stay positive and just look towards the next race!!!

  6. LOL I just saw this now. I really can't check blogs at work. I can't believe you didn't tell me earlier you got the second woman! You are amazing!

  7. Awesome job!! Second place woman is an amazing accomplishment!

  8. love the opening of this post! great job for staying in it, especially on an off day...that right there shows mental progress forward...u fought. heck, EVERY race there comes a time when, if u're pushing, the temptation to drop out is there lurking in ur brain. u beat it this time and u're whipping ur brain into shape. and the elusive 'zoning out' while racing...getting the brain to just shut the eff up and run...that's when magic happens. great job on still a 2nd place! be proud of urself and u've only got more awesomeness in ur future...u're a fighter. :)

    1. okay...quick edit, i said i loved the opening part i'm an idiot and meant that i loved the part where u describe that thinking less is better. so the other opening part. lol. #imanidiot :P

  9. Woot woot congrats on 2nd woman!!

    Yeah the whole mind/body thing working is always a struggle for me too. I guess if we could only have "on" days, then we'd be making the big bucks ;) until then, keep kicking butt!

  10. WHEEEEEELZ KELLYYYYY! You can rabbit for me anytime :) As you said so eloquently at the start line, "don't think, just run!". Sounds like you did exactly what you needed to do to have yet another speedy 5k and high place finish. Thanks for your confidence in me getting close to that 19:xx goal!

  11. Nicely done despite not feeling into it! Congrats on the podium finish!

  12. Congrats on 2nd! That's awesome! And it was great to see you! Hopefully I'll be able to catch you at the RnR expo.

  13. Congrats on 2nd place, especially considering the circumstances! I hope you will find your mental a game soon. And then you will kick some a$$.