The Burn

Sunday I did something that was a first for me…I ran TWO races in the same day. It was The Burn Run 5K and 10K.

2 races. 2 medals. 2 starting lines. 2 finish lines.

I was pretty excited going into it. The day before at Fleet Feet I got to do some shopping thanks to a wonderful and very generous blog reader who gifted me with a gift card that allowed me to get some much needed running essentials that I just don’t have the $$ to ever get.  I was able to buy some good gear that will allow to me get out and run in the cold weather. I was pretty pumped. Buying running gear & picking up a race bib…I felt like a real runner again, lol.
Thank you again with all my heart to the wonderful person who allowed me to get these gifts. XO
But race morning I woke up in not the best condition. I have been fighting a cold all week in hopes that I would not get sick for this race. Unfortunately I woke up with some awful sinuses that morning. I just wasn't feeling it. I didn't have any energy and was just BLAH all over.

Then my friend Mary had text me in the morning asking if she could run with me. Of course I said “Yes!” I have never ran a race with anyone but I do know that I have loved running with all of my Lake Effect friends (& she is one of them). I could have really used the boost and I could tell that she could as well. I warned her about my not feeling well and that I still run slowly as a snail so if she ever wanted to break away to go right ahead. I am always fearful of holding others back. But she reassured me that she just wanted the company and the support to stay out there. Well…we ended up needing each other. Me more than her maybe.

This race was much harder than I had anticipated...not just physically but more so mentally.

I couldn't get out of my head. I started out a little fast in the 5K and I think the struggle that came with trying to keep up with that kind of just got to me. I was ready to run, but I wasn't ready to fight. I wasn't in the mood to battle, physically or mentally. When the 5K was done I was seriously contemplating being done with running that day. I thought to myself “I’m not losing any $$ by not doing the 10K. All I am losing is a medal…and oh yeah, my dignity…and giving up on myself, AGAIN, and in front of all of my friends.” I did *NOT* want to run that 10K. I didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to run. I didn't want to walk. I wanted to just quit Sunday all together.
But I got my ass to the 10K starting line, because I promised Mary that I would run with her. And because I promised myself. I wasn't absolutely in pain or so sick that I couldn't breathe so I really had no great excuse to get myself out of it.

When we started the 10K a friend of Mary’s named Heidi came up & asked if she could run with us. She ran the 5K hard and was just looking for a nice 10K. At first I was scared, because again, I didn't want to hold anyone up. But she insisted that she didn't care as long as we kept moving forward. Having her there was great. And since my breathing was so erratic thanks to my cold/sinuses it was awesome having her and Mary there to chat so I could try to focus my attention to their conversation since I couldn't participate in talking too well. (I swear I promise to be a better communicator next time, lol.)

I think I definitely hit a semi-wall at one point. And if it wasn't for Mary & Heidi being there to distract me with their conversation I would have most definitely stopped completely. When we passed the firehouse where we were all parked & was a little less than the ½ way mark,  I had contemplated over and over again in my head about whether or not I should just quit and go back to my car. I wanted to stop so badly. I was done. But I couldn't leave my friends…I couldn't do that to myself.

I had to stop and walk a lot. I was hurting. The physical pain was real. It was really real. I kept apologizing and then I felt bad about apologizing so I would apologize for that. I thought at one point that Heidi was going to slap me, LOL. I wouldn't have blamed her. I wanted to hit myself too. But I thought going all “Fight Club” in the middle of a race would really bring some unwanted attention my way.

I finished though!! I couldn't have done it without my girl Mary or Heidi there by my side and we all finished together. 2:06:47 was my combined time for both races (it was a gun start). It was fight from the start to the end and every bit in between. But I never quit. I never gave up.
What in the hell is with my hair?! How long did I walk around with my hair like that?!?!
At least there are TWO MEDALS around my neck to distract your eyes away from it ;)
I can’t do too much about the mental condition that I was in. That happens. It’s not the first time and it certainly won’t be the last. But I overcame that. I powered through the negativity that was in my brain:

{I’m holding these ladies back….why am I so slow still…why can’t I run like I used to…I’m still so overweight…why do I have to keep stopping…why can’t I breathe…why do I suck…they are just taking pity on me…I'm hurting because I'm too fat...I’m not part of this group, they just feel bad for me…I suck}

Yup…I am always successful at being my own worst enemy. The thoughts didn't stop as soon as my feet did. Honestly I am still on a little bit of an emotional roller coaster. But the high of finishing that race and knowing that I never gave up...that I never quit...well that negates any of those awful thoughts that I had. 

One thing that I CAN do something about though is my physical condition. Fact is…I need to stop hoping on miracles when it comes to larger races. I need to stop pulling a rabbit out of hat and hoping I can finish. I've always done this. Even when I was running faster I wasn't really training properly. How I managed to run my very first marathon in just under 6 hours is still hard for me to believe. I need to train. And training to me right now has been running 2-3 miles twice a week with a kind of but not really long run on the weekend. Now I've always been a 3-4 days a week run kind of gal. It’s not really that which I am disputing. It’s the effort. I could do longer distances during the week. I could keep increasing my long run on the weekend instead of the cap off at the usual 6 miles. I could add in sprints and intervals (just don't start putting math in there because that's when I lose any & all interest). 

I can’t expect to get any faster or be properly conditioned for these longer runs if I don’t put in the work. Just like how I put the work into losing weight by tracking my food, counting my Points, measuring my portions, I have to have to put in the work on my running if I want to get back to those not so hard 9-10 minute miles and an easy, breezy, beautiful 6 miles.

By not conditioning myself physically I am hurting myself mentally as well. My next big race is the Lake Effect Half Marathon. My focus and work will be put into that race. And it is time that I try to follow some sort of training plan. Time to start working on bettering my pace from what it is now instead of just wishing it to be what it once was. 

I've seen what my body can do without the training…I think I can amaze myself if I see what it could do with the training. 

*Want to send a quick thank you to all of the directors, organizers and volunteers who were part of The Burn Run, It was a great race and the medals are SWEET!! I will definitely be back next year.

**And another extra special thank you to all of the Lake Effect crew. Having you guys there was incredible. You guys really have changed running for me (in a really good way).

***And an extra, extra special thank you to Mary. I am so thankful to have you as a friend and to have had you by my side yesterday and any day. XO


  1. Awesome race story--it sounds like you fought every step of the way, even though you said you weren't in the mood to battle! What a victory!

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