Oh, I really don’t want to post about the fiasco that was this week, but even the bad training weeks can make for good races in the future. From a physical activity perspective, this week was stellar. From a running specific perspective, total failure. In short, my love of soccer got in the way of my apparently too lofty race goals. But, I really, REALLY love soccer. So in terms of overall happiness, I’m still on top.
This is how it all went down.
Last Sunday we had our outdoor game. Good win, then followed with indoor soccer playoffs. Four games at 18 min a piece were completed before we got knocked out of both levels. Still a great run and fun time.
I took off on Monday, needed to rest. Soreness from weight training the previous week was completely gone.
Tuesday indoor happened. We had one sub, my foot got crunched a little. Tough loss handed to us, but again, very physical workout and I felt mostly happy.
Wednesday is where the downfall begins, but I wouldn’t know until later on. My coworkers reformed our co-ed team and it was our first game of the spring season. We were going to be short a girl so I emailed a teammate from outdoor to fill in. Her game before ours was going to be short, so I filled in with her team, then we played together on my team. 80 minutes of play so far. Following the second game, a bunch of guys approached us asking if we’d play because the girls on their team didn’t show and they didn’t want to forfeit. It was only 8:20ish, we felt good, so we agreed to play. I was kicking ass on defense Wednesday night. Three games, 120 minutes, I was done after that third game.
I took off Thursday from going to run club because I figured after all that soccer a rest was needed. I relaxed and enjoyed a night off. Friday I was excited most of the morning. I found out later in the afternoon an opportunity I got myself too excited about fell through (nothing job related, happy where I am) and it was hard to recover for a bit. I still wanted to go out hard for the Out & Back Party Run to redeem my mood and bask in the happy feels of a PR. I got to the race with about an hour to spare. Charged my phone while trying to picture pacing myself to a fast, happy run. I met up with a coworker and friend before the race started, talked about goals, and then we were off.
I never felt good during this run. I had a pumped up playlist in my ears, and I felt like I was going fast, but my quads just felt off, then heavy and sore, then just dead. I somehow got the first mile under 7:00 and was hopeful. I just needed to loosen up and I’d be crushing it. I remember looking down after that first mile and being completely confused. I was working hard, but the pace just wasn’t showing what I felt like I was running. The watch had to be off, I had to be moving faster than that. But, the soreness in my legs and the heaviness they felt, I wasn’t. I knew at the turnaround shit just wasn’t happening for me. I wasn’t going to win my age group, and slowly but surely as I came back towards the start I saw each goal I made for this race disappear. I felt a bit of a boost when some other friends I missed seeing at the start waved to me as I was heading back (they were on the out part). But as I grouchily crossed the finish I knew I had blown it. I am glad there aren’t any finisher photos, because I’m sure I looked like this:
I called Dan and had a little pity party for a bit. I was so mad at myself and bummed out. But, there was an after party, with lots of Harpoon beer, and I had friends to hang out with. So, I sucked it up, put on some warm clothes and rejoined the party. I’m glad I had friends there, because after a pint and some talk (apparently we all struggled with this race), I was feeling significantly better. I knew where I went wrong, I played way too much soccer with not enough recovery time. I hadn’t spent as much time on lower body lifting over the winter to keep my legs strong enough to withstand all that activity the past week. It happens. And I acknowledged I probably sounded like an asshole being upset about a 24:40 finish. It’s a good time and nothing to be ashamed of. Yeah, I had been ticking off PRs and in comparison to my recent race times it was not my best, but I did PR the race itself by 16 seconds, haha! And being 7th in my age group is also cool, a top 10 finish is something to be happy about for sure. I’ll get the next race and have learned balance and rest are crucial.
The weekend was an amazing recovery in my mood though. I volunteered with Scoring Goals for Autism on Saturday and got to hang out and play soccer with the coolest, sweetest kids. The event is an incredible and uplifting experience. The buddy I was paired with was best friends with a buddy a friend of mine was paired with. Together we formed our own team chant and they got the whole field to join in. We played fun soccer drills, talked zombie apocalypses, and old school wrestling. Those kids just warm my heart. We then played the charity tournament which was a blast and today crushed our outdoor game (I had SO many shots on goal!!). I’m going to be taking a lot of ice baths this week to make sure my legs are ready for Broad Street, phew!