Tipperary Hill Shamrock Run Race Recap
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I could say that I was screwed from the start of the race when I had to fiddle with my Garmin the second I took off but that would be a lie. From the moment I woke up that morning I just wasn’t feeling it despite the various efforts to pump myself up.
I even took the time to brew some truBrain coffee with the French press, pour it into my Tipp Hill mug and sip on my brain fuel while staring at my bib. Envisioning a good race, preparing myself for the cold, the wind and the inevitable hills.
As I drove the 40 mins to the race destination I blared my running playlist, jamming out to the various tunes trying to convince myself that it was going to be a good race, that these were just my normal nerves. All while a little voice in the back of my head kept whining “I don’t wanna”.
Attempting to ignore the voices of doubt, I even joined my friend Kelly in decorating my face with festive flour leaf clovers.
Even as I made my way to the starting line in the sea of green, I tried to convince myself that what I was feeling was just pre-race nerves. That the cold and the wind were playing with my mind and once the race started and I warmed up that I’d get into the groove.
That didn’t happen.
What did happen was that I double pressed the start button on my GPS which caused me to spend the first .15 mile of race fiddling with it. When I finally did get it set, the pace seemed all screwy and I couldn’t tell if I was really going at the 9:00 min/mile pace that it was reporting or not. My lungs were telling me that I was going much faster and it turns out I was.
By the time my GPS started reading my pace correctly more than a mile later, it was reporting a 7:10 pace right before I started accelerating down a hill at which point I encountered another hill. I chugged halfway up it and had to stop.
Not slow down…stop. I can honestly say I’ve never done that in a race before and that was really the point of no return for me. The rest of the race consisted of a lot of starting and stopping at least 3 more times. I would sprint trying to make up the time I had lost only to have to stop again. My lungs were burning, a cramp in my side was screaming and the sliver of motivation I had was gone.
The voice inside of my head telling me to quit had essentially won. When I finally crossed the finish line I was honestly surprised to see a time in the 32 minute range. I figured given the amount of times that I had stopped that it would have been between 33-34 minutes instead. Relieved, out of breath and anxious, I waited for the official results to be posted.
Official time: 32:06, 37 seconds slower than my finish time the year before. The time itself wasn’t a disappointment as much as the fact that I gave up and I knew I did. What if I couldn’t find my motivation before the Syracuse Half? What if I wasn’t capable? I had to find out.
The next day I did a quick recovery run then on Monday I decided that I was going to run a test half marathon on the treadmill. Not only to prove to myself that I could but also to build up my mental strength and restore my confidence, which it did.
It was exactly what I needed to get my head back into the game. With only 3 weeks to go until the Syracuse Half, I am feeling prepared and ready to tackle every. single. mile. While I am not please with my performance at the Shamrock Run, it gave me the kick in the butt I needed and reminded me that I am no quitter.
Do you ever let the voice in your head get to you during a race?
How do you bounce back?
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