In typical Krysten fashion, immediately after saying I wasn't going to race this summer, I found myself up early Sunday to race an 8km.
Admittedly, this was a last minute spur of the moment kind of event. A couple of my running/tri friends mentioned they would be heading to the Vitality Run to run or volunteer. It is a local event, and the start line was literally 5 minutes from my front door. So I figured, "why not!"
They had a 3km or an 8km option. I flipped back and forth about which event to run, but ultimately decided on the 8km when I arrived to sign up Sunday morning.
Since I was running this on a bit of a whim and following a pretty heavy training week - I decided I would just think of it more as a speed workout, rather than a race. I have never run an 8km before so I didn't really know how I should pace myself, or what I should expect time-wise.
The course was rolling, so my goal was to just try to keep my pace between 5:00/km-5:15/km (8:00-8:25/mile)
It was a smaller event, so there were no corrals, everyone just got themselves lined up. There was a pretty large youth track team in attendance. And I had watched a few of the members run the 3km. The first guy crossed the line in a little over 9 minutes, and barely looked like he had broken a sweat. So I made sure I lined up behind all of them.
We set out along the waterfront trail.
I often run or ride this route, and I knew it was hilly. I purposely don't do my speed work along here, because of the big rollers. So I knew it was going to be a good workout.
I felt good out there, and held my pace pretty steady even with the the hills. My goal was to finish strong with a solid kick at the end.
I crossed the line at 43:50 and finished 11th out of 42 runners.
I was happy with that.
I think realistically I could have kicked sooner, and ran it a little harder. But I am also just trying to be accepting about where I am right now.
Getting back into racing this year has been difficult.
Each time I have surgery and rebuild, I always think I am so much wiser and better prepared for the process. But the truth is, it is so easy to fall back into the same old struggles time and time again. You always want to push yourself to run strong and hard. And you always want your body to heal faster and bounce back quicker than it actually does. So it can be easy to get frustrated with the process.
I was running my fastest time last year March-May. I had more than full year of recovery, rebuilding, and training. Then things went down hill again, when I experienced another setback with the wire from my ICD. I slowed my training way down for 6 months while I scheduled my surgery. And I am now just 6 months post-op from surgery #7. I know I can't compare where I am right now at the half way point, to where I was more than a full year after surgery. But it is hard not to.
As runner we thrive on Personal Bests and Race Results. And I know I have that competitive drive in me.
But at the end of the day I run to be healthy.
I run to remind myself that 7 surgeries later - scars, robot heart, fake ta-tas, and all - I have a body that strong, capable, and pretty darn wonderful. So crossing the finish line smiling and strong should always be the goal.
It can be easy to lose sight of that when you are looking at the clock. So sometimes I need to set back and recognize what it is really all about.
It is still a work progress
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,