4th Annual DC DoggieDashLast weekend I ran my first 5k race of 2014 in my hometown.  It is a race that in 2013 offered an 8k option, but this year they kept it simple, and I was happy to run this race again this year.  The Annual Doggie Dash is an annual race in Tallahassee, FL which raises funds to help give second chance dogs an opportunity for a forever home and is directed under the Corrections Foundation.  The race organizers do an amazing job of providing detailed information pre-race day through emails and social media.  I applaud all the extra work they put in to this annual race.

My race morning started out pretty low-key, which was a nice change from having to get up at the butt crack of dawn to be at the race.  With a 9:30 am start time for the 5k, this allowed me some extra time to get my coffee, breakfast and normal race morning routine done without forgetting anything.  It was really a nice change to previous race mornings.  I had planned to meet the few Tallahassee Chapter, Moms RUN This Town members that would be racing that day for a pre-race photo, something we try to do when several of us will be at the same race.  A way to cheer each other on and encourage each other to have a great race.  That race morning I was excited to see Jen B., who had made the trip down from nearby Thomasville, GA and a couple of other hometown Mamas.

Tallahassee MRTT Doggie DashMontina, Becky B., Me and Jen B.

This would be my first run and race post marathon weekend in Jacksonville and I was somewhat apprehensive about how good or bad it would be, even though it was 3.1 miles.  I remained optimistic and remembered that it really only mattered that I finish.  It was pretty chilly that morning in Tallahassee, as it was the previous year, and I was thankful for my arm warmer sleeves which I wore throughout the entire race.  I also would be racing in an area that I generally do not care to run in as a matter of preference, but it’s a wonderful neighborhood for local races in Tallahassee.  I think I had just burned myself out running so many races there in early 2013.  I knew the course would be flat most of the way with one large hill at the town center, but that would be it.  For me, flat is all mental, it is something that I have to work to overcome issue with when faced with that type of course, but Saturday, I was welcoming it as I had not run in 3 weeks.

As we started the race, it was typical that everyone was eager to burst out with speed, I tried to hold myself back because I knew that after mile 2 I would approach my first mental obstacle of wanting to walk.  It is not that I need to, just my mind telling me it wants to.  So I generally reserve a little extra leg energy for the 5k distance to get me over that hump when it pops into my head and in classic Tammy fashion, it did around mile 2.1 of the race.  As we pushed over the only hill of the race I knew once that was behind me it was smooth sailing, but the lack of training for 3 weeks tested my legs and I was a little deflated after reaching the top.  I didn’t stop though, I kept pushing through.  I knew I had a time I wanted to finish in for this race, but after the slower pace I had reached, I knew that was not going to happen.  I pushed on.

As we approached the final stretch of the race, I knew all I had to do was circle the lake and the finish line would be on the other side.  By this time all the runners ahead of me that had gassed their legs were beginning to walk.  I had to put my head down and just keep pushing forward so I wouldn’t give in to the walk.  As I reached the shaded area of the last quarter-mile of the race I knew I would still be close to my goal, but off by a couple of minutes.  I could hear the crowds cheering in the runners and I knew I was almost finished.  I was thankful.  I kept thinking ahead to this weeks training and next weekend’s race in Atlanta for the Georgia Half Marathon and I knew that I have to put in a lot of work this week to be ready for that course.  Thinking about that race helped me push through and finish the Doggie Dash in 31:32 minutes.  I had hoped to finish under 30 minutes, but on this day it was not in the cards.

2014 Doggie Dash Finish

Doggie Dash TimeI crossed the finish line and went to tell my other Chapter members goodbye before heading home to get cleaned up post race.  As I drove home and throughout the afternoon I became very frustrated with my finish time.  I never post about being fast or pushing for a specific finish time, but Saturday it really bothered me.  So much that I found myself upset that evening about the fact that I had let speed and finish times overshadow the fact that I had completed a race that most people cannot/would not ever attempt.

Reflecting on my race this morning I keep thinking why do I always go back to being disappointed in time. I never push, post or blog about being fast but one of my own worst enemies is thought. I find it extremely frustrating that I am not 100% happy that I just finished today since so many can’t even get out to run! But I also keep going back the thought that I haven’t run AT ALL in 3 weeks, and a 31:32 5k is really a great time.

2014 Doggie Dash Finisher MedalI had let myself down by allowing these negative thoughts to even enter my mind.  But I’m human and this shows I still have aspirations to be a fast runner again, but if I am not, that is ok too.

This weekend I am headed to Atlanta, GA, as I touched on above, to run my 11th half marathon in the Georgia Marathon/Half Marathon weekend.  I know the course will be grueling, but I am excited about running another half marathon, my favorite race distance.  I am also even more excited that this weekend my Mom will be traveling to the race with me and will be at the finish line when I cross.

So until next race recap post, I wish you Swift Feet & Happy Miles!  xo