One of THOSE Races
by Erin Clark
by Tristin Van Ord
It was one of THOSE races.
The ones where you feel like an underdog.
The ones where you aren’t quite sure if they forgot to put your name on your bib number on purpose.
The ones where you are so far out of your comfort zone that you know it will be memorable no matter what.
The ones where that little voice in your head, you know, the one that usually motivates you, gets up and shouts “YOU DON’T BELONG HERE”
Sometimes you have those inexplicable races. You let your body take over and prove your doubts wrong. Yes, my legs are strong. Yes, I can keep up in shorter races. I felt confident chasing after my teammates, which isn’t something that every runner gets to experience. Even though the gun would go off after my bedtime, it felt like it was my day.
Going into the race, I felt like I didn’t belong. I knew I was taking a risk lining up next to ladies who could run in the 16’s when I had only officially run 19:01. But I knew I was in the right place to get a personal best. Sometimes your body works like a perfectly oiled machine, and sometimes you can stay focused. Sometimes you can click out laps at your goal 5k pace. It doesn’t make sense, but it just happens. Sometimes, you succeed. It was a day where everything flowed. Simple as that.
I’m excited because this was an unexplainable race. This race reminded me not to sell myself short. It came out of nowhere and surprised me with how comfortable I felt when the gun went off. Not just fast, but fun. THOSE races are always the best, and there will always be one on the horizon as long as you’re running.
It was one of THOSE races.
The ones where your legs feel like chunks of lead.
The ones where you settle in to that slow-mo pace and can’t turn the handle to change the gear.
The ones where you’re drowning in sweat but feel like you’re not working hard enough.
The ones where that little voice in your head, you know, the one that is usually your biggest fan, gets up and shouts “YOU SUCK.”
Sometimes you have those inexplicable races. You just feel like crap and you don’t know why, and your mind just isn’t in the right place. No, my iron isn’t low. No, I’m not sick. I just didn’t feel right, and that’s something that every runner deals with once in a while. It just wasn’t my day.
Going into the race, I knew I was in shape. I knew I could run faster than a 16:20, I knew I was in the right place to get a personal best. But sometimes, knowing where you can be and your mentality during a race don’t match up. Sometimes your body isn’t working like a perfectly oiled machine, and sometimes you can’t keep focus. Sometimes, your 10k pace feels like your 5k pace. It doesn’t make sense, but it just happens. Sometimes, you fail. And that’s ok. It was just not a good race. Simple as that.
But I’m waiting for another unexplainable race. Not surprising in the way this one was, but one of those races that come out of nowhere and surprise you with how good they are. Not just fast, but fun. THOSE races are always the best, and there will always be one on the horizon as long as you’re running.