So. After missing the first edition because I was working, the second because I was ill and the third because I was on holiday, it was time for my first ”Around the bridges”-race for the year.
Oh how I have waited for this. How I have dreamt about effortlessly putting 5 kilometres behind me. Not a drop of sweat on my forehead. Elegant like a gazelle. My feet barely touching the ground. And, of course, with a big fat smile on my face, because when you are running fast so effortlessly you are damned pleased with yourself.
What came thundering down the pavement like a bowling ball filled with led was instead a red-faced hippopotamus about to have a stroke. A berserk Godzilla. A glue-drenched steamroller. Or so it felt. After a fast start where I tried to shake off all the overambitious five year olds that had positioned themselves right at the front of the crowd behind the starting line, I had to drop my speed in order not to flood my legs with lactic acid. I overdid it. My speed dropped too much and I couldn't pick it up again. It would have felt suicidal to do so.
I could say that it depended on lack of fuel in my engine. I had eaten a big meal 4 hours prior to the race and nothing after that. I could also say that it depended on sore muscles after what should have been an easy strength training session yesterday. I could blame my wrong choices in clothing, or shoes, or tactics. All of it would have been true. But the factor weighing most heavily is that I was just not motivated enough to run faster. After the second kilometre, I started wondering why I was doing this. Sure, running fast can be fun sometimes, but you know what else is fun? THE ABILITY TO BREATHE.
My result is perhaps slightly closer to that of a gazelle than that of a hippopotamus (although not by much, and we're talking amateur gazelles here, not one of those elite, two-running-sessions-per-day ones), so, on a cognitive level, I am proud of myself and happy with what I accomplished today. I mean, I broke my PR by more than one minute. But on an emotional level I can't help thinking that a trail run with no demands on distance or speed would have been much more satisfying. Post-race blues or plain laziness?