Timing is Everything

from Margaret’s Blog

How many times have you heard the words, “time heals all wounds” or “just give it time”? People say it in response to breakups, deaths, personal tragedies, job loss, you name it. Many times, it’s a phrase uttered when there’s nothing else to say and a friend or family member is trying to be comforting. In reality though, the words are often left there on the surface, like rain hitting a waterproof jacket.

In my experience, the phrase “time heals all wounds” tends to come true, eventually. The problem is that you never know when that time will arrive. The wound I’m personally referring to here is my not-so-good race at the Husky Classic last weekend.

Roots 5k kids, hungry for some PRs

The plan was to ride the train of fast runners and hit a PR in the 5k. Spoiler: that did not happen.

What did happen was a great 3k. I was well-positioned, running 3rd in line and right behind my teammate. I felt strong, at ease, relaxed, and even a little cocky. Part of my mental strategy was to tell myself that I would have so much left in the tank to kick it up a notch for the last mile and I was just having fun with the first half of the race. That mental approach was going well for me until it wasn’t. At pretty much exactly the 3k mark, the lead took a surge and I felt some discomfort for the first time in the race. I let a 2-foot gap form and it was promptly filled by the swarm of girls behind me. Desperate not to lose my position up front, I surged, couldn’t hold it, and then was swallowed whole. The last 2k wasn’t pretty and I sincerely thought the wheels had just fallen off and there was nothing I could do.

Time has healed me to the point that I recently watched the race on replay and discovered that my perception of the race just wasn’t true. I had thought the race was, for the majority, terrible. The bad part of the race felt like eternity (the part during which I was trying to run fast and feeling like I was going fast but really, I was just slogging it out). It wasn’t actually the majority. My recollection of the race also told me that I apparently just wasn’t fit enough to hold that pace for an entire 5k, and thus, died after 3k. Time, reflection, and the video of my form in the race, have proven to me that I mentally shut down immediately upon being passed. It’s a tough thing to go from having a clear vision of the front, to being passed by a whole swarm in less than 10 seconds. I let it get to me.

Time heals all wounds. It has healed my perception of – and disappointment about – this latest race. It has healed my injuries over the past several years, and it has brought me to this healthy running place where I currently find myself.

But time does not sharpen mental racing capacities and it does not unveil a shiny untouchable athlete. In fact, time does the opposite. It heals injuries but it also makes an athlete rusty. I overlooked this fact and underestimated the physical and mental requirements that racing demands. With that said, I would 100% rather be racing again after my 2 year hiatus and have some growing pains (like the Husky Classic debacle) than to be done with the sport altogether and trying to sell my spikes on eBay. Time spent racing on the indoor track will only have sharpened me up for my bigger goals of racing tough outdoors. Til then, I’ll keep putting in the work and having a good time with my teammates!

Andy picked up the slack for me and ran his best mile time EVER

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