2014 Charlottesville 10 Miler

IMG_20140329_113055_432I’m pretty sure this was my worst race ever. My only excuse is that I screwed up royally.


Last night I dreamed that I finished the race in 86 minutes. In my dream, I ran at a very relaxed pace and even stopped for a while to admire the ocean…

Sure, I was disappointed with my time, but it’s not like I’d really tried. And it was just a DREAM.

There’s no way I was going to run that slowly in real life. I was prepared. I’d been training on the course, I’d been doing my speed work.

My “A” goal was to break 80 minutes.

My “B” goal was a PR: faster than the 82:23 I’d run last year.

My “C” goal was to finish without getting struck by lightning (earlier in the week they’d been calling for thunder storms).

Race morning:

It was 55 degrees and foggy when I woke up. It was only supposed to be 49. Sure, I’d prefer a little cooler, but 55 wasn’t terrible. I could work with 55.

Kurt and I ran a short warm up (probably just under a mile). I had decided to take the Timeless Challenge, and had left my Garmin at home, so I don’t know exactly how far we ran. I was feeling pretty good, though.

We snapped a “before” photo, before I put my phone in the car.

selfie-fixedWe went into JPJ to use the restrooms one last time.

When we came back out, just 5 minutes before the race was supposed to start, I decided that I’d go back to the car and get my camera to take a picture of the starting line.

IMG_20140329_070915_303This was a HUGE mistake. After putting my phone back in the car, I made it to the start, but I had to line up pretty far back. I wasn’t too concerned at the time, though. They had added chip timing this year, so I figured it wouldn’t matter much.

Boy, was I WRONG.

We started SLOWLY and were packed in so tightly that I couldn’t get around people who were barely moving.

I got to the 1/2 mile mark in 5:50. The whole “timeless” thing doesn’t work too well if you hear your splits called out. I hadn’t thought about that.

I panicked. I needed to be running 8 minute miles and I was on pace to run my first one at close to a 12 minute mile.

So, I sped up. My one mile split was 9:55. I panicked some more.

Was it even possible to recover from that?

Do you see how well this whole “timeless” thing was working for me?

I felt okay physically, until about mile 5, but in an attempt to make up for my slow start, I was running too fast. I was not happy. I managed a smile when we ran by a church just before turning onto Preston and there was a Gospel group out front singing and clapping for us. How could you not smile at that?

But I knew I had screwed up and I was pretty furious with myself.

My seven mile split was 1:01:52. I hate to admit it, but I gave up at this point. I knew I still had three miles to go, and I knew I wasn’t going to make my “A” OR “B” goals. Sure, I could keep running as fast as I could, but what was the point? It hurt, and I wasn’t going to be happy with my time anyway.

The irony was not lost on me. This way of thinking was exactly what running “timeless” was supposed to eliminate.

I was mad at myself for making such a stupid mistake and disappointed in myself for giving up. I was still running, and it was still hurting. I could’ve dug deeper and run faster, but really, WHY?

I just couldn’t make myself do it.

So I finished in 87:16. Five minutes slower than last year.

One of the race perks this year was the addition of the Queen City Timer App, which I had installed on my phone last night. So I had visual proof of my dismal performance INSTANTLY. Well, after I walked to the car and got my phone, but I think you get my point.

Had I done well I would have thought the app was cool. But I was too busy being miserable and feeling sorry for myself.

Kurt had finished so long ago that he was getting cold. He needed the car key, which I had, in order to get his coat. He wanted to head back to the finish line to wait for one of his friends.

I just wanted to disappear. But that wasn’t an option, so we went and got his coat and my phone. I told him to just go do whatever he wanted to do. I didn’t want to subject him to my bad attitude and crabbiness.

I was not proud of how I was reacting.

I grabbed a banana and a hunk of Dakota bread from Great Harvest Bread Co (which I was not too crabby to at least appreciate).

For some absurd reason, I felt like I needed an “after” photo.

IMG_20140329_091040_715Some nice lady felt sorry for me trying to take a picture of myself and offered to take one for me. Normally, I would have been embarrassed, but I was beyond caring about anything.

IMG_20140329_091059_657I pretended to be happy for the camera because that’s what you do.


So, this race was another blow to my already damaged running ego.

I think it’s time to take a break from making time goals for myself . I’m sick and tired of not living up to my own expectations.

Bah Humbug.


Author: healthyincville

Nemophilist Trail runner Introvert Animal-loving vegetarian * My ideal city would be car-free. I love my cats.

7 thoughts on “2014 Charlottesville 10 Miler”

  1. I wouldn’t be a big fan of that race shirt, either. What a let down. Did they go from a technical shirt back to white cotton t-shirts? Even if that shirt is some kind of technical fabric, it’s still pretty lackluster.

    I’m sorry about the rough race (and I know that doesn’t make it better). I’ve had race experiences like that, and to be blunt they just suck. But you’ll regroup and get back out there, like we all always do. Put this one behind you and look ahead. Maybe Blue Ridge will be epic πŸ™‚

  2. Oh, the problem with expecting a lot from yourself! Sigh. I know what you mean. I have had my share of “but I wanted to do better!” race finishes recently… Hopefully you can turn this race into the fuel you need in your next race!

    1. Thanks, Danielle (feels strange to call you that). I’m beginning to feel like ALL my races are turning out that way. I hope we both start having some better races soon πŸ™‚ And I hope you’re feeling better. Bronchitis sounds pretty miserable.

  3. Why do we beat ourselves up over our runs? This seems to be a common issue with runners. While it won’t make you feel better (because this race report is over a year old), I would like to say that your bad times are still better than my PRs – that’s pretty awesome! Also, you have several times blogged about being crabby but EVERY single picture of you shows a smile and eyes full of happiness.
    BTW – just how fast is Kurt?

    1. Don’t let all my whining and complaining fool you. If I’m outside and doing something active, I’m happy.
      Kurt just keeps getting faster. He finished the Charlottesville Ten Miler in 1:16 this year (and Blue Ridge in 2:04).

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