Firecracker 10K PR and Tales from the Second Place

I cried all the way home. There is something wrong with me. I know. But let’s back up…

PicMonkey Collage

Today’s race started about mid 60s and humid. Not the worst case scenario for a race. I arrived much later than I meant to so after getting one last pee break in I quickly pinned the bib on thanks to the kid getting it for me in line while I pottyed and got in line. NO warm-up. That made me nervous especially as the conversation I had with the girl next me….she was a multi BQer. ugh. Great. Steep competition today. Sometimes placing in a race just depends on the competition that shows up. And we had a good mix.

The course was similar with one change running down a different road. It’s basically a mix of rolling hills, partly shaded with an out and back turnaround that was very scenic and beautiful! On this run I  noticed horses in the field running with. That was more beautiful than words can describe…

My legs felt pretty good. All was well and I felt as though I ran strong although my breathing was seriously labored. This one dude was like, “Your breathing is making me tired.” ugh.  sorry dude, but I’m trying my darndest to give it my all here. If you’re talking to me you obviously are not.

Then I one girl passed me and although she was most def trying to encourage me, and she did, she said to me (without being labored in breathing at all) “You’re doing great! You’re running with a college runner!” And I responded, “Yeah..{{insert breathing hard like I’m dying here}] I’m ….just…a … mom…”She did pass me of course but I ended up being 5th female overall and 2nd in my age group. I think second is a harder pill to swallow than being a mid-packer because it’s like you were thiiiiis close to beating her.

Official stats:

Time: 44:10 7:05 min/mile per Garmin time 44:11 per Right On Time Productions time. Who’s counting seconds though? lol

15th overall

5th female overall

2nd in age 19-29

My first thoughts:

Why am I always second best??

Second?! In my age?!? ugh. NOT impressed.

Why do I even run? Why do I even try to run? Or train?

I tried so freaking hard and it still wasn’t good enough.

Why do I even place this pressure on myself?

Why do I even try? What’s the freaking point?

I’ll never be good enough. I’ll never place first against steep competition.

Why do I even blog about it?

My afterthoughts after my thoughts:

Um hello, you still ran a freaking PR and a pretty solid one at that! AAAAANNNNND you didn’t pass out like you did three years ago. You race against yourself.

Last year’s stats I ran a 50:49…so yeah. It’s def a course PR by like almost 6 minutes. Focus on how far YOU have grown personally. Why is that not good enough for you woman?!

It’s good to race against steeper competition because a.) it humbles you b.) it pushes you c.) it reminds you that you have net yet arrived at your best potential.

You blog about it to be an inspiration. To remind those out there who may never even place in a race that by running it they have already won.

Second isn’t so terrible. One of our SMART girls nabbed second too! Seeing her reminded me that I am supposed to be a role model in all walks of my life. Whether it be me being on the mountain top or in the valley or somewhere in between.

borrowed from the BRF 🙂 SMART girls run strong.

We live in the land of the free. You should be grateful. WE are BLESSED!

photo 2

my sister snapped a few pics for me sprinting in home.

My form has tremendously improved thanks to strength training. Although I’m ready to get back to running more…I feel like I’ve strengthened my body for a good finishing kick but have lost some serious endurance.

photo 1

goofy face but strong arms.

photo 4


photo 3

the kid and i

The 10k is a tough distance. It’s endurance coupled with speed. And speed isn’t my forte…although I wish it were. I was never a runner. I was always the daydreaming, song writer until I hit my mid 20s. So today, I will celebrate my growth. My ‘tude at first was stinky, but I’ve given myself a good reality check. And I’m better now.

Whew. I already feel better. And that is why I blog. There’s something about typing it all out that really makes you think deep about how you’re feeling and WHY you’re feeling that way. I’m sure there’s more to it than this short blog post but for y’alls sake I will just leave you with this:

Life is beautiful. Running is a gift. Racing is fun…second isn’t so bad. 😉

Are you a second place runner, midpacker? Do you beat yourself up on race day if you don’t do as well? I pout and stew for a bit…then I blog and feel better.
blessed and beautiful running.

19 thoughts on “Firecracker 10K PR and Tales from the Second Place

  1. I had similar thoughts today after my 5K. Last year, I place first in my AG and this year, 4th. There were serious ringers out there and I ran well, strong and under the goal time I set for myself. I am happy with how I ran!! But like you, I had that few minutes of ugh. Really?!

  2. Girl, a 7:05 pace for 6 miles is AWESOME! Don’t be so hard on yourself! (I get it though – a 19 year old beat me in a 5k a few months ago by a minute or so, so I got second overall and was bummed. lol)

  3. It stinks that it wasn’t the race you were wanting, but you did great, not just in your racing, but also in other aspects – allowing yourself to be humbled, sticking with it when things got tough, and being self-aware enough to come write about your experience. Well done! I love what you said at the end: “Life is beautiful. Running is a gift. Racing is fun” — this captures so much. Thanks for a great post, and enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!

  4. “Sometimes placing in a race just depends on the competition that shows up.”

    No. Placing in a race is *always* about the competition who shows up- and you can’t control who will show up. You can only control the controllables like your training, fuel, sleep, attitude, etc.

    Granted it’s fun finding a race where not a lot of faster people show up, but sometimes having someone to push you makes you run a stronger time. If I am going for a PR, I like a race with a deep field for that reason. If you hadn’t had those other girls around you and had showed up and there weren’t other fast people, you might not have run the 44:10. The thing about local races/competition is that the superstars at the front can run just fast enough to win and don’t have to go all out all the time. The rest of us… not so much!

    Last October, I got 2nd place in my age group, 5th female overall in a 5K. I got passed at the end and the girl ahead of me beat me by less than a second.

    Congratulations on 2nd place AG and such a speedy time! You really did a great job, don’t be too down on yourself about it. Don’t let success go to your head or coming in second go to your heart, there will always be another race.

  5. OMG I feel like I could have written your post. I always feel that same way – especially at the marathon distance. Over the past year, I chose two races that I thought I could win – came nowhere close. I always think most of what you said – Why am I always second best?? Why do I even run? Why do I even try to run? Or train? I tried so freaking hard and it still wasn’t good enough. Why do I even try? What’s the freaking point? I’ll never be good enough. I’ll never place first against steep competition. – enters my mind on a regular basis.

    We have a super competitive and FAST local running community. Lately, I’ve chosen races slightly out of the local area to help with this. I would show up at local races and see certain people there and shut down before the race even started. “OH, x showed up so I have no shot”. It’s a bad attitude and one I’m trying to break. The races I signed up for fall are a mix of local and out of town to try to give my attitude a makeover. This weekend – ran a 15K race slightly out of town, went awesome. But I also matched it with a 15K trail run in my town that’s in two weeks where it’s SUPER competitive. My goal for the second one is to run with a good attitude and just see what happens. I know I’ll probably not even place in my AG there, but I’m trying to get past that. I mean, when you really think about it – we’re all making the same amount of money doing this sport, whether we are first or last. None of us are winning Olympic gold medals here. I love running so much, but lately it’s become more of a source of heartache because of every single thing you said here. Glad to know I’m not the only one who gets upset – even when you run a PR and place! That same exact thing happened to me at a 5 miler over Christmas. I could go on and on about this. Anyway, congrats on your awesome time and your AG award! I think you are awesome!!!

    • It’s an attitude I’ve recently adopted and I’m not sure why. I think healthy competition is good to a point. Keeps our brains sharp. But I mean, I love my BRF but every time we race it’s like I automatically shut down too because I know she’s way faster than I. I wonder sometimes if I just shut my stupid brain off and didn’t go into a race with ANY preconceived ideas about pace or place just how well I would do? Thanks for not judging my attitude and feeling my pain. Running sometimes offers growing pains in life. Both physical and mental. I’m contemplating just running for the next two weeks with no watch on and no training agenda. I think that’d be a healthy approach before marathon training.

      • Running without a watch really helps, I found that I relax a lot more and when I put the watch back on I’m surprised by the results. I totally get what you mean about running with a friend who is faster – two of my closest friends that I run with are significantly faster than me. One of them can smoke me on any given day and any distance. The other one can pretty much smoke me and anything except the marathon and that’s basically only because she has less experience with it. Whenever I go to races and they are there I automatically shutdown and I don’t like that. first of all they are my friends so I shouldn’t feel that way and I am proud of their accomplishments, but secondly I train with them. Why can’t I beat them? I think a lot of it is mental, and I’m really trying to work on it during this next training block. When I was running today I was thinking about how when I started, I would go into a race not expecting anything. I need to remember how to do that and I think the rest will come 🙂 seriously crazy how often I read your posts and hear myself in them!

  6. You should run the races I do, than you would win every time. haha. The running community isn’t that strong where I live. So I feel like the opposite is true for me. In order to get any kind of female competition I have to drive out of town, (Eugene and Portland have AWESOME competition, but I’m in the sad middle.. : ( I totally get where you’re coming from, you want SOMETHING, you’re working so hard and you feel like other’s are always faster. Concentrate on your success not your “failures”. That second place is awesome, way to go.!

  7. Pingback: Wisdom Wednesday: You Have Nothing To Prove. | Flying Feet In Faith

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