St Paul’s 5k (19:52)

I signed up for this race the night before (who can resist a 20 dollar 5k?).

I packed everything for this race the night before.

 I had to work afterwards so I packed everything.  I packed my racing flats, my trainers, my outfit for work, shower stuff and food.  Yet I found myself at the race getting ready to warm up and realizing…I didn’t have my trainers or my racing flats.  The only pairs of shoes I had in my car were a pair of Nike Frees and a Brook’s Glycerins.  The Frees being were the ligher and stupider option (closer to a racing flat).  The Glycerins were the heavier, smarter, more frustrating and smarter option.

So after swallowing my pride and knowing I might not break 20 minutes when I should be around 19, I laced up the Glycerins and warmed up. I have not done a 5k without a light weight racing shoe since my first road race.  I barely do tempo work in heavier shoes.  My Glyercins are a dedicated heavy weight, supportive shoe.  They get me through the bulk of my training.  To put these shoes into perspective, I’ve never been able to run under an 8 minute mile in them.

That’s a little dramatic but I was pretty bummed when it was time to start.  I felt decent and I knew the course was pretty fast.  Of course one race doesn’t make or break you but I was still bummed.  I nearly didn’t start the race but quickly decided that was stupid and the only reason I didn’t want to start was I knew it would be slower then what I should be doing.

The race itself:

The race started at 9am.  It wasn’t a chip time race and we were off.  I noticed immediately two young males took the lead and never looked back.   I settled with a couple of females but around half a mile found myself completely alone (Where I stayed) (6:09).

We were told to stay on the sidewalks during the second mile.  We were entering a main road.  The sidewalks went right through a sprinkler.  I didn’t stay on the sidewalk and ran in the shoulder so I didn’t get soaken wet.  It was a little bit too cold for me to want all of that.  We turned around (out and back 5k).  (6:31)

The last mile I was just holding on for dear life.  I didn’t feel bad at all and honestly I was surprised to see my time as high as it was.  I truly felt like I was running a low 6 min miles.  The fact is I wasn’t.  (6:39)

I finished in 19:52. 

I cannot say I’m pleased at all and it felt like a big mental punch in my stomach.  I am questioning whether it was the shoes or just not my day.  I’ve always strived to be honest with readers and people in general and this was a hard mental pill to swallow.  If I had felt bad, if the course was difficult or weather was a factor I wouldn’t be as upset.

That being said I’m not looking for any words of wisdom or any “I feel so bad”.  We all have bad races that don’t really know where they came from and this happens to be one for me.  Do I think it was the shoes?  Maybe but can shoes make a minute difference? Who knows…Upward and onward from here.

Sadly (not really) no frills and inexpensive 5ks don’t have race photos so you had to deal with 600 words of whining.

Long story short: We all have humbling races. This was mine and I would like to not have a repeat in my next 5k.

Questions for you:

Do you train and race in different shoes?

What was your last humbling experience?  

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  1. I’ve actually never worn racing flats! Though I did feel like I was absolutely FLYING when I raced in spikes because I had only ever raced in my training shoes. My last humbling experience was a trail race last November (my most recent race actually), when I thought I could handle a “hilly course” not realizing that in the land of trail running, you might actually reach a hill so impossibly steep you have to walk. I had to walk up 3 hills and tried to make up the time on the rest of the course but I was about 90 seconds slower than usual over 5k so I was pretty crushed/humbled.

  2. Last year I traveled up north with some friends for a half marathon. One of my friends had laid out two pairs of shoes to choose from for the race while he was packing. Halfway through the 4-hour drive, he realized he had forgotten to pack any shoes. -_- Luckily he was able to call ahead and get the running store to hold him a pair of his chosen shoes in his size. I always like telling that story because I think it’s really funny, but I guess maybe it’s less of an anomaly than I thought. 😉

  3. I train and race in the same shoes, but I only started running last November and have only done a few races so far. I do have a pair of cross country spikes from high school, but I never wear them anyway since I only run on concrete or asphalt and those shoes don’t offer enough support for that. I ran a pretty nice 5k PR last weekend wearing my regular shoes, so I’m happy racing in them for now.

    1. That is awesome! I’ve never had a pair of spikes I really liked actually. What kind are yours? What kind of shoes are you running in now? (Could I ask you anymore questions LOL).

  4. I’m sorry you didn’t feel good about this race. It sucks to forget something important on race day. I literally have dreams about forgetting things – its horrible!

    I train and race in the same shoes. If I were more competitive about my running, that might change, but for now, I like my stability shoes (read: comfort) over a faster time 🙂

    1. That is true. If it had been a goal race or a race with more importance I would have been pretty upset but either way it was a nice workout and I’m glad to have it in my rearview mirror.

  5. Bad races happen to good runners.

    I’ve actually never had racing flats. I had the Mizuno Wave Ronin (which I got hurt in last Tuesday on the track, spoiler that I haven’t blogged about it but I’m out of town). But those aren’t really flats… just very lightweight shoes. Now I usually train (fast runs) and race in Mizuno Wave Elixir but I have heavier shoes for long runs or bridge, etc. My last really humbling race was probably the marathon, but my last BAD race was a few weeks ago when I was sick and probably shouldn’t have raced at all.

    As far as the shoes go… it’s an honest mistake. I mean you had to work and you have a busy life and you did the best with what you could. I think it’s pretty awesome you managed to run a 5K before work anyway :). Most people would have just skipped it on a workday.

  6. I usually have anywhere from 2- 3 pairs of sneakers that I rotate through – a pair for easy runs, a pair for workouts/longer races and a pair for short distance races! I feel your pain about not having the right shoes with you, I have nightmares that they are calling for the start of my race and I’m digging through a dufflebag and can’t find the right shoes! 🙁

  7. I think not having my shoes would throw me off completely. You still impress me for not even having to train and just randomly deciding to run a 5k.

  8. I also have dreams of forgetting my shoes or something else of importance on race day. Sounds like you did the best you could despite the situation!

  9. I wouldn’t be frustrated given you still managed to break 20 in a pair of long distance trainers! Sometimes it’s the worst of races that prepare ourselves for the best races…or at least thats what I tell myself (you know, that mental toughness stuff)

  10. Bad races happen, soon forgotten when you kill the next race.

    I rotate two pairs of shoes for road and trail runs.

    Humbling, this morning, trail run properly put me in my place. I’m posting all the details and pics tomorrow.

  11. sorry that happened to you :-/ I like to think that bad races make you better in the end. they make you work harder and when you do have the picture perfect race pr one day- itll be that much beter.

    in terms of humbling experiences- I ran this yrs baltimore marathon almost an hour slower than my pr. i simply didnt train very much at all. and someone though i would magically be able to run what i usually run. you get out what you put in. after that- i kicked my ass into gear and did much better at the nyc half and broad st. currently training for lehigh valley marathon

    in terms of shoes- i never used different shoes until now. i usually wear nike structures but decided to change it up and got mizuno wave inspires. i got a lighter shoe for speed work (and i have been wearing them on normal runs too- bc they arent that light just lighter than what i am used to) brooks cadence. i dont think i am quite ready/good enough for racing flats. these brooks cadence- i love !

  12. Geez, I cannot imagine racing in the Glycerins. Don’t get me wrong; gel is super comfortable, and it’s a great shoe … but foam is lighter and more responsive. 😉 If I were doing high mileage, then I’d probably have a gel option in the rotation, but since I’m sticking with shorter stuff, the foam is fine.

  13. Running a full marathon is always really humbling for me. I have no problem going on a 3 hour training run but trying to run 26 miles at a faster pace is a whole different story. I usually wear the same shoes for training and racing, but I have a few different types of shoes for different distances.

  14. Forgetting shoes on race day would be the worst!! You are lucky you had some in your car, I never do. Sorry you had a bad race, I’m sure it was mostly the shoes. Like you said, you only run at a certain pace in those shoes, you must have been making such a hard effort to run at the pace you did at the race, that must have been tough! I can relate to being disappointed on a race result, but I think you did great anyway, and would have done so much better with the shoes you are used to racing in.

  15. I think shoes make a huge difference – for years I always wore the same super cushioned and bulky shoes for all my runs. This year I’ve added light weight shoes to the rotation (kinarvas) and run a much faster (Almost full minute per mile) pace in them!

  16. I know what you are saaying about humbling races!!! I had one last weekend, but it is necessary to keep our feet on the ground. It is incredible how much the mind can play tricks with you if you let it, and your shoes dilemma probably played more with your mind than you thought, but you are definitely in shape to run faster if that is the case 🙂 I tend to train and race in my kinvara, but they are so light, that I am happy to!

  17. Sometimes we all just have those days. Nothing goes terribly wrong but nothing really goes right either. I’ve been in a running slump for a bit here and I just keep putting one foot in front of the other until it clicks again.

  18. I train typically in Brooks Ghosts and I raced in the Green Silence but now that they have been discontinued I’m looking for a new race flat possibly the T5 racers. Annnnnd my most recent humbling experience was in February where I completely hit rock bottom running my slowest 5K ever.

  19. A 19:52 regardless is still a great time; however, after years of running, I don’t think the shoes would have matter. You might have just mentally taken yourself out of the race before it even occurred. I am pretty competitive and don’t ever wear racing flats. I wear my clunky saucony’s and that’s that for me. I think it was good you decided to run anyway, not many would do that. Truth be told, I’ve done the if I got more sleep or there was no wind, rain, snow I could have run _ _: _ _, but I learned over time you can’t just assume that’s what you run, like you said you ran what you ran and that’s that. Onto the next. Good job and next time just say the heck with this, I’ve got it regardless.

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