That stinkin’ thinkin’ rears it’s ugly head.

I waited on this post. Mulling over how to post it, whether to post it…HOW to post it. I am one of those annoyingly happy people. You know, the kind you want to punch in the face because they always look on the bright side of life. When it comes to running though…I’m not always my bright and sunshiny self. I get creeping thoughts in my brain that aren’t so sugary sweet. Thoughts like “Why am I running?” “I look like an idiot” “This is stupid, I should pull over, sit on a curb and have a doughnut….oooooooh doughnut!” “I hate roads, roads are for cars”

OK, you get the idea. A couple weeks ago, at the Harmon Farms trail race…my thoughts were amazingly positive. I ended up have a great race.

Last week, on September 19 I ran Espirit de She 10K in Maple Grove. Something sinister happened at this race. I’ll blame aliens or something. I’m pretty sure that they were angry that I was on the road again. Or maybe I wore the wrong underwear. Whatever it was, here’s the story.

I woke up for work and packed my running bag as I would be going from work directly to the race. This awesome lady who I hadn’t met as of yet, Julie S, was going to go out of her way and pick me up to drive me out to Maple Grove for the event. I’m unable to drive due to my epilepsy so have to lean on people for rides once and awhile. How cool is it that a stranger was willing to grab me? I know– super fab. THANKS JULIE!

Work was busy. It’s always busy. I got stuff done. I’m good at that, because I’m me. I HAVE GO GETTERNESS. Digging in my bag, I realized in the frenzy to pack running stuff, I forgot to pack my Sobe, my lunch, and some other stuff that was kind of important. I guess at least I had my Garmin, my sunglasses and my running shoes right?

I went to the work freezer…took someones gas station sandwich and left a note with my name, an apology about being hungry, and an offer for a replacement gas station sandwich or money. Yes, I know this is a terrible thing to do. Slap me now. It looked frostbit and old and had been there for at least a month so I figured it was safe to take. Sure enough it’s been over a week and no one has come looking for me yet. It was actually pretty tasty in that frostbit gas station sandwich sort of way. I got some animal crackers out of the vending machine for dessert and drank some water from the culligan machine and called it a win for lunch.

Julie pulled up at 4pm and I climbed into her sweet BMW convertible. I had never been in a convertible before. It was windy. I wore my shades so I’d look cool and so I’d match Julie…she was wearing hers. There was a lot of traffic on the way to the race but we made it with plenty of time to park in a spot near the start.

I wandered the start area and ended up buying an Espirit de She headband in order to calm my hair which had turned into a lions mane due to the wind in the convertible. I figured I would be polite and not poke the other runners with my curlyfrands.

I ran into a bunch of friends– YAY I LIKE FRIENDS. Lori G was porta pottying due to emerg-a-pee and we humortexted until she popped into view and due to her I got to meet a NEW friend, Apreckchya K.  The speedy Richelle S. was there and excited to get her nails done in prep for her race in Canada, and Kimberly M. was her sparkly self bouncing around in the start area. I think I saw some others but my brain got a little cloudy– sorry if I missed someone!

Soon it was time to go line up at the starting area. Runners were doing dance aerobics and a hovercraft was taking videos. The hovercraft thing creeped me out and I kept ducking in case it did a nose dive.

Of course some photos were taken at the start– we were happy!

Apeckchya, Lori, Sarah

Apeckchya, Lori, Sarah


Sarah, Kimberly, Julie

AND GO! I was off and running. This race was a looped course…as in run a 5K twice.

Mile 1–  I felt fine. I was running. In a race. I like races. YAY RACING.    8:18 pace

Mile 2– we moved from the road…to a very narrow path. It was crowded. I got a little annoyed. One of my shoes came untied and I had to pull over and tie it. I had to weave around people. I got more annoyed. The “YAY RACING” disappeared by I replaced the thought with “I’m a little teapot” in repetition….              8:54 pace

Mile 3– hillier. still narrow. why won’t people move? Never mind. I don’t want to be here. Uh oh. Thoughts…”tree..path…tree…stick…teapot”          9:01 pace

Mile 4–  at about 3.14 the loop began again. As I ran past the ‘finish line’ and started over, my brain went way south. The 5K split that read across the mat was 27:24. I didn’t want to go on the loop again. Honestly, I thought– I should stop here. Who would care? I could get a beer. Then I saw my husband. He cheered loudly. And I ran onto the second loop. I cursed myself and once out of site I WALKED for at least 30 seconds and kicked the ground a few times thinking about turning around “I DON’T WANT TO RUN ANYMORE” and then…I ran and finished mile 4.      9:46 pace

starting up the second loop.

starting up the second loop.

starting up the second loop-- hubby took this and is why I continued on to the second loop

starting up the second loop– hubby took this and is why I continued on to the second loop

Mile 5– the stinkin’ thinkin’ didn’t stop. I bumped into 5K walkers here. 3 abreast on a narrow path. I tried to smile and say excuse me. They had headphones or were talking. I got irritated. I SHOULD WALK TOO. No I should run. I’m running. I quit. NO RUN. No quit. Why am I doing this? This is boring. I already saw this. Weave…weave…. Go…go…NO.   I did not feel happy.     9:42 pace

Mile 6– I tried to tell myself that I was almost done. To go faster. That there was beer at the end. Anything happy was crowded out by aliens. They had invaded my brain entirely by now. I kept hitting big crowds of 5K walkers. I would shrug and blame and weave slowly or walk right with them for a few seconds because really…who cares. I wasn’t meant to run. Running is stupid. Then I’d kick myself and run. Then it’d happen again and again and again. Whenever I heard a cheer I think I snarled. This was not a good place to be.  I was definitely not happy.     9:56 pace

coming into the finish line. see my eyes? that's the  aliens.

coming into the finish line. see my eyes? that’s the aliens.

Last 0.25  Oh blah it’s the finish! I saw it. I didn’t even race for it. This is where I knew that this race had gone way south. The finish was uphill. I ran…but didn’t sprint and then went across and just ‘stopped’  I didn’t even stop my Garmin until a bit afterwards. Suddenly I was happy again– there were friends…there was my hubby and I WAS DONE.

crossing the finish line. Lori G took this. THANKS LORI-- my mood changed when I saw friends.

crossing the finish line. Lori G took this. THANKS LORI– my mood changed when I saw friends.

6.25 miles– 57:44

Happy after the race-- see it does come back. The aliens have left the building (or brain- whatever)

Happy after the race– see it does come back. The aliens have left the building (or brain- whatever)

So what happened here? Harmon Farms was 10 miles, hilly and uneven terrain and I ran awesomely.. this race was a touch over 6  miles, mild rollers and paved and I ran terribly.
It was all mental. Running is nearly all mental and only a little bit physical. Our bodies are capable of amazing stuff but we have to believe it and want it. When our mind gets in the way– we crash and burn. Obviously I have some work to do on my ‘mental toughness’

Always learning right?

What’s next?

Mankato Half is coming up in a few weeks, then Monster Half a week later and then….I signed up for Icebox 480 on Nov. 9. an 8 hour trail race in River Falls, WI.  Don’t worry your pretty heads- I don’t actually have to go the full 8 hours. A post about it will come shortly.

This post is brought to you by recovering mindset.



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