I wasn’t sure last night when I went to bed whether I would be racing today or attempting to run long. Rock N Roll Vegas Marathon had been a last minute decision, one that I hadn’t made when I decided to sign up for Potomac River Running’s Run With Santa 5K.

I love racing. I love marathons but racing short gives you the option of racing every weekend.

When my alarm went off I quietly thought to myself – who are you kidding? Why wouldn’t you run? You know you will regret it.

I love the moments leading up to a race. I love blasting music in the car alone and singing – riding the pre-race high.

I love the jittery moments before the gun goes off.

I love the moments after the gun goes off and I get passed, passed by what feels like everyone in the race. I silently say to myself – patience – patience.

I love the moments when I start to pass people, yet I also love the moments when I look ahead and see someone I thought I could catch start to gain distance on me. It makes me hungry. Hungry for speed. Hungry to run more. Hungry to one day pass that person in a race.

I love the moments leading up to the final sprint to the finish. I’m running my fastest and giving what I think is my all, when I see the finish line and suddenly there is more left in the tank. The world is quiet. I don’t hear people in these last feet. I have tunnel vision and the goal is to get to the finish as fast as I can – gaining time in the home stretch.

When I looked at my watch in the final stretch today I saw 20:xx. I had told myself prior to the race that I would run what the day gave me. I had run a marathon less than 7 days before, but that I wanted 20:xx and that I would push to get it.

Mile 1 felt relaxed.

Mile 1: 6:35

I was running smart.

Mile 2: 6:26

Mile 3 is flat for half of it and then it’s up hill. It’s deceiving because it’s not a giant climb at first glance but it goes up for the rest of the mile. I was running sub 6:26 for the first half and when I looked at my watch during the climb I was running in the 8’s.

Mile 3: 7:03

I ran what the day gave me and what my legs had in me. Though I knew I was no where near a PR I was not going to give up because of one slower-than-I-wanted mile.

Mile .14: 6:29 avg

I love the finish. I love the feeling of your chest heaving up and down. I love the momentary feeling that you might get sick. I love walking around with my hands on my head trying to catch my breath knowing that I gave it my all on that day.

Every Potomac River Running Race I’ve run has always gone off with out a hitch, this race was no exception.  Parking was a breeze, the start and finish easy to find, spectator friendly course, nice long sleeve technical race shirt. Definitely recommend this if you are looking for a local 5K in December – overall a great race. Only suggestion I have is that if you run this race in the future, pick up your packet the day before rather than waiting till race morning – the lines were VERY long this morning.

This race left me feeling torn. I want too much when it comes to running. I want to run races every weekend. I want to be fast at short stuff and fast at long stuff.

I’m not sure what to do about a spring marathon. I want to run one, yet I don’t.

I want to run Boston but I did not sign up. I want to run B & A but it’s not starting and finishing where it did before and that was part of why I liked it. I want to run Rock N Roll USA but it is the same day as B & A Marathon. I want to run Reston Marathon since it is the inaugural year but I know it’s going to be hilly and I don’t know if it’s in me to train all winter long to run a hilly marathon course. I also want to take a break from marathons for a little, I want to run short races every weekend and see if I can get my PR’s down. I want too much when it comes to running.

As I write this – my mind tells me that I need marathons. They are a part of me and the thought of waiting 9+ months to run another just doesn’t fly……

I’m tired of inner struggle.

I resolve to be in the moment more and plan less. Spring marathons, just like everything else in my life, will fall into place. It always does – right?

Today was a good day. A very good day.


  1. Congrats!! What an amazing time! You’re so speedy and such an inspiration!

    I know that torn feeling. I have so many running goals. A lifetime’s worth. Which is good in a way because I know I will always have something to work towards, but I’m so impatient, I want to achieve them all straight away. And it can be hard to pick and chose what to focus on.

    You’ll find you’re way. I have no doubt. And you’ll know when the time comes what the right choice is for you.

  2. I understand all those feelings, especially given that I’m dealing with a sort of injury. But you also ran 3 marathons quite close together! You don’t need to figure out what 2013 will look like quite yet, though it’s fun to dream! I have no races on my agenda, except maybe a New Year’s race with a friend (i.e. no PR).

  3. You’re amazing! I’m sure you will find a way to get your racing on. I’m itching to race too, although I’m no where near as fast as you. There is nothing that compares to the feeling of running with a bunch of other people that crave the same things as you!

  4. I understand so well the desire to do more and train for more in general run more. I am torn between having another baby or putting everything into training for a marathon. I want more kids and I’m not getting younger but I have a desire to run long, and I don’t tolerate running long while pregnant. So marathon or kid?? I hate to start training and then not be able to follow through also. Hm let’s see where life takes us

  5. GREAT RACE! don’t worry about the spring marathons. Everything will fall into place. you run enough that if you decided a month out to run one in April, you could easily do it! Have fun with running, don’t make it stressful! I have to remind myself of that a lot. It’s easy to get caught up in all the racing, pacing, training and planning!

  6. Great race! I love the feeling of pushing hard during races! I’m looking for a spring marathon, too!

  7. Love the Santa 5k in Reston! I was supposed to run it with my kids (them doing the fun run), but we’ve all been sick. I just started training today for the Reston half marathon that is in March!

  8. Ah, I feel the same way! Every time I hear about another race I think, “I want to do that!” The list is longer than both my arms. 😉 I was signed up to Run with Santa but my calf started talking to me the night before and, after having my husband tape it I realized how ridiculous it was to try to race. I told myself I wouldn’t race it but who was I kidding – the adrenaline would kick in, I’d start racing, and before I knew it I’d retear the muscle. So I stayed home, read books with my kids, went for a swim, and decided it was the right decision, even though I wanted to be racing so badly! Glad you had a good race and awesome job just one week after RnRLV!

  9. Great job, especially considering it is only 7 days after a marathon. Most people don’t even walk pain-free in 7 days! LOL

  10. Congrats on an awesome 5K time! You are in fact fast at the short and the long stuff and this is just another piece of proof :) Good luck on making decisions on your spring racing schedule. Looking forward to reading about the journey. I’ve signed up for a 15K in January and my first trail race (20K) at the beginning of March. I’m looking forward to the change in pace and race distance. Good luck!

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