After spending the past couple of days reconstructing and analyzing the events of the Japan Day debacle (there are still gaps in the story where my memory still fails me), I realize that the main reason why I raced so hard and ran so fast at the start wasn’t really about the P.R. After all, I’ve been in plenty of similar situations before, where I started a race planning for or anticipating a P.R., yet have never lost control of my speed to the point where I’m threatening to pass out. So why was my Sunday race any different? Well, the truth is that beyond the time, beyond the PR, what I wanted the most of out that race was a personal breakthrough performance.
Honestly, it has been way too long since I’ve run a “good” race. It didn’t happen in Brooklyn (because I had to help a friend). It didn’t happen in Jersey (because I was sick and it was too hot). It didn’t happen in Ragnar NY (since my pace was far below what I had anticipated) and it didn’t quite happen in the Flushing 13.1 either (because well, I got lost!). In fact, the last time I finished a race in a somewhat respectable time was way back in March, when I ran the Blues, Salsa & Shamrock 5K and got a PR! That’s a long time ago! In between these races, my training has been a never-ending revolving door of sickness and injuries, false starts and DNS-es. So yes, it is readily apparent to me that my overwhelming passion to PR this race as a sign of my official comeback may have clouded my judgment and made me throw caution to the wind. But then again, I’ve never passed out in a race before. How could I have known that I could get in so much trouble with just a 4 mile race?
Yes, I do consider myself fortunate to have survived the debacle with barely a scratch on my body. However, I am still disappointed that I wasn’t able to finish the race with not even a mile left to go. I’m also disappointed that I allowed my personal pride to dominate and take my running to a risky and dangerous place. With yet another failed run, my summer of fruitless racing continues. My confidence in running has not been the same since the spring ended. I wonder if and when my next opportunity for a comeback race will be. I wonder if I’ll be ready. I wonder when I’ll be able to find myself in running and racing again. These are the questions I have that still remain unanswered. I hope I can find answers to them soon!