Today’s suggested Tuesdays on the Run subject is post race celebrations. Mine look a lot like this: foam roll, maybe yoga, maybe, then lay down and start trolling facebook/instagram. Often I’m not hungry for hours after a long, hard run. And it might take me hours to get into the shower, too, even though I sweat heavily and am pretty disgusting.
For instance, Sunday, after my 15k, I had a snack immediately post race. Then it was almost 3 hours later before I made some pancakes and even then, I wasn’t terribly hungry. If only my body would stand up to running 10 miles a few times a week . . . but I digress.
I run 13.1 and my husband, who is usually just hanging around waiting for me, is tired. In fairness to him, I’ve usually woken him up far earlier than he’s accustomed to and then he has to hang around with nothing to do for almost 3 hours. Being sedentary is hard work, y’all.
So I thought I’d write about a subject I’ve been thinking about for quite some time.
For the longest time I’ve had such envy over those lovely race photos it seems everyone but me takes during a race. How can you stop to take that many photos and still run so much faster than me?
I have professional photos from some of my races; photos my husband has taken (mostly start and finish lines), but none taken by me during my races. Until this past weekend.
Maybe it was the fact that this wasn’t a goal race. Maybe it was the fact that it was a gorgeous day. Maybe it was the fact that I was guaranteed a PR, given that 15k was a new distance for me.
I didn’t plan to stop and take photos; it just happened.
Did stopping for photos slow me down?
I don’t know, obviously, since I’ve never run 15k or this particular race before. But I can tell you that I believe these were the fast 9 miles I have ever run. I certainly haven’t run any of my half marathons at an average pace below 12 minutes — not even close.
My long runs are definitely slower than race pace, so they’re not below a 12 minute pace, either.
Of course there’s also the little fact that a half is 4 miles longer and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have maintained that pace for another 4 miles. Looking at my last half, though, I was definitely slower for those first 9 miles — of course, since I had another 4 miles to go. There wasn’t a single mile with a pace below 12 mm in those first 9 miles; in fact, there was only 2 miles below 12 mm in the entire race.
My 15k, on the other hand, only had 2 miles that were above 12 mm.
The question remains: would my pace have been even faster if I hadn’t stopped for those photos? Again, we’ll never know. Not even if I run the same race next year. Because the truth is the same race is never the same: conditions are always different. Your fatigue level, your training level, your fueling, the weather, how you feel that particular day — the only thing that stays the same is that nothing ever stays the same.
Did taking photos make the race more enjoyable?
I may be slow, but it’s not for lack of trying. I am constantly surprised to be surrounded by people walking when I’m running. And huffing and puffing.
Darlene kindly froze her tuchus off to hang around and watch me finish (over 20 minutes! I’m not sure I’d be as nice if the tables were turned). She took my photo crossing the finish line. She called my name — apparently multiple times. I had no idea, because at the end of the race I am in the zone and I have tunnel vision on one thing and one thing only — getting across that finish line as quickly as possible so I can stop running!
I’m going to say that yes, taking those photos did make the race more enjoyable. They’re a really nice memento. Maybe those little mini breathers even helped (even though I do a loose Galloway so I’m getting a mini breather every 4 minutes anyway).
That’s the $64,000,000 question, right? Will I continue to take photos at races?
And the answer is maybe. Would I do it in a goal race? I don’t know. This wasn’t a goal race for me. Just like racing, whether or not I stop to take race photos again will depend on a lot of factors: the weather, how my race is going, whether or not it’s a scenic race, whether it’s a goal race or a fun run (hmmm, photos during Last Run? except it’s at night and cold — but maybe).
The real bottom line is can you stop to smell the roses, so to speak, and still push yourself? Our running coach for USAFit always tells us we can, and should.
Do you think taking race photos helps your race?