New Year’s Day Racing & Operation wtf-am-i-doing-BQ

Before New Years I joked that my 2020 resolution would be to not worry about the weather, especially when it comes to my pre-race rituals. I laughed, my friends laughed, and I rationalized why it’s better for me to worry about the weather than my race day expectations because let’s face it, I WILL WORRY about something. When New Years Day came, I found myself whining about the “feels like 15” degree weather before a 5 mile race. New year, same me.

Just for fun, I will rationalize my race day weather whining. I only signed up for this race three days prior to the event, as they discounted it to 40% off for 40 degree weather. Then, the day before the race it snowed! We haven’t had any real, lasting snowfall in Madison. There’s been limited opportunity to run it it and get the legs acclimated to using muscles differently in snow/icy road conditions.

The day before the race I did an eight mile long run for charity in the new, fresh snow. During the run my calves were screaming NO! STOP! I should have known better and cut it short. Good reminder, don’t be a hero!

Race morning I did a quick warm up, with my Garmin reading a 7:35 pace which made me think this will be easy! The race started, with the first half mile being very crowded, and the footing was noticeably slippery. I tucked in behind a group of ladies, running what I felt was controlled and strong. In the second mile there was a 180 degree turn on a patch of snow/ice. It was after that I fell apart, not quite hitting my “good day” splits. The 5K back to the finish was a struggle!

My splits were: 7:35, 8:03, 8:10, 8:09, 8:06.

Please don’t suggest that I went out too fast. It felt controlled and manageable. It was the 180 degree turn when I lost that control. After I finished I was a bit disappointed, wondering who the heck I am trying to BQ this year. I need an eight minute mile for 26 miles, I couldn’t even do it for five on this day. Discouraged, but I know that this is a great finish with all things considered.


Five days later I took on my first long run in what I call Operation wtf-am-i-doing-BQ. A few weeks ago I was pumped and excited to take this training on. Now that it’s real–Halp, I’m scared! These miles are so uncomfortable and full of wtf-am-i-doing thoughts. My long run plan was to run to a one-mile loop and do seven one-mile repeats at an eight minute mile pace, with 0.25 mile recovery. To make it fun, and give me a reason to whine about the weather, I had 20mph wind to battle too.

I don’t know how I did it, but my mile repeat splits were:

7:37, 7:51, 7:42, 7:48, 7:47, 7:52, 7:53

I walked during my 0.25 mile recovery, wondering how the heck I will run these splits twenty-six times in a row. It seems so impossible right now. In this kind of training does one see the light at the end of the tunnel, or is it wtf-am-i-doing throughout the entire thing?



  1. Do you remember last year when you thought the paces you are currently running were crazy fast and completely out of your wheel house?! Well guess what?! You’ve grown and changed!! You are more fit!! You are stronger!! You are braver!! You are more resilient!! You are one bada$$ butterfly!! Spread your wings and soar!! You may think wtf-am-i-doing throughout the training, but those thoughts will get fewer and fewer throughout the training. Believe! And yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel in whatever color you want it to be!


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