Uggh I hate those moments in life where you realize you probably could have made a better choice and there isn't an ideal way to fix the issue so you just have to take the route you deem most appropriate and hope the fodder of it all has minimal impact on all those around you involved.
I should be celebrating a great race performance yesterday but instead there is a big elephant in the room so I am going to air that first and tomorrow or later in the week hopefully I will be able to write up a good race report that isn't tainted with controversy.
This weekend was the perfect 10 mile race. Coach had tasked me with a goal of running 65 minutes or 6:30 pace. That seemed aggressive to me but doable and although it was in my thoughts I didn't really have much time to plan or think about it because I was busy with a lot of other things last week. I didn't even know what time the race started or where it started until Saturday night around 9 pm when I called GP to find out if I could carpool with her on my way home from Michigan. Obviously I was not as prepared as normal for this but sometimes there are other important things going on that take precedent.
Keeping all that in mind I joked with my friend Thursday night that I could use his help pacing me on Sunday if he was willing to slow his roll a bit for me and wasn't intending to race all out. He said he would consider and I didn't think much about it after that, until I got to the line yesterday and he was there waiting to help me (I literally got to the line about 30 seconds before the start and had time for one stride and for coach to tell me to go out in the 6:20s and not freak out about it). I was there by a few of my fast girlfriends and I told them it looked like we could work with my pacer since he was there.
Little did I know we would all be vying for top places in the race and that having help may have been a factor in the results. I had no intentions of placing in this race and my only goal was to meet the time goal coach had set out for me. If I had any idea I could be in contention I never would have asked my friend to run with me and help me run my time.
Needless to say I ran very well and I have been wracked with guilt about it since. So today I emailed the race director and asked that they disqualify me and remove my name from the results. My only goal was to run a certain time and I really don't care about my place or prizes so this does not bother me at all. I just feel badly that I didn't think to do this directly after the race yesterday. And I also feel badly that any other runner may have let this affect their personal race as that was obviously not my intention.
On top of that I feel badly that I can't seem to relish in my good performance the way I should be able to. Pacer or not I ran well and worked very hard. I feel that performing well is a testament to my coach, my family, my friends, and my running club and I am sorry that I put myself in a position where I felt I had to take that away from myself and them.
Lesson learned. I am fast enough now that I can't run with friends anymore in order to achieve goal times, had I been a few minutes slower or had there been women there who ran a few minutes faster I would just be celebrating running a good race today instead of apologizing and trying to make amends. Now I know and won't put myself in that situation again.