Slow and Steady

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Respect the Distance

On Saturday I started writing this blog in my mind. In fact during my 20K I wrote it about a half dozen times. Possible subject titles considered:

  1. A Busy Busy Day (Why: at 5:30 am before I had to pump, drive 1.5 hours to a run, run about 3-4 hours before driving another 45 minutes to a 2 year olds bday party at a zoo only to drive another 1.5 hours home)
  2. Today I felt like a RUNNER (Why: at about mile 4 of my 12 miler. Damn I felt good)
  3. Living in the Valley has its price (Why: at about mile 5 during a 1.5 mile climb of about 750 feet. Not bad, just felt never ending, did I say never ending, because what I meant was NEVER. ENDING. Yeah we dont have hills where I live, hence the 1.5 hour drives for runs)
  4. Mental toughness (Why: During a very proud moment of a short steep climb that I ran to the top of without stopping at about mile 6.5)
  5. Liar (Why: when I was on a single track and all I could think of was the guy at the last aid station must have gotten his facts wrong when he said the next aid station was only 7k away. Really, the longest 7K ever. 100% gorgeous, but the last mile before the aid station seemed to last forever, must have been the uphill climbL)
  6. The World is Ending (Why: at mile 8.5 when my ITB acted up, again at about 10 when I realized that I could just about cry having to go another 2 miles and at mile 11 when I thought I was running, but my body voluntarily stopped and decided to walk with my approval, good thing I care what people think because I ran the last ¾ of a mile only so people wouldnt see me walking.)

The winner of this weeks blog title as you can see is: RESPECT THE DISTANCE

I have often allowed myself to participate in things for which I am obviously undertrained. The fact that I can still do many activities and finish, albeit slow, doesnt act as motivation to try harder to prepare. Saturday was such an example. I had not run a single step for this 20K save for the 8K flat as a pancake road race I did on 02/27/10. Here is my race report. I am proud I finished, but ashamed for taking it so lightly. I need to respect the distance. I did learn from this and am super excited & motivated to do better, try harder and be more prepared. As youll read below I now know what happens when you do not "respect the distance."

Race Report
Friday 03/19/10
Pre-Race meal: Friend had a bad day so we cracked a very nice bottle of wine early in the day
Went to a crab feed where I ate some bread, some pasta, lots of butter drenched crab and drank a tiny bit more. Went to sleep at about 11:30

Saturday 03/20/10
Woke up about 5:30
Pumped, No water or breakfast, Drove 1.5 hours to the Marin Headlands near San Francisco.
About ½ before race time I realized I had a granola bar in my gym bag and ate that (mixed nuts & peanut butter coating)

8:45 start
  • Initial climb was about 650 ft spread out over 1 mile (took me 23 minutes, yuck)
  • More climbing.
  • Nice decent to the first aid station (see Blog title #2)
  • Crazy long climb (see Blog title #3)
  • I went with Chompers by GU for my during race food. I also tried a single corn chip at the first aid station to get some salt in.bad idea. Minor gastric distress from miles 5-7. How 1 stupid chip can do that I am not even sure. I guess I need to pack some TUMS on my long runs just in case.
  • Nice straight aways, gorgeous single track with a couple climbs      
  • About 100 yards from the 2nd aid station my IT band hurt so bad I could barely walk down the awesome technical downhill preceding the aid station. I was so bummed. Being a slow runner I thrive on how much time I make up on the down hills. It is kind of ridiculous I know, but it is the only time I feel fast.
  • At the aid station I stopped to stretch my ITB and both my calves cramped. Not a little, not a threat of cramping, but CRAMPED!
  • I worked it out and knew I could Rock the last 3.5 miles. The last 3.5 miles are a gift from the race directors. Mostly flat with some gradual downhill. It is the time to dig into the reserves and punch it to the end.
  • WRONG! I ran with calves as tight and hard as tree trunks. Then my arches started to feel like they were blistering from the rub (new one for me). Tiny two foot drops on the trail made my ITB hurt. My hips stopped firing and I could feel my tush jiggle and make my hips hurt. Finally my legs voluntarily went from running to walking, no conscious decision there. I would say the first 1-1.5 miles were awesome, then as quickly as I thought I was feeling good, my body totally crashed and burned. This is what I get for not training and drinking alcohol the day before. Dehydration I am sure was a contributing factor.
  • I was actually afraid I would not be able to finish. Every step hurt. Every step muscles in places I didnt know existed threatened to cramp up. My world was ending. How I got to a place where I thought I was going to PR then a split second later was praying I could even finish walking is beyond me.
Finished: in 3:09:34 My PR at this race was 2:53:29. This was back in 2006 when it was a training run for my first and only marathon. Id like to think with more training I can out run my former self in the trail run middle distances now. Arent you supposed to get slower as you get older? I literally walked an amazing amount in that last 2.5 miles, I know with training, I could easily shave chunks of minutes off this time. At the finish, which is beach side, I quickly kicked off my shoes and hobbled as quickly as possible to soak in the cold ocean. Elite athletes do ice baths, I take a dip in the ocean. I would like to think it is the same desired result, muscle relief.
Post meal: Water, water, Sprite and a slice of bread with peanut butter.

Thank you RA and VG for getting me out there, I had such a great time, despite the complaining above. When's the next one?

1 comment:

Christi said...

Great job! You went out and conquered the race despite knowing you were not ready. That is crazy but still honorable!