Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How NOT to PR (aka EAS 10-Miler Race Report)

Sometimes you just have to prove to yourself why you DON'T do certain things...just to make sure you don't forget them again. Scratch that, no excuses. Here's what I will remember for next time.

1. Pre-Race Nutrition is important. Yes, go figure. It is probably a good idea to eat more than 4 digits worth of calories in total for the two days prior to a race.

2. Pre-Race Sleep is important. Yes, go figure. It is probably a good idea to sleep more than a total of 8 hours for the two days prior to a race.

3. Nutrition during the race is important. Yes, go figure. It is probably a good idea to replenish at some point during a 13-mile run. Also, water during that time is also a bonus!! Duh.

Sometimes a race is more about mental fortitude than about physical endeavor. This was one of those races for me. That being said, the course was challenging, but not surprising. We've been all over this course in our training so fortunately I knew what to expect. The wind was a great little twist to throw in there as well. I knew I didn't physically prepare appropriately for this race, but I was committed and it was going to happen. Nothing to do, but put one foot in front of the other and "get 'er done!"

During our little 3 mile warmup with Panther et al, Panther asked me, "how you doing?" I replied, "not so good today". "Oh boy" was his response. Oh boy, indeed. I went to pick up my race bib (see, I hadn't even done that...sheesh D...), got suited up and lined up (after a final potty stop, of course...). I weaved my way into the starting chute in a place I thought was appropriate for my goal pace of 7:48. I didn't see any of my regular pace cronies, but I figured it was just going to be that kind of a day anyway and popped my earbuds on and lined up my Go! playlist, but didn't turn it on yet.

The gun went off and it took about a minute to cross the start line. I didn't have to do too much weaving and running around to find some open space to run in once we turned onto Cesar Chavez. (Thank you race directors!)

Within the first mile, I knew it wasn't going to be a 10-mile goal pace day, so I tried to dial into my half-marathon pace, which I figured which is what I was really going to end up running anyway following the warm up.

It was GREAT to see Wiley early and often on the course. His white boy attempt at "Woot"-ing always brings a smile to my face. And speaking of often, HOW MANY GLENDA'S DID YOU SEE? I felt like I was in a Where is Waldo repeat. I swear I saw her 4 maybe 5 times! But I never saw her pass me on the road on her bike anywhere. I would see her, pass her by and then 3 miles later, there she was again! I don't think she's being writing gaming software, she's been working on a teleportation device disguised as her bike. Thanks Glenda, you were awesome!

It was also fantastic to see Ruth and Steve out on the course. It was even humorous to watch the paces of all the Rogues go up everytime they came into view and then settle back down once we got past them. Cracking me up!

Throughout the race, I followed the ABC plan and just reeled 'em in and picked them off as best I could. I also had a fun little cat and mouse game with a gal in a red bandana and two pigtails...it was a fun way to pass the miles. (She beat me in the end tho...damn.) I really miss having the ages on the leg like they do in triathlon...nothing like knowing exactly who (whom?) you are up against or who (whom?) you can go ahead and let pass you on by. Well, I guess I'm supposed to be running my own race anyway, right? Ooops...(hard to reign in that competitive spirit all the time...)

So my current half-marathon pace is supposed to be 7:55...but I couldn't even pull that together. I was just running on empty from the get go. I tried convincing my body to go and pull some of that stored energy I carry around on my backside (read: junk in my trunk) and use that for some fuel (for cripes sake), but I don't think it worked. So I just kept picking them up and putting them down, for the first time in a long time, just wanting to finish...not even worrying about finishing strong...just freakin finish. Even my tunes weren't picking me up like they usually do. Today it was just going to have to get done solo.

And I DID! Lord knows it wasn't pretty...by any stretch of the imagination...but it was done. Definitely a mind over matter kind of a morning. I skipped the cool down with the group and instead had a private pity party, downed a couple waters and pulled myself together.

Met up with the group afterwards for a great post-race tailgate. Big thanks to Gina for bringing the beers (even my fav: miller lite) and Wiley for ALL the chairs (this guy is PREPARED!). And we even had a guest appearance by Sisson and Ruth! It was actually just the thing I needed. You guys are awesome. Blue Thunder (and the Lightning Bolts of course) ROCK!

According to my watch, here are my paces by mile:

Mile 1: 7:59
Mile 2: 8:05
Mile 3: 8:12
Mile 4: 8:01
Mile 5: 8:11
Mile 6: 8:05
Mile 7: 7:50
Mile 8: 7:58
Mile 9: 7:51
Mile 10: 8:21

Official run-far times:
1st 5 miles: 40:31.3 (8:06/M)
2nd 5 miles: 40:06.6 (8:01/M)

Total Time: 1:20:37.9 (8:04/M)
AG Finish: 18th

So, didn't hit my 10-mile or my half-marathon pace, but was able to negative split...EVEN with just mailing in the last mile. (8:21...WTF?..... I was so done with the race at that point...)

It's good to know that I can dig deep and just finish if I need to....I have a scary feeling the last 8 of the marathon are kinda like that anyway! And technically, since this was my first 10-miler race ever, it was a PR. Good news is that next year I will TOTALLY PR!!!

Sigh...thank goodness that freakin' race is over. phew.


Mark said...

You negative split, that's nice. And didn't go out too fast in the first mile, that's nice. The final 800m were overly hard, so other than that a nice consistent pace. Good job.

Scooter said...

Congrats on sticking to it & finishing your first 10-miler! On a cycling note, hopefully you can join us out on Parmer, at lunch, next time? : )

Katie said...

Great job in digging deep!!!

BTW- red bandana, pig-tails is Brenda we call her 5'10"...you should shout that out next race if y'all play cat & mouse. It will totally throw her a loop;-)

Kris said...

Oh, honey, how I can relate! That's a character-builder right there, and we all need one of those every now and then--it keeps us humble and makes us stronger. Be proud and happy you finished. WOOT!!