What do you do when need to run a long run and need the motivation to get up early? Sign up for a race!
Let’s count the things that did not go like planned-
- Had stomach issues on Saturday but hoped they would go away by race morning.
- It didn’t, it was even worse. To the point where I had a complete change in wardrobe plans. If I could have run in a dress I would have. I needed the least amount of pressure possible.
- Ran in a skirt I haven’t worn in 2 years, probably qualified as something new on race day. Ditto to the Camelbak I decided to use.
- I was late leaving the house, then spent too much time at a Chevron station using the facilities due to above mentioned GI issue.
- Lost one of the zip ties for the timing chip. Found it again after tearing apart car.
- Strolled up to the start with 3 minutes to spare.
- Ran the race on Zero calories.
- With my back issues, I was thinking this would be slower than long run pace. My parents were meeting me at the finish line- I told them over a 2:30 finish.
Miles 1-4 9:38, 9:39, 9:44, 9:58
The race starts off downhill so I figured the first few miles would be my fastest but I had been thinking high 10’s. Mile 1 clocked in and I remember thinking “what the hell legs? We can’t maintain that”. Then mile 2 took freakin’ forever. I’ve run this course 5 times and I couldn’t figure why the hell it was taking so long so I finally looked at my watch. Mile 2.86. Oh I missed the mile marker, good to know I am not crazy. I was trying to not look at my watch but I knew my legs were still running a pace they had no business running. My friend Bix came up behind a little after mile 3. We chatted a bit before she pulled ahead a little after mile 4. I had to crash soon right?
Miles 5-8 10:20, 10:44, 11:13, 9:34
Mile 5 starts a long slow climb which I like as it loosens up any leg tightness I may have. I also took my first walk break as my back gave a tiny twinge. Mile 6 saw lots of walking as those stupid stomach issues came rearing back. Are you kidding me?!?! The last aid station at mile 4 and the next one wasn’t until past mile 7. I also was suddenly surrounded by people. What the hell? It was the 2:15 pace group. Wait, I was in front of the 2:15 pace group for 6 miles? What year is this? 2015? 😛 They pulled ahead but I kept them in my sights until the bigger hill on mile 7- more walking thanks to a cranky back. I wasn’t worried as I knew there was a downhill coming and I love downhills. As you can see by that mile 8 up there.
Miles 9-11 10:48, 12:34, 10:26
Catching up to the pace group was short lived. I lost them on the Bob Jones Trail. I was slowing down but what else do you expect when your longest run in 2 months has been 8 miles? I ran on the dirt on the side of the trail hoping it would lessen some of the pavement pounding but by mile 10- the biggest hill- my back was very not happy. I walked a lot and it shows in my mile time. I tried to stretch it out as I walked. Mile 11 was pretty good actually but I felt like I was crawling.
Miles 12-13.1 10:51, 11:40
Come on back, I’m so close! 2 miles to go! Run til I feel a twinge, walk it out, repeat. Ran alongside a woman for a bit, we commiserated over pains. She was having Plantar issues. She pulled ahead. Finally I hit mile 13 and all I had left was the longest .1 ever. Seriously- I swear this .1 is longer than any other race I have other run.
How, now? Under trained, messed up back, hot mess of a morning and I finish my fastest race in 2 years? In fact, my fastest race since City to the Sea 2015? How does that even make sense? I just decided to let my legs and back fight it out. I took my head out of the equation.
Maybe I need to try that more often? 😛🙂