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It’s race weekend!!!
Dang that one snuck up on me fast! Well, truthfully, June snuck up on me. Where did it come from? 😛
My first Rock n Roll race is this weekend!!!! I’m not counting last year’s DNS. 😕 Dude, is this thing as big as I think it’s going to be? I mean I’ve run Surf City and San Francisco but I have a feeling this is about to make those seem like small potatoes. For example- I know there are at least 32 corrals. 32?! Holy crap! I’m somewhere in the middle there but that’s a lot of people in front of me and a lot of people behind me.
I am looking forward to this weekend. This should be my biggest expo (Rock n Roll – you better live up to this!!) and I am looking forward to meeting some blogging and IG friends in real life. Yay!!!
Then there’s the city itself. I have family there but I haven’t been since I was like 7 or something so I remember nothing. I’ve heard great things so I can’t wait to see it with adult eyes. Expensive parking aside, grrr. My hotel is pretty close to the finish line for the finish line festival ( and the bay!). I think. I’ve been known to mess up hotels before. Funny, stressful moment- I actually changed hotels a few weeks ago and realized on Thursday that I had never canceled the original booking. Oh crap!
I am torn on what shoes to run in. I’ve been running in Adidas UltraBoost X but the farthest I’ve run in them is 8 miles. They are also slightly too big. But then my Brooks aggravate my calves for the first 3-4 miles and I just hope they loosen up. Hmmm, there’s a lot of questions there.
I may also be taking a trolley to the start. Holy crap, first time in pubic transportation. Well, unless Uber counts. But I’m still on the fence about that, mostly because I haven’t figured out how it works, haha.
Focus– Keep calm and don’t freak out about the weird leg pain 😝😓
By Monday morning, my left leg was feeling better so I was hopeful that was the end of my weird leg pain. I was optimistic about returning to running as usual. However if you read my Prepping for SLO post, you know I was suffering what must have been the taper crazies. Except as I write this, I realize that I didn’t taper. My mileage stayed the same. Oops.
Monday- 4 miles I headed out after work for what I hoped would a nice, easy run testing my new shoes for the first time, Skechers GoRun Ride. I kept it pretty easy and my legs felt ok. My shins were a little achy but overall it was a good run. The shoes felt pretty good but I wasn’t going to push it. 4 mile test run and then I put the shoes away for the rest of the week.
Tuesday- 5 miles More easy paced miles. I had only planned on running 3-4 miles but I felt pretty good so I kept going. I ran a slightly different route than usual and it ended with a pretty sweet downhill. I’ve noticed that it takes me a good 2-3 miles to warm up now so most of my runs feel better at the end. I actually negative split this run. I also got to run past the creepiest ice cream truck ever. First of all, I didn’t even know they still existed. Also you could see where they had painted over the old logo on the truck. Apparently, in its former life it was an electrician’s truck. Ummm, no thank you.
Wednesday- Rest Pizza night and it was pretty yummy.
Thursday- 3 miles My leg felt fine all week and that lasted until around 4 PM Thursday. I was standing at my boss’s desk talking to her and I felt the same muscle/ tendon/whatever shift again. Seriously?! Cue a dull ache and some limping. Grrr.
I caved and headed to the lake. With my leg being off, I figured flat and easy access to my car would be a good thing. I ran headphone free and with my pepper spray and paid extra attention. Which was also a good thing as there were some new additions to the path-
Friday- Rest Stupid leg. I wore heals today as my legs usually feel better in them than flats. I also sat a lot.
Saturday- SLO Expo day!! I wasn’t running but I knew the expo would be a bit of walking, so I made sure to wear actual running shoes instead of flip flops. My leg/hip felt a little better but again I was planning on moving as little as possible. The expo was laid out different than previous years and seemed smaller. But let’s talk about the really important part. SLO Ambassador meetup!!
It was great getting to catch up with everyone I met last year as well as meeting the new ambassadors. Our jackets are super nice if a little big. 😏 I’ve been feeling super fluffy lately and not liking pictures of myself but I had to share this one. Check out that photobomb!
Sunday -SLO Marathon 13.1 I didn’t fall!!! Other than that, the details will be in the recap on Wednesday. 🙂
Overall, it was a varied week. Running was ok but my weird leg thing kept lingering. Thursday ached the most and Friday was uncomfortable. Apparently I forgot how to do math since 25 miles is on the higher end for me. Oops. Speaking of mileage, let’s talk about April–
Hot damn, I think that’s my second highest mileage month ever. Maybe third. Wait, no, I just checked- this April was my highest mileage month ever. I really thought I had had a higher one. Guess there all no limits to the denial I was living in. Higher mileage aside, April was a stressful, emotional month. All of that meant poor sleep; combine that with all the running and I am so tired. I relied on a little too much coffee and soda to keep me going. Going into May, my mileage should keep increasing but I am hoping for some better sleep and less reliance on caffeine, fingers crossed.
I ain’t even mad, bro.😀. Actually my new motto might be “just hang on”. But before we get into that, let’s talk about the expo real quick.
Saturday dawned rainy and windy. Those running the 5k ran in the rain. The rain had cleared by the time I arrived to pick up my packet and attend the ambassador meet and greet. Picking up my packet was super easy and I wandered around the expo before heading out to the meet. I was there less than 10 minutes before I spent money at the Lorna Jane booth. Oops, but since that was the only thing I bought, I think I showed restraint!
The meet up was outside and it was so damn windy, I thought we were going to blow away. It was nice catching up with the repeat ambassadors from last year and meeting the new ones. A few of them I had been trying to meet since the Ventura half. It was so windy and cold that after chatting, getting our shirts and taking some pics, we all scattered to do our own thing. I headed home to rest a bit and figure out food. I had been having a mental struggle all week, going back and forth between following my new diet rules or following conventional running wisdom. Spoiler- I chose wrong.
Sunday was supposed to dawn cold and windy, so I tried to prepare for that. I didn’t feel like I got enough sleep and my stomach was cranky but neither of those are new things on race morning so I didn’t pay too much attention. My mom was dropping me off so I didn’t have to catch the 4am bus to the start. I got to the start with 15 minutes to spare so I figured I would hit the port-a-potty line just to be sure. The lines were huge. By the time I got out of there, they had moved the corrals up to the start line, oops.
Miles 1-5- 9:25, 9:14, 9:20, 9:36, 8:31
The whistle blew and we were off- sort of. I ended up starting behind the 2:45 pacer. Rutro. My fault but the first mile and a half were spent bobbing and weaving. I dropped the 2:45, 2:30, and 2:15 pace groups when I decided I just needed to run my own race and not worry about catching the 2:00 pace group. In one way it was freeing not having to worry about keeping them in sight. It meant I had to pace myself and while I knew breaking 2:00 was unlikely, I was feeling strong and thought I could PR- sub 2:05.
We hit the first of the long hills and I still felt good going up. Last year at this time I was already sucking air and tiring out. Thanks to all the weaving I did at the start, my Garmin and the mile markers didn’t match so I just checked my total time at each of the course markers. I was feeling pretty good as we the flat section before turning up another long climb.
Miles 6-8- 9:36, 11:25, 9:29
About a 1/4 mile into 6, my stomach started to make itself known. I began to wonder if I was going to have an issue. But wasn’t even the biggest thing to happen that mile. Maybe it’s because I was focused intently on telling myself I was fine and not paying attention to much else, but the next thing I knew, I was airborne.
It’s still kind of blur but I remember hitting the ground and rolling. My water bottle ended up about 10 feet down the course. WTF?! About 5 different runners stopped their race to come help me. Some helped me up while one chased down my bottle. A bike medic was there in seconds. I was kind of in shock/ denial, so I honestly don’t remember if I thanked all of them. I posted a big shout out to them on my Facebook page but I feel bad if I didn’t say it right then. 😔 I assured the medic I was ok and kept running. It was few yards later that it all set in and then I was trying to talk myself out of hyperventilating myself into an asthma attack.
Eventually I calmed down and I was still on track to PR. Halfway through mile 6, my stomach let me know that I needed a bathroom and I needed it now. There were no bathrooms at that point. I had to start walking because it was either walk or embarrass myself. I walked the rest of 7 just taking deep breaths. I felt a little better by the turn around so I picked up the pace. I said goodbye to the PR hope but knew I could still beat last years course time even with the fall and the walking. At mile 8, I was 4 minutes ahead of a last year.
Miles 9-11- 13:01, 9:48, 9:54
Around 8.5, my stomach reared again. I was near an aid station so I looked for bathrooms. I finally found them off to side and back away and bolted for them. Not sure if I looked urgent or if he did this the whole race but there was a volunteer who directed me to which port-a-potty was open. Thank you!
After that snafu, I was back running but had slowed a bit. Shockingly enough I was still on track to beat last year’s time. I just had to stay under a 10:00 pace the last few miles. My legs felt strong; bruised and bleeding but strong. My mental game still felt on point as well. Despite the morning so far, I wasn’t defeated and I wasn’t giving up. We had a nice decline portion before we went from the roads to the railroad trail. I knew there was the suspension bridge and a few streets left before the finish line and I was still hopeful.
Miles 12-13.1- 10:37, 12:49, 2:17
Mile 12 slowed some towards the end thanks to my stomach again but I thought if I could a 9:00 for the last mile and sprint the .1, I could still pull this off. I shouldn’t have gotten cocky. My stomach threw a fit in the last mile. Why are there no bathrooms at mile 12.5?! Ha! There were 2 times I had to get myself completely off the road, out of the way and just stand still, focusing on deep breathing and calming my stomach. My fastest pace was now a jog but I was mostly walking.
It felt like more than 100 people passed me in that last mile. Including the 2:15 pace group. The last .25 mile is a paved path that goes around the pavilion at the Madonna Inn and I had been looking forward to sprinting it. I walked 90% of it before jogging across the finish line. Half marathon#12 done.
Where I wanted to sprint
Once I crossed the finish line and got my medal- which I feel like I fought for!- I was looking for a bathroom. I had wanted a finishers picture but the line had about 50 people in it and that was just not going to happen. I also should have stopped at the medical tent but I had other priorities. Plus, my arm warmers had done a pretty good job of drying the blood.
My mother found me fairly quickly and we headed for the back of the pavilion where the port-a-potties and UPS trucks (bag check) were. After that, I made it as far as the grass by the trucks and just tried to calm my rolling stomach. I wanted to try to find some of the ambassadors and see how they did but was just not up to moving. I had eaten nothing and had drank very little throughout the race as I knew my stomach was just not up to it. I let myself have a bit of the chocolate strawberry protein smoothie that Jamba Juice made for the finishers. It tasted like a Frosty. 🙂 We ended up leaving not long after that, I was feeling rough again and couldn’t handle another port-a-potty, so we headed to the McDonald’s down the street. Real bathrooms and I got an ice-cold Diet Coke. Oh the magical healing properties. 🙂
Like I said at the beginning, I am not mad or even sad. There were quite a few times throughout the race where I could have said screw it and bailed or phoned it in (see Ventura) but I knew I was stronger than that. My legs were feeling fresh, tumble not withstanding, my head was in the game and I was determined. I think that’s one thing that came out of my McMillan training plan that I wasn’t anticipating- the confidence. I knew I could I do it, and I still honestly believe that if it hadn’t been for my stupid stomach, I would have PR’d, hills, fall, headwind and all. Yes, the wind had picked up and was pretty bad but by that point it was the least of my concerns. 🙂 So with everything that race morning threw at me, I am damn proud of that 2:15.I love this race. I love the course and the crowds. The expo is still my favorite and the volunteers and staff are amazing. Seriously, I think the bike medic was there before I stopped rolling. I am already looking forward to next year.
Ever fallen while running? This was my first time.
It’s race week!!!! I hit 2 out of 3 planned workouts, that’s a good thing right?
My training plan called for actual workouts this week so that was new. Usually I embrace taper for all its worth and run lazily once or twice leading up to the race. However the plan wanted 2 easy runs and 1 interval or fartlek workout. Hmmm, ok. I headed out Tuesday and marked off my easy run. It was one of those runs that wasn’t awesome but didn’t suck so it was just meh. My one complaint was the wind. I am so over the wind. It has been windy here for two weeks- it’s never windy around here. It just makes things so much colder.
My stomach was feeling pissy, so I pushed Wednesday’s speed work to Thursday. Yay, more wind…and I ran in a tank top. I was so cold but this was also intentional. The forecast calls for rain on Saturday and wind on Sunday so I figured I may as well get used to it. Plus I was testing out a new shirt. Can’t find out where it chafes if it’s covered up. But I was the only loony out there in a tank. Everyone else was bundled up, jackets, gloves, scarves and hats. Yes, we Cali people hate the cold.
I didn’t really want to think about intervals so after a warm up, I decide to run a few fartleks. I forgot to even look at my watch for the first one so I wasn’t sure what time or mileage I started at- oops! Oddly enough, all of my fartleks ended up being of similar distance, time and pace without too much planning on my part. I called it at 3.5 miles though, I just couldn’t take the wind any longer. I may be rethinking my race day outfit to include some more layers.
The best part of Thursday’s run was the lake cat. For a lot of my runs at the lake, I often see a gray and white cat roaming the back of the lake. I am pretty sure I know which house he comes from but I have always worried that something might happen to him. Quite a few cars drive that road and don’t always pay attention. Plus there are lots of people and more than a few dogs, some dogs off the leash. The last time I saw the lake cat was that run that ended in horrible stomach pain. That was in March. I’ve been looking for him every time I have run there since but no luck. Until Thursday. I rounded a curve on the backside of the lake and there he was. I actually yelled “kitty” out loud. I had to stop and visit, so that was the end of my first fartlek. 🙂 I was so glad to see him.Which made me feel even worse when I got home to find that I had once again traumatized my cat. 😦 After I come home, I usually carry my purse, gym bag, lunch bag, shoes etc into the house to put away. Kimi would come to meet me and walk around my legs. One day I was carrying too much and dropped my boots…they landed on her. It’s been over 2 years and she still bolts if she sees me pick up a pair of boots. Other shoes are fine but boots and she bolts. Now she runs from me if I am holding her yellow food dish too. 😦
The other cat had to go on a diet, so I’ve had a bowl of the normal food for her stashed in the bedroom. The other evening, I went to get it out of a drawer and turned as she was running in. In my defense, she jumped headfirst into the bowl but now she bolts from the room and hides around the corner. Waah, I feel so bad!
I took a few days off around SLO- so today was a lovely vacation day. I planned on getting in my last run but I took a nap instead. 🙂 I tried to work on a new playlist and get this post up sooner but somehow the day ran away from me. I did meet a friend at the movies this evening. We went and saw The Longest Ride. I am not a fan of the books, but somehow we always end up going to the movies. She and I crack jokes that we are the only who can stand them. It was pretty good, not great but good, and luckily not as destructive as his movies tend to be. Which was fine by me since Grey’s Anatomy was rough enough last night. Now I should probably go to bed, I have an expo to go to tomorrow! 🙂