The comedy of errors began the night before. I laid out my race belt and that was it. I was telling Keith how nice it is to "just" run vs doing a tri b/c there is no prep the night before. Umm, wrong. This is still 10 miles. I didn't lay out salt tabs, gels, fluids or anything. I figured I'd be just fine.
The morning of the race I got up w/ plenty of time but didn't eat breakfast. On top of that, I didn't grab a water bottle or sports drink to sip on before the start of the race. My tummy was a little upset that morning and I blamed it on having cheese the night before.
I got to the race and relaxed before the start. I lined up with the 9 min mile group which was mistake one. I know I should be starting at a slower pace than that but I really wanted to be faster and I know I can run 9 min miles. I mean I've done it at longer distances before.
My first few miles were right around 8:30 min/miles. I looked at my Garmin and told myself that might be a little fast but I immediately assured myself that I felt great and it didn't feel that fast. So I kept going. Around mile 4 I slowed a bit but was still in the low 9's. I heard a girl next to me say she was slowing down on that stretch and it must've been a slight uphill. I had grabbed water at the 2 mile & 4 mile tables but nothing more at that point.
By the time mile 5 hit, I knew something felt wrong but figured it would be fine. I would slow down and all would be well. I kept wondering where the F the 6 mile mark was and so, the fluids table. I was now dying. My clothes were soaked through and I desperately needed water on my head and sports drink in my body. When I finally made it to the table, I grabbed 3 waters and 2 gatorades. One water went on my head and two in my mouth. I drank 1.5 of the gatorade and then started to run at a much slower pace.
It wasn't very long before my ears started ringing and I started to get that feeling in your mouth right before you vomit. My coach did want me to vomit but at the end of the race b/c I pushed it at the finish, not this early because I went out too hard. It seemed like out of nowhere, my upper body and legs were saying, "we're done" in unison. I thought I could still salvage the race but by the time I hit mile 7, it was painfully clear to me I was done. The cramping in the calves was dull but steady. My back felt it was having spasms, my head was pounding and my ears were still ringing. It felt like forever before the next aid station and when I finally saw it, it was all I could do to make it there. I took 2 waters and 2 gatorades and then just did some run/walk mess that barely should qualify for forward motion. Ok, maybe it wasn't that bad but it felt that bad.
I seriously considered getting one of the medics on the course and calling it quits but I reminded myself that I could finish this even if I had to walk and just to suck it up. At this point, I knew I had blown up and I knew why. The last 2 miles that's all I thought about. All the stupid, stupid mistakes I made. These weren't rookie mistakes, these were mistakes made by someone who was over confident and blew off everything I knew.
There were more fluids at mile 9 and I was able to run most of the last mile, albeit at pace 2 min per mile slower than my first mile. I wanted to vomit. I rounded the corner into Market Street and could barely muster a smile for the folks I knew. Somehow Bill Dwyer got me smiling (picture in this blog). Trust me, I look a lot better than I felt at that moment.
I crossed the finish, completely disgusted. Yes, the conditions were brutal but I had a crappy race because I ignored everything I knew I should do. My crappy finish was completely my fault. I saw Keith and was fighting back tears. I was so frustrated with myself. We got back to his truck and I called Ana and almost lost it. My coach is awesome and my races are her races. I felt terrible that I let her down. There was a bag from Lululemon on the floor board waiting for me (Keith killed some time in there while he waited for me). What a sweetheart. He either thought it would be reward for a PR or something to cheer me up if my race went south.
|Trust me, the only reason I'm smiling is b/c I'm about to finish and didn't vomit on myself.|
I made a list of things I learned from the race and sent them to Ana. Now it's time to let go of this race and move on. Trust me, I will never go into a race like this unprepared ever again. Physically I was prepared but I ignored all the little things that make the difference between a good day and a completely shit day. I'm glad to have this reminder 3 weeks before the marathon. There's no need to worry. I've put the miles in, I've held faster paces on longer training runs very consistently. I've been running very consistently. This was a blip on the radar due to me not executing. That's something within my control and something I'll fix. If I have a bad race b/c of something outside my control, that's cool. But I will not settle for a bad race ever again b/c I'm being stupid. Hell no.
So with that, time to leave 10 for Texas behind and start focusing everything back on NY! I have a 16 miler this weekend as well as Try Andy's Tri, my last tri as someone in their 30's (yes, I age up next year). Time to visualize me executing my plan to a "T" for NY. I'm SOOO excited!
Hope y'all had a great weekend. Happy training!!!!