The morning was great for running, upper 50’s, no rain or wind. I felt ready. That morning we took the shuttle for the first time and the pressure of years past was non-existent, even when the bus was stopped for several minutes to wait for a train to pass.
My goal was as close to 1:30, my PR was 1:35 and some change so I figured anything under that was fine. The weeks leading up my legs had felt GREAT, pushing the hills and being comfortable at pace. The only drawback was I’d gone swimming about 3 weeks before and for whatever reason that really bothered the foot that was fractured over the winter. ???? Whatever?!?!?
The thing I learned from this race was, if it works in practice/training then FOR F**K SAKE DO IT FOR THE FREAK’N RACE DAY!
I always run a 1.5-2 mile warm up then hit what’s on the days schedule for run training. The morning of the race, about 15 minutes before I ran out from the start line and only did a short jog of about .25 mile. LOSER!
I hit miles 1,2,3 all on time and was on pace at just 6:58 per mile. However, from the start my legs were not happy, not enjoying any of this. Tight and heavy, not willing at all, and my left foot started to cramp. Hey something new, why not!
I was still holding my time through mile 6 along the lake and at mile 8, just before the tunnel I had this clear thought like a bolt of lightning.
“If you don’t walk for 10 seconds RIGHT NOW, you’ll walk the last 4 miles in about 2 minutes”
So for the first time in 6 years I walked during a race – ( well sided from the 4.5 hours at IMC ) D’ho
My legs were killing me! I stopped and shook them out and walked for about 10 seconds, got back in a jog and worked back up to pace. I hit the 11 mile marker and was happy to see that even if I ran 10 minute mile pace I’d still have room to PR. I was looking forward to the big downhill actually training on big downs so I’d be able to take full advantage of, but the legs never let me get below 7:00 pace. Bummer!
I have these talks with myself when I’m racing. They aren’t always pleasant, but they are never sugar coated. I always feel any conversation you have with yourself takes your mind off the suffering for even a little bit.
I had to have one of those “yank your head out” moment’s when at just after the 12 mile marker I started telling myself “ OK, todays just not your day, go ahead a slow up and save your legs. Next time you’ll blah,blah,blah…” Less than a mile to go and I’m having this talk now? I yelled at myself to straighten up my form and put my head out of my azz, and quit feeling sorry for myself because my legs hurt. I was keeping 7:20 pace and still on pace to PR. The last bit I got back to 7 minute pace and finished it off crossing at 1:32:40ish 33ish. I can’t remember. But I PR’d : ) by almost 2 minutes…
What I learned
Warm up the same way before a race as you would before training.
This last weekend I ran a little 10K put on at Magnuson Park and did just that. Put in 2 miles of 9 minutes pace 10 minutes before the race and the legs felt GREAT! See, sometimes all that yelling at yourself in your head pays off….