After Long Beach half a couple of weeks ago (you can read about that disaster here) I wasn’t super excited about RnR LA. I am irritated with how I’ve been doing at the half marathon distance and I really wasn’t feeling it. I knew I would run it no matter what, because I had paid for it. But, I wasn’t excited about it. I chose to set no race goals other than to finish.
Race week I did almost nothing right. I didn’t pay attention to what I was eating, I didn’t run once, actually I didn’t even work out once (been adjusting to a new job and trying to find time), I didn’t hydrate. I just figured since I didn’t really care what happened on race day I wasn’t going to worry about it all week. The only thing I did do right was get a lot of sleep. So, yay for sleep and being well rested. (By the way, just getting enough sleep is not the best way to prepare for a race.)
I spent a large part of Saturday out refrigerator shopping. A frustrating experience to say the least. By early afternoon I was over the fridge excursion and headed to the expo. My parents were with me, helping me try to find a fridge, and headed downtown with me. They had never been to a race expo before (seeing as they don’t run it’s not surprising), I thought they might find it interesting.
|Gender specific race shirts, woo hoo!|
I then headed home and had a late lunch/early dinner. I actually got in bed close to when I had hoped to, but that alarm still felt painfully early. I was out of my house by 5:35 am (only five minutes later than I planned). I ate my oatmeal in the car (my new pre-run breakfast = plain instant oatmeal, a packet of almond butter and a packet of chocolate hazelnut butter mixed in with sliced strawberries on top – yum!).
|empty corrals, just about 15-20 mins before race start|
|more people, but still not super full for a Rock n Roll race|
Shortly after the start time we took off. I had decided that maybe part of my issue with PR’ing might be that I’m too focused on my time. So, even though the last thing I expected out of this race was a PR, I set my interval on my Garmin and switched the screen to be only on the interval timer (I forgot that this sometimes creates issues for me as well – more on that later). Even though the start felt very empty the course felt very crowded through many places.
As we were running toward the coliseum I saw the pace car approaching on the other side of the street and the elite athletes right behind. Because of the nature of this course (two out and backs) you could see people running in front of and behind you. As the elites started approaching everyone who was running and watching them approach started clapping and cheering for them. Watching them pass was pretty cool. They are so fast and it looks so effortless. It actually encouraged me to push a little harder in that moment. I saw a number of my friends in the first out and back, which was cool.
I was very consciously trying not to look at the time clocks on the mile markers, so as not to get myself in a weird place if I thought I was behind where I should be. Around mile 4.5 my friend Joy came up behind me and asked how I was feeling/doing. I told her I was trying not to look at my time, and just go with how I feel. She said I was doing pretty well, I told her I didn’t want to know my time, she thankfully didn’t tell me.
As I made my way back past the finish line on the second out and back I saw what looked like the first non-elites finishing (meaning the winners had already crossed the finish line and I wasn’t even half way yet – yes, I’m slow). It was a steady uphill away from the finish line. I saw my friends Beth and Brandon, who live along the race course and stopped for a moment to say hi. They said I looked strong (not sure I actually did, but in the moment it was nice to hear).
Because I wasn’t looking at my overall time I also had no idea what my pace was. I was just running by feel. And, mostly I felt good. I was taking water at every aid station and drinking my water with nuun on my walk breaks. Since I hadn’t hydrated during the week I wore a water belt and brought extra nuun tablets with me (the electrolyte beverage on course was Cytomax, which I do not like). It was starting to get warm, but I was still feeling okay. I was sticking with my intervals, not looking at my watch and doing pretty good at not looking at the times on the mile markers.
|the view from mile 10 back toward downtown - where the|
finish line was
Then as I was coming back toward downtown I glanced at the clock and saw the time at the 10 mile marker. It was at around 2:08. I had crossed the start line a few minutes after the clock started, so I suddenly knew that if I pushed hard I would finish in the 2:30-2:40 range. I should not have looked at that clock, I then proceeded to pysch myself out.
|pretty good medal|
3 miles: 32:51
10 miles: 2:02:23
Finish: 2:43:08 <-- that means it took me 41 minutes to cover 3 miles, with two big downhills in there. FAIL.
So, what does this all boil down to? I need to get out of my own way. The bargaining I did with myself between 10 and 13 was ridiculous. I know I am faster than this. I have it in me. I just need to let it out.
I have one final chance this year to PR at the half distance – Vegas. (I wanted to run Operation Jack on 12/26, but I have to work that day and can’t.) Truthfully, I’m torn about what to do at this point. Do I push hard for a PR at Vegas? Or, do I just train the way I have been and see what happens, and not be disappointed? I think I need to push myself, cause I’m gonna be super pissed if I get 2:4X again. I can’t handle it. I don’t even care if I PR at this point, I need to get out of the 2:40s and back in the 2:30s.
I am VERY frustrated with myself right now. I know that I should be happy with finishing, and after the week leading up to RnR LA, I AM happy that I finished, that was my goal, but I know I can do better, as obvious by the mile times listed above. So, I feel like being frustrated is acceptable. I’m not super annoyed, I did start a new job the day after Long Beach and have been adjusting to that, so my training has been suffering. I really did not expect to PR or do well at all in LA, so the fact that I ran it faster than Long Beach (even by just a couple of minutes) is pleasantly surprising.
My biggest problem at this point is myself. Hmmm….. Time to get out of my own way.
Now, I have something big to tell you (I actually have two big things, but this is the first and biggest, since the journey started this weekend with kickoff)…. It’s what I’m doing next year…. Click the link to find out more (I know it’s a fundraising link, but read the page and you’ll see what my insanity has led me to now, and if you feel so compelled, please make a donation and help me out.