I am currently questioning my sanity. Seriously. Last weekend I ran the Long Beach half marathon. And had an epic failure in terms of trying to meet my goals. EPIC. Seriously, read my post about it if you want to know how I managed to screw that one up so badly.
Then I went home, relaxed for the day, packed my stuff for a week and went to bed. I woke up crazy early on Monday, dropped off my dog at my parents house and drove out to Riverside for work. I've spent the week in Riverside, living at a hotel, eating all my meals from restaurants (trying to eat healthy, but not being too great about it), training for my new job, (which I am still super excited about, even if it is going to be a lot of work at first) and have basically been exhausted all week.
Tomorrow, Friday, I will get up earlier, check out of my hotel, get to work early, work a full day, get in my car and drive home to the San Fernando Valley. Then I have a choice, I can repack my stuff and drive to San Francisco with my roommate tomorrow night or, I can spend the night at home. If I stay at home tomorrow night I will wake up before dawn on Saturday to and drive up to San Francisco with my roommate. Spend the day in the city, hit up the Nike Womens Marathon expo, get some sleep and then wake up again, before dawn and run 13.1 miles. After I finish (as long as I don't die) I will cheer for my friends, including my roommate, who are running the full. After that I will shower and get back in my car to drive back to LA, with my roommate.
Then on Monday morning I will go to my first day of work at the facility I will be working at, work a full week and then probably collapse on Friday night and die, or sleep for three days.
Seriously, none of this is smart, except the new job part. All the rest of it is stupid. Stupid stupid stupid.
Oh, did I mention I haven't properly hydrated this week? Or run (one crappy run on a treadmill doesn't count)? I have been getting some good sleep, falling asleep pretty early and getting rest. So, I guess I've got that going for me.
I am not expecting this race to be a PR. I just want to finish. Right now all I can think is I want to scrap the whole weekend and just stay at home with my dog and relax. But, this is a sold out race that you can only get in through a lottery or fundraising. And, it wasn't cheap. I can't not do it. To me the only thing stupider than all of what I just said I have been doing and am going to do this weekend is not doing any of it. I will regret that far more.
I'll just have to drink a lot of Red Bull this weekend and next week to survive. Besides every argument against doing all this, here's the best reason for doing it: we each only get one life, living it to the fullest is the only way to live. And, sometimes a little stupidity is the best way to live.
Alright, lets do this. (Also, I know I'm not gonna die, I'm just gonna be really tired for a while.) Time for one last night of sleep before the madness ensues (or continues, depending on how you look at it).
Sunday, October 9, 2011
I went in to this race with high hopes. I have trained well for it, done speed work, hill training, quality long runs. My half PR is 2:33, from more than a year ago, I was ready to crush that PR, and was aiming for 2:15-2:20. Might seem like a lofty goal, but it was doable, in my opinion. My twitter/blogger/Ragnar teammate Giraffy and I had decided to run together, we run the same pace and had the same goal. Perfect! A running buddy for race day!
This last week was my last week at my old job - starting a new one tomorrow - YAY! So, I finished my job on Wednesday, meaning I had Thursday and Friday off work. I decided since I had Friday off that I would hit the expo then and skip the Saturday crowds. I went mid day, hoping to miss traffic. The expo was easy to navigate, same stuff at all the expos I've been to. I cruised through pretty quickly and headed home, I was on the road before 2pm, so I thought I would miss traffic. Wrong. Terrible traffic all the way home. Fail. Oh well. On the plus side, good tech tee from Long Beach. Women's cut, and its cute. Yay!
Saturday I spent the day with my roommate, we went and ran a couple of errands and had a big late lunch. We got home and I spent the afternoon/evening doing nothing at home. I actually got in to bed by 8:30pm, figuring I'd fall asleep within the hour, meaning close to 8 hours of sleep the night before the race. Bonus! Well, as I was falling asleep I had all kinds of weird aches and pains, shins, ankles, knee, IT band. Not sure what that was about. But, I was fine in the morning.
I got up and got moving pretty quick. My goal was to be out of the house and on the road by 5am. I wound up on the road by 5:10, not bad. I had made my breakfast to go, oatmeal with almond butter and hazelnut butter mixed in, and I ate it on the drive down. Delicious pre-race breakfast (that kept me full for a while). I quickly cruised down the 405, but then when I got to the 710 it was total gridlock. Ugh. It was taking forever, so I got off the freeway and made my way to the parking lot that I had prepaid parking for.
|belt with nutrition and car key, |
locked in car.
It was a little after 6 at this point, and I was waiting for Giraffy, who was close behind. I was pinning my bib on and had my race belt with my GU and hydration sitting on my drivers car seat. I had smartly put my car key in the belt and as I was pinning on the bib someone tried to pull in to the empty spot next to me. So, being nice, I gently closed my car door and finished pinning on my bib. Then I realized that the car was locked, and my race belt, with my car key and nutrition in it was sitting on the front seat. All I could think was "F*%k!" The car door was partially open, but I couldn't get it all the way open. I was freaking out. I think I freaked out so much partially because of nerves, but I seriously started tearing up. Argh! Not a good start to the day.
Giraffy found me and I gave up on the car. I had my cell phone, which I could stick in the zipper pocket on my lululemon capris, my headset and my bib was pinned on and my timing chip was on my shoes. I could just go with nothing. I was still freaking out a little bit, but at this point there was nothing I could do. I tweeted about said disaster and Gidget said she had some extra nutrition she could give me. Perfect! (Although we wound up not finding her before the race.) We made our way to the porta-potties, then bag drop and then in to the corrals. We wound up at the front of corral 4 - half times 2:21-2:30, perfect. Before the race started I decided to turn off my phone and put it in my pocket to conserve the battery for afterwards and dealing with the car (it was nice to be completely turned off from the outside world for a couple of hours.)
And shortly there after we were off. We were keeping a good solid pace. It looked good for a negative split and about a 2:20 finish. Awesome. I took water and Powerade at every aid station. I don't really like Powerade, but it was getting warm and I needed electrolytes and was hoping the extra calories would help. Then, Gidget came running up and gave me a much needed Gu. We were at about mile 4 when she cruised by and I decided I'd take it at the next aid station. I figured it would get me through to mile 10, where they would be giving out Clif gels. I don't take Clif gels, but I figured it would be better than nothing.
At about mile 7 I started to get a foot cramp. Urg. I stopped to stretch and told Heather to keep going and I would catch up to her. By mile 9 I still hadn't caught her and was starting to quickly lose steam. I was being zapped by the sun (I had prayed for cool/overcast weather all week, and it wasn't terribly hot, but I melt in the heat, and this was too hot for me - I need to start training more in the heat and acclimate to it). I was losing all my energy fast. Ugh. I adjusted my interval for a third time (we started at 4 min run, 1 min walk and moved to 4:30 min run, :30 sec walk) down to a 3 min run 1 min walk, hoping that the shorter runs would help. Nope. By the time I got to mile 10 all the Clif gels were gone. Ack! I had nothing left in my tank and I was feeling crummy, like throw up crummy. Perfect.
I had put in my music at this point and was scrolling through the songs as I was having a down moment, feeling like a failure, knowing I wasn't going to hit my goal. I had a moment where I thought I was going to cry, or just stop. I was so frustrated. I had done everything right in preparation and one stupid mistake was keeping me from hitting my goal. I came across a song, by RuPaul, yes I said it, I listen to RuPaul - Champion. And listening to the words I was a little inspired. So, I did a weird, run as far as I could, then walk for a bit, then repeat. The song made me realize that the only way I was really failing would be by not giving it my all and not trying my hardest. So, off I went, on my weird run/walk.
I finally crossed the finish line, in 2:45. Again. That's the fourth half marathon this year that I've finished in 2:45. So frustrating. I'm happy I was able to finish and there will be other races. But, I swear I officially hate the time 2:45. Yargh. I just need to get beyond that. I feel like I'm sabotaging myself at this point. Gotta get beyond it. It is still my goal to break 2:30. In training runs of 10 miles and longer I crush that time, every single time. But, somehow, in races I can't get past it. So frustrating.
On a positive note, I was able to make the cramp in my foot go away. And, I didn't have shin splints, which I had in a training run last week, super bad. And, I finished and will live to run another day. For that I am most grateful.
After the race I called AAA and finally signed back up for it, cause I obviously need it after all the car trouble this year. They were there within ten minutes and the car was opened. Yay!
I have four more half marathons this year, so four more chances. Next up is Nike Women's half next weekend in San Francisco. I'm going to try my best at this race, but it is hilly and not ideal for setting a half PR. I'm not going to give myself any time goals, except running faster than 2:45.
Things I learned today: 1. I don't need to take water/electrolytes with me on a well manned course. I was NEVER thirsty, which is always something I worry about. 2. I properly hydrated this week, leading me to not be thirsty. 3. I can finish even when it feels like I'm done (I kinda already knew that, but it was reinforced). 4. Nutrition is important (the lack of it is what really screwed me up, I would normally take 3 GUs in a half). And, lastly 5. AAA is important and good.
New medal added to my ever growing collection (this thing will probably be full by the end of January).
Thanks for reading!