Sometimes, a race, or even a training run, is simply about finishing. Yesterday, was one of those days.
Since my last race a couple of weeks ago in Clemson, SC, I had only run 5 days, with no run over 4 miles. Also since that time, I had traveled to the bay area and have been super stressed out from work. This was all not a good combination, but I took a gamble anyway and signed up for the Palmetto Half-Marathon in Columbia, SC. I knew that my performance would be suspect given the circumstances outlined above. What I didn’t know is that it would be even more suspect given some extra circumstances;
1) I forgot my running shoes….my ROAD RUNNING shoes. (if you have seen my vast shoe collection, i’m sure you cannot imagine how I could have forgot the shoes, but i did. Instead of bringing any 1 of my many pairs of KSWISS running shoes, I ran in the only shoes I had. THESE TRAIL RUNNING SHOES
2) We left the hotel at 6:30am to get to the race start . Race started at 7am and I had totally miscalculated how long it would take to arrive at start line. I’m not sure why that happened. I woke up at 5:30am and my buddies were up too. I just fu&*&ed up. We get to the start at about 6:55am. I jump out of car while they go find a place to park. I get to start line, someone says a prayer and sings the National Anthem and we are off. No time to stretch, warm-up or nothing. I even had to scrounge around for a 2nd bobby-pin so i could attach my BIB # to my shirt. (i had only had 1 and an older gentlemen kindly gave me 1 of his, so at least bib was in tact w/ 2 bobby-pins)
And we are off….What was strange about the race was that the course was NOT held in downtown Columbia, which is so pretty and showcases the Capital, etc…The course was about 15 miles from there in a suburb. The route went along a couple of busy roads and then all neighborhoods. The course was almost entirely up/down small hills. A few flat sections. By as early as Mile 2, I knew this was not going to be a good day. My legs felt so heavy…likes someone had attached 50 pound weights to them and I felt incredibly lackluster, as If I had no energy at all. This could have been because
3) I did not eat enough the night before. All I ate at Outback was a small salad and a baked potato.
I saw my buddies at Mile 4 and ran over to their side of the street and told them i felt like crap (i really wanted to stop and just go to breakfast) but I said; “well, I’m just gonna see how it goes. maybe walk/run the rest of the course.”
I kept going. Slowly. Up/down/up/down. I thought to myself. “just make it to mile 6 and see how you feel.” Passed Mile 6. By this time, I had sucked down a GU Energy Gel and felt a little better. “Ok, just see how you feel by mile 9.” By 9.5 miles, I was back to seeing my buddies and I said, “Well, I will see you at the finish line.”
But, those last 3.6 miles were NOT easy. The race director must be sadistic. After a rolling course, they add in a STEEP, LONG HILL at Mile 10. Geez. THANKS. Then, some flat land until Mile 11. Another steep hill UP the freeway exit ramp. Ouch. Then some flat > downhill to the finish line.
For those of you who might recall, at my last race 2 weeks ago, my finish time was 2:02:08. Yesterday at Palmetto was 2:11: 21.
That might not seem like a big difference, but it is and even given the circumstances, I was disappointed. I was disappointed for many reasons, especially because most of what went wrong was me not taking care of myself. And so…I learn.
The good news is that I stuck it out. I could have had a shitty attitude and stopped but I didn’t and I am glad for it. Tasting Life. Still.
I’m thankful to Sharon and Parker who were there to cheer me on and cheer me up. Thanks, ladies!
Shoes: La Sportiva Trail Shoes ***by accident**
Shorts: Under Armour
Shirt: Nike Livestrong
Watch: Origo Granite Peak