Before I talk about how last week was the WORST example of race week prep, let me say that my half-marathon went GREAT! 2:09:22! That’s a PR!!! I consistently ran 9:35 miles until Mile 8. This is HUGE since I didn’t hold consistent runs above 10:30 miles on the treadmill (oh, the treadmill). Not only is it huge because of my consistent pace, but that’s super fast for me! And super slow for many others. Oh well. I was feeling AWESOME until mile 7.5 (ish) when we crossed the bridge (over the Mississippi…very long bridge) that was one of the highest climbs in the course. I won’t say I hit “the wall”, but I could feel my body switch from a comfortable aerobic pace to an unpleasant anaerobic pace. My whole body feels strange and anxious and the “I need to quit” thoughts start. Not fun. I was SO close to walking after we had to climb the levee at Mile 10. Seriously. SO CLOSE. But my extra “push” really helped:
My dad was supposed to be at this race, but he landed himself back in the hospital after only 3 weeks at home. His birthday is March 3, 1933. This was my way of bringing him with me. PLUS (huge plus), when I felt too tired to keep going and when my whole body hurt so bad, I thought “I may feel tired and be in pain, but he’s much more tired and in much more pain. Shut up, keep going.” It really helped. I also kept reciting the end of a quote I found on Pinterest: “Courage. Everyone suffers. Keep going.”
And guess what else?! NO FOOT PAIN. During or after. NONE! WOOOOO!
Notice those goosebumps in the picture? We stopped by a Subway after the race. I was “crazay” sweaty and the AC at Subway was cranked up HIGH. My leg muscles were already quivering and the rest of my body followed suit. Fun. It’s so weird/neat to see how the body responds to your demands during races (and post-race) and how your brain works to protect you psychologically (constant ebbs & flows of mental pushing and mental “it’s ok, just chill out”).
Running hard really suppresses my appetite so I was not hungry at all (and after the glazed donut I inhaled after the finish…and the banana…and the 3 orange quarters…), my tummy wasn’t ready for real food yet. But the sub was for my 4-hour drive to Louisville for my conference. I knew once the Hunger Beast woke up I’d most likely be in the middle of no where. The sandwich was inhaled 2 hours into the drive and 1.5 hours later since I didn’t know when I’d get another chance to eat that night. Conferences are great at sucking up your time…fun.
The week before the race was not the best “race week prep”. Work was horrendous, I felt like I was getting sick, I was utterly exhausted just 2 days before the race, was starving all day Friday (paired with overly tired means my body is fighting a sickness, fighting for more energy through food). I felt worn down and was so worried about the chilly & rainy race day forecast. I was a mess. Seriously. Big. Mess. To top it off, I was worried about my fiber choices and how the ol’ tummy would hold up. Results? WINNER! I’m so glad I figured out how to approach MY fiber intake and how my body reacts before the race. That’s what I love about running & races: it’s a constant work in progress, always working toward improving yourself toward perfection.
What am I doing RIGHT now…?
NOT partaking in Convention social events (I’m too tired, too introverted, and love TV too much…and maybe need to finish my presentation…) and watching Mad Men. I’m seriously disappointed in everyone down at 4th Street Live right now…don’t they realize what’s happening on AMC?! Sheesh…