I had an excellent time yesterday! I thought the course was beautiful and exciting, the shirts and medals were cool, and the whole race atmosphere was just really positive and fun. I would really like to do this race again, perhaps even the full marathon.
I'm really pleased with my performance overall, even though it was pretty far off my PR. I want to explore a few reasons for this, but I want to emphasize that these are not excuses!! I'm not really sure what the difference is between reasons and excuses... but I think it's got something to do with sounding like a crybaby. So let the record show I'm happy with the outcome of the race!
First, I have been running a lot lately. The previous week was 40 miles during a big heat wave, and I was pretty tired. Not necessarily over-trained, but a little tired going into the race. I didn't think too much of it until I read back in my Log... lots of "allright, tired" and "good but tired" and "ok, hot" lots and lots of HOT. Very little "Great!!!"
Next, let's address the stomach cramp. This was one of those deep, central, painful cramps that I used to get when I started running. It hurt pretty bad, and I am actually sore today from it. I was really relieved when it went away, but by then my pace groove was blown, and I had residual stomach pain for the rest of the race. I think the cramp was caused by a combonation of 2 things:
1) partying a little too hard Friday night. On my feet, dancing, drinking, etc for hours. Saturday I was sick and sore, and my stomach felt terrible. Even though I ate a good dinner and got to bed early-ish Saturday night, I don't think I was really recovered. My stomach wasn't ready for Sunday's run. I was probably pretty dehydrated.
2) I didn't warm up AT ALL before the race. We got dropped off, walked 5 minutes to the porta-potty line, waited 30 minutes or more for my turn, then walked 2 minutes over to the starting line, stood there for 10 minutes, then started running. I had hardly moved since I woke up and I think my body was a little stressed when I immedately assumed race pace.
After the stomach crap went away, I still wasn't feeling great. My legs felt fine but I was really thirsty and a little tired. I drank at the water stops, but I think it was too late. I consumed a LOT of water in the hours following the race, so I'm pretty sure I went in dehydrated.
I also wish I had worn my visor. The sun was out for once in the city, and it was in my face the entire time. Booooo. I kinda "chased" the shade, but it was pretty bright. I had sunglasses but needed the visor.
I think what I've realized is that the difference between a good race and a bad race is this: some days you can push through it, some days you cannot. Yesterday I just didn't have the motivation nor the desire to push my limits. I feel like I could have run better, I know I"m in better shape then ever. But I just didn't have it in me. I've seen this happen when I am not super focused on a goal time... I tend to kind of give up when I know a PR is out of reach. But yesterday I didn't give up! I'm actually really proud of myself for continuing to press on toward whatever finish time was in the cards for me that day. Sure, I walked some, but I started running again. And I was, AM, proud of myself. :)
The rest of the day was great as I refueled and recovered. Watched some TV, read on the porch, and ate and ate some more: a BLT from a fancy sandwich shop after the race, sushi in the afternoon, and delicious lamb chops Zach's dad fixed for dinner. I'm a little sore today but not bad. I plan on taking today and tomorrow off for sure, the rest of the week's schedule is TBD.
PS TOTAL miles for last week: 30.1