June 20, 2011

Towpath 10-10 Race Recap (and other miscellaneous stuff)

I knew this would be a difficult race after the way my last few long runs went.

I knew this would be a difficult race after Friday's shake-out run turned into speedwork.

I knew this would be a difficult race when I didn't do the yoga I'd promised myself, Saturday.

And when I didn't get to sleep until after midnight.

And when I woke up before 5, unable to get back to sleep.

And when my legs were tight and my heels complaining when I got out of bed.

I mourned the lack of an almond butter and jelly sandwich and quart of creamer-filled coffee for race day breakfast, but stuck to my no-cane guns. Almond butter on rice crackers and a banana, it was. I'd made a coffee concoction with honey and rice syrup. It wasn't as tasty or satisfying, and I only had a little. I used the same concoction as fuel during the race. I may have to find something else.

This is the first race I've left packet pickup until race day, so Superman and I arrived early. We got my stuff with no issues, with time to walk the shirt back to the car. I'd found out earlier this week the Energizer Bunny signed up for the 10K instead of the 10-miler I'd expected her to run. It didn't make sense for us to ride together, then make her wait almost 2 hours for me to finish. This left me looking around for her before the start, but I didn't see her.

We walked just over a mile from the staging area to the 10 mile start, and the 10K racers had even further to go. They were calling "5 minutes to start" over the bullhorn as we walked up.
The 10 Mile starting line
I hadn't seen any porta potties at the staging area, so was happy to see a line of them behind the start. With chip timing (and knowing I wouldn't be setting any records) I wasn't worried about starting late. Several people in line for the potties apparently were, because they lit out of line and across the start at the gun. I followed at a more leisurely pace, about 3 minutes later.

I knew it was going to be a difficult race when Superman told me the first mile was at a 13:18 pace. I felt we were moving along quite a bit faster than that, and it turns out I was right. When I looked at my splits after, my GPS said we did the first mile in 11:40. We went out too fast, when I've been running 12:40 miles.

I knew it was going to be a difficult race when I was ready to be done by mile 3. I'm not sure what the temperature was, but I think the heat was exacerbated by freeway exhaust (pictured in the bridge over the start). The heat and muggy took my breath away, and not in a good way. Once we got away from the roads, I was able to enjoy some of the scenery. We saw bunnies and red-wing blackbirds, as well as some beautiful foliage.

The course was mostly flat, a down-and-back then up-and-around path. The only real inclines were 2 walkway bridges, each with a 7% grade. I walked up those bridges, and ran down the other side. The 10K runners were already passing us, as they had a straight shot from their starting point. This is when I saw the Energizer Bunny. She hasn't had a chance to run as much as she normally would, and was happy with her race choice. She said it was a good distance for her, and that she didn't fight herself or the race. Of course, I got that information later. All I knew in passing was she looked good, and I felt beat. 

I fought myself and the race for the next 7 miles. It did get cooler as we got away from the roads, which helped tremendously. I dumped several cups of water over my head, which also helped. I wrote a blog post in my head, based on the 13+ (14+) minute miles I thought I was running. It was not upbeat or happy.

Superman kept a steady pace, pulling ahead several times. He says he can only run so slow, which makes sense because when he suggested I slow down I told him slower was harder. I would catch up, then have to walk and he would pull away again. Ultimately I did slow down, because I had no choice. He pulled ahead and I couldn't muster the strength to catch up. He finished at least 5 minutes ahead of me.

There is no recovering from going out too fast, or lack of sleep, or lack of preparation. I think my fueling plan needs some work, as well. The only thing I know I did right was in hydrating all week prior to the race. My finishing time was 2:14:32, a good 10 minutes off my PR from last year. I knew I wasn't going to PR, mainly because I haven't been doing speed work. I've been running 12:40+ miles, not 12:00 miles (although my first race of the season was a 5-miler at just under 12:00 pace).

I should have taken an ice bath when I got home, but instead I puttered around then got ready to meet my parents and brother for a Father's Day lunch. Then Superman and I went strawberry picking. I now have a good 3 lbs. of strawberries in my freezer, which makes me very happy.
Still soft, even frozen, and so yummy!
I also have a tin full of sugar free, grain free brownies, which I made Saturday. These are delish, though a little heavy on the coconut oil. Next batch I will make with olive oil. Yes, I am already planning my next batch.

I decided not to bore you all any longer with my food angst. I might mention an especially yummy recipe (like the brownies), but all food related posts will now be HERE.


Teamarcia said...

Congrats on the race! Strawberry picking--super yum! Need to do that soon!

Still Running said...

I think we've all had those races, where we knew from the start this wasn't our day. Good thing is, there's always another race. Strawberries make everything better though, don't they?