Sunday, December 9

The ugly truth

I've been mostly silent about yesterday's Holiday Half Marathon in Point Clear, Alabama because my run, quite frankly, was awful.

I'm still exhausted. Sore. Exhausted. (Did I mention exhausted?) And I don't really want to talk about it. But we can't shit roses and rainbows all the time, so here's the ugly truth...
Smiling near the finish line BEFORE the race...

On Friday I mentioned that I was setting the bar low goal-wise for this race. In fact, I planned to treat it more like a well-supported training run than a race.

For my sanity's sake, I'm glad I did. I could not have raced yesterday if I tried.

I signed up for the Holiday Half a few weeks ago, thinking (Yeah. What was I thinking??) that earlier this year I could run a half marathon with a week's notice, so Why should this be any different?

Why, indeed.

Clearly I was delusional.

Delusion #1: I'm healed from my injury, and that means full speed ahead!

Reality: Aside from pool running, I did almost no running in August and September. I couldn't. My calf and foot needed time off. Unfortunately, time off equals lost endurance.

While biking is an endurance sport, endurance is not like riding a bike. You don't just get back in the game and "remember" how to run for two hours. It doesn't work that way. The handful of easy-paced 9 to 11 milers I finished in November were not enough to make up for months of low mileage.

Yes, I am smart enough to know this. (See low bar for race goals, above.) I am also smart enough to know that I can run a half marathon with 10-mile training runs. This delusion alone would not have sunk my battleship.

Delusion #2: I can handle running in the heat. I do it all the time!

Image source
Reality: Race-day humidity at 90 percent, morning temperatures in the 70s, and bright sunshine on a mostly shade-less course are my triple Kryptonite.

And yes, I'm a Florida runner who should be used to this.

BUT (and this is where reality bites) I'm used to this in July.

The past few weeks have seen temperatures in the 40s, and my long run days were all cool and dry. The weather warmed up only days before the race, leaving me with about as little acclimation as a snowbird fresh off the plane from Minnesota.

TMI (unless you're a runner): During the race I sweat so much I could have wrung seawater out of my clothes. I drank two full 20-ounce bottles of water while on the course, chugged two cups of gatorade at the finish, and still didn't have to pee for an hour after the race.

The result:
I didn't run my slowest half ever, but my pace on the pancake-flat course was about on par with what I usually run for hilly half marathons (think Torrey Pines hill at the La Jolla Half Marathon in San Diego). S-l-o-w.

And I'm sore.

And even though I said I wasn't going to race, I'm still bummed that I didn't have a good run yesterday.

What's your worst race ever?
What's your favorite self-delusion?
How do you deal with a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad run?

1 comment:

  1. Humidity is the worst! Congrats on toughing it out though!


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