If you don't feel like wasting time with that pesky reading, here's my race in a nutshell. Exactly on my goal pace until mile 20, then my calf cramped like crazy, and I came in at the pathetic time of 4:01:34.
The long version is as follows.
After a week of living it up on my college campus and then in Tulsa, I got home around midnight Thursday night, then stumbled my way through work on Friday. After a super easy 2 mile shakeout run Saturday, Kari, Ashley and I met up in Wilmington, Delaware on Saturday afternoon.
We started off our wild girl's weekend with packet pickup. It was a pretty small race, only around 750 marathoners, and my first outdoor expo.
|Pulling. It. Off.|
We were staying at a Doubletree, which was just fabulous. As if the cookies weren't incentive enough, it was also maybe half a mile from the start/finish. But it gets better. We were seeing all sorts of people dressed in crazy outfits - some sort of combination of adult prom/gay pride parade meets Jewish wedding/lederhosen. We finally asked our waiter what was up, we discovered the freaking King and Queen of Sweden were there on a visit! Kari explains it way better than me.
And as if that wasn't enough of a good omen, check out this bib.
|Totally forgot I put my blog name on.|
We had a classic girl's night in the hotel room, pillow fight and all. After a restful night of race-related nightmares, we were all up at 5:00am. Since we were staying so close, we got to relax in bed with our coffee and breakfasts, use the flushable toilet as many times as our little hearts desired, and leisurely stroll down to the start line at 6:30. We even had time for a porto potty stop.
|We had really good luck with asking randoms to take our picture.|
I was even feeling confident about my midget legs and big ass attempting to keep up with these long, slim legged beauties.
|Matching outfits are the key.|
As soon as we started, I was a little worried because the humidity was somewhere above 80%, and I hadn't been training in anything like that. Kari and Ashley were easily chatting and I secretly was freaking out because I felt a little like I did at the beginning of the Wineglass Marathon, when I could barely breathe.
By mile 6, we were in a nice shaded area and things were looking up. Ashley asked how we felt about a potential PR (she was doing the race as a training run), and I informed them that I felt good and furthermore, it was time to pick up the pace.
|Shortly after, I even listened to this song.|
|I'll never let go.|
Then that magical feeling turned into black magic and it all went to hell.
My left calf was suddenly hit with a major cramp, and it shocked me so bad that I actually cried out. It went away, so I kept going, but it kept happening over and over. This has never happened to me in any race, or any run at all, it's only happened twice in my whole life (while I've been sleeping). The reason I know this is because leg cramps are one of my greatest fears. I've actually posted about it before.
I took a salt pill, got some Gatorade at the next water stop, and even stopped and stretched, another first in a marathon. My pace had already slowed to about 8:57, because miles 14-20 are mainly uphill, but I had planned on that and knew I could make it up in the last 6. But now, it was down to 8:59, and every time I dipped below a 9:00 mile, my calf seized up again, and then my right leg started joining in. By mile 21, I decided that my triumphant PR race was now a 26 mile training run for the Bob Potts marathon in two weeks.
These splits really say it all.
I contemplated throwing my water bottle in a major tantrum at the finish, but I didn't know anyone there, so I figured that might be anti-climatic. So I just hightailed it to the beer and wine tent, took a sip of champagne and then spit it out and nearly puked, then found Kari and Ashley so we could whine on our trudge up the hill back to the hotel.
All in all, a great girl's weekend, not a great race. Ashley was out at 7, Kari had to drop at the half due to an injury (and wasn't even allowed to cross the finish), and then there's my sob story. We took a defeated picture in the hotel lobby before we went home.
This failed attempt was easier to swallow than LPM. Partially because I'm just getting better at sucking at life, but for other reasons too. At LPM, nothing went wrong. I just ran too slow. This slow time has a specific culprit for me to point the finger at. I'm looking at you, calf cramp. Here's my breakdown of what went wrong.
- In the 8 nights leading up to the race, I stayed in a hotel for 6 of them. I know some people travel all the time, but I'm a teacher and therefore not one of them.
- I also know a lot of people have a glass of wine every night, but I'm not one of those either. As much as I profess my love for wine, I usually stick to one night a week, maybe two at most. I also drank 6 out of 8 nights leading up to this race. Wine, cocktails, hard liquor, hard cider, you name it. I knew this was going to happen, so choosing this race was a bad call.
- I spent the week drinking soda instead of water.
- I usually eat a banana every day, but couldn't find any in Tulsa.
- Wednesday, I walked around in the sun all day and had barely any water.
- Thursday, I spent the afternoon/evening on a place, again with barely any water.
- I tried a last ditch attempt at hydration Friday and Saturday, but I think it was too little, too late.
- The race was crazy humid, and I was sweating significantly more than on recent training runs. I filled my bottle at least twice as much as usual, probably 8-10 times during the race, and still never had to pee until hours later (extremely rare for me). My face was completely crusted over with salt afterwards, also not the norm.
Looking at this, I'm not sure what the hell I expected to happen. But, this is fixable, I was able to hold my goal pace for 20 miles and still feel strong. I still think the Run Less, Run Faster training plan helped me, but I'll withhold official judgement until after Bob Potts. I'm a bit sore, so I'll mainly focus on resting and yoga until the race.
Anything else I should be blaming this race on that I missed?
Any ideas for cheering up after you totally suck at life (doesn't have to be race related)?
All gifs generously provided by Kara.
All gifs generously provided by Kara.