Sunday, November 08, 2009

Race retch

There aren't many true adages that exist in running, much like there aren't many in poker, either. 
But there is one: You never know how you're going to feel until you start running.
Twice I've felt like total crap, once with a sinus infection, once with a horrible cold, both times bad enough to leave me wimpering like a kitten. Both times I PRd in races, the first in a 10K, when I broke 47 minutes for the first time, and the second this spring, in a half marathon.
Saturday was, unfortunately, quite the opposite.
I felt great as I lined up for my last half marathon of the year (probably until August of next year, actually). I was worried. I was doing my third half marathon in five weeks, and I ran good, hard times for the first two. I had no idea how my body would react to that. It's a lot. I knew it. I just wanted to see if I could do it.
I continued to feel good as I ran the first mile in 7:30. In fact, I usually gage my pace by how I'm breathing and how hard I'm flowing, and I flowed easy and wasn't breathing hard. I was stunned, in fact, to see my pace floating around 7:15 most of the time and found it hard to slow down. Well, shit, today is going to be a good day, I thought.
I was so, so wrong.
By mile 3, I reconsidered, as I gagged for the first time. For the next three miles, I managed to keep my pace above 8-minute-miles, but I almost tossed my cookies another three times. What the hell? I'd never felt that way, even during my 5Ks. 
By the time mile 7 came up, I was hurting, bad, and knew I wasn't going to PR. In fact, part of wondered if I was going to finish. And I couldn't do anything about it. It was 80 degrees, super hot for November in Colorado, and yet I couldn't take any water or Gatorade or a gel because I was afraid I'd puke it back up.
By mile 11, predictably, my pace slowed to a crawl, and I had to walk occasionally. 
I did finish - I wasn't NOT going to finish - but did horribly. I didn't even bother to see where I finished. I ran 1:54, or at a 8:47 pace. I ran 1:45 three weeks ago at the Denver Half.
But I was proud. I had a horrible day and pushed through it. I finished. And I wonder if it was just too much. That's what I'm thinking. 
If you see me in Vegas, I'll be on a running hiatus for a week or so. I'll start training as soon as I get back. I'll leave this race behind me, call it a good year and eagerly await the Thanksgiving run.
That's only 3.1 miles. I'm already looking forward to it.

1 comment:

The Wife said...

"I was so, so wrong" - oh the foreboding of those words.

Wish for your sake you could have done it without the puking, but you still have my vote as amazing.

3.1 will be cake for you.