It’s nearly January 2013 and it time for me to officially let go of the 2012 racing season. It has been a good season. I happy with the way my training and racing results look on paper, but I’m more pleased with how they have changed me. I’m different thanks to these last 12 months. And not just faster, leaner, and less flexible. My mental strength has increased, along with my love for triathlon. I’ve learned the troubles that come with being highly specialized… i.e. injury because I NEVER move laterally! I’ve also learned the joy of camaraderie – even in the form of competition. Sharing my sport with others means sharing my life with others. Luckily, there are lots of amazing people in the triathlon world to share life with.
I owe you, and me, a race report for my half marathon. You’ve had to read about my workouts, put up with my complaining, and deal with my injury drama. Thanks for that, by the way. Welp, here goes.
Dec. 12 – Morning run, 7.5 miles easy. Drive to Central Ohio.
Dec. 13 – Morning workout, Tempo 3x (2min on/30sec off/ 3min on). 6 miles total. Fly to Sanford, FL. and drive 2 hours to Jacksonville, FL.
Dec. 14 – No workout. Race packet pickup and leisure time.
Dec. 15 – 5 miles easy on the race course (ran miles 5-10) and more leisure time. IHOP for lunch = carbo loading and Whole Foods for dinner = happiness.
Dec. 16th – Race day!
I was up at 4:15 am, showered, dressed, feed, hydrated, and “moved” in time for the shuttle from the hotel at 5:15am. My hubby and I hung out for a bit and when it was time to warm-up, I handed over my warm gear to the bag check and headed out for a 2 – 2.5 mile jog followed by 4x long strides. I was on the start line with less than 3 minutes to go. Perfect!
|And so it began.|
Squeezed tight in between countless skinny runners, donning their carefully selected racing singlets, with barely enough room to breathe, I waited for the gun.
With a blast, we were off. It only took 4 seconds for me to cross the timing mat and less than 30 seconds to be running full stride. It felt great! It was quite the challenge to find my pace with so many runners speeding up and slowing down around me. I kept thinking, “Comfortably hard. Breath deep. Stay relaxed.” In no time we had turned, running back to the start line which would signify the first 5K.
First 5K down in 21:23 @ 6:53pace.
It felt so easy. So natural.
Around mile 4, three guys got in front of me and I heard one mention that they were holding a 6:44 pace – he happened to be about 6’4” and 200lbs… hello wind shield! I went with them for a little over two miles, most of which felt great! Then I hear my tall, broad shouldered hero, Captain Windshield, call out the pace… 6:33/mile. No wonder this hurts! Being just past the 6 mile mark, I knew staying with Captain Windshield would be a mistake. I backed off the pace and the pain started creeping in. By mile 7 my foot had progressed from irritating to painful and the lactic acid in my legs let me know that my weeks of not running would indeed make me suffer.
|My suffering may have something to do with an 88% increase in blood lactate during exercise!|
From Joe Friel's The Triathlete's Training Bible
And suffer I did. For 6 miles my legs hurt so bad I didn’t think I could keep going. I would slow periodically, but only to find that a slower pace was more painful! I was sure my legs would explode. I was lucky enough to have my hubby run with me for the last 3 miles. Unfortunately, his running with me means there is a witness to my grunting. That’s right… I was in so much pain and I was trying so hard to fight through and finish strong that I was literally and audibly grunting.
|I'm sure I had just grunted.|
|Glad to be done!|
I can't say that I'm proud of my time, as I’d hoped for faster, but I’m very proud of my effort. I think I ran a smart race and I know I ran as hard as I could. Normally I feel good about a race when I finish. Sometimes I even feel good about it the next day, but I always eventually regret not working harder and really leaving it all out there on race day. Not this time. It’s two weeks later and I know that I raced my heart out.
I had three goals going into this training cycle:
1) Increase run speed and endurance for 2013 triathlon season
2) Race outside of myself – i.e. race gutsy
3) Run 1:28:36 or faster
I accomplished the first two goals and I think that without injury I could have accomplished the third. I’ll just have to prove it in 2013.
Has 2012 left you with something to prove in 2013?
Until the next tale,