At 6:15 am, my alarm went off and I groggily got up to get ready for the race. For a period of 30 seconds, I was ready to go back to sleep. However, after putting on my gear, eating some SunButter + toast + banana, I was ready to go. I drove over to a friend's house, and this friend greeted me with some Starbucks, which I lightly sipped because I never drink coffee and I certainly didn't want to have an upset stomach before the race. It's risky to do new things on race day: eat new foods, drink new drinks, wear new clothing, wear new shoes, etc. Sometimes it's unavoidable, but the point is to simulate your training conditions so you can feel comfortable and have a successful race.
After a long warm up jog/walk and stretch session, we got to the race start with 10 minutes to go. And then we went...
Running isn't just about training your body - it's about training your mind too. You have to mentally prepare yourself for your workouts and your races. If you're not all there, chances are your body isn't all there either. Because of my medical maladies from late December through mid February, I missed a great deal of training. Yesterday I ran a race of 6.2 miles when I had only run over 3.5 miles ONCE this year. Obviously the lack of running I've done gives me anxiety, pretty much every day. Usually when I do races I go all out and push myself the whole time, but this race was different. I ran slowly. Let's say that I jogged.
BACK TO THE RACE...
I crossed the starting line around a minute after the official start, so I was in a pack of solid runners. And you know what happened for a solid mile? EVERYONE passed me. Everyone. Old men, old women, people with crazy leggings, people with crazy socks, you name it. A stranger passed me and turned around and said with a smile, "good job!" which I appreciated. Those 6.2 miles were looming ahead of me. At one point, I looked down at my watch and saw that I had been running for only 6 minutes. I thought to myself, "That's IT? In 50 minutes, I will STILL be running."
Although for this race I had more of a "have to" attitude instead of a "get to" attitude, I still managed to maintain a better pace than I had hoped for.
Mile 1: 9:29
Mile 2: 9:28
Mile 3: 9:23
Mile 4: 9:11
Mile 5: 9:26
Mile 6: 9:35
My official time was 58:58 - 58 minutes and 58 seconds.
After mile 4 I started to feel REALLY tired. Like I mentioned earlier, I had only run over 3.5 miles one other time this year. Also, my right hamstring was absolutely killing me. Back in 2008 I pulled my right hamstring to the point I had to take off a solid couple of weeks and ever since then it nags me when I step up my training too quickly. Strength training and rolling it out on the foam roller seem to help it heal the fastest.
Post-race I grabbed a couple of bananas and a couple of Myoplex shakes in a bottle. The shake I had had something around 25 grams of protein! I've read that our bodies are ready to receive fuel 15-45 minutes after a race, meaning it's important to put something in it at that time period. I hope that the Myoplex made a difference! Anyone else have suggestions for repairing semi-torn muscles?
On days like this I am so thankful that my gym has a hot tub. I'm going to go do some light strength training, and then sit in the hot tub to ease my aching muscles.
Hope everyone has had a nice weekend!