They Say Never to Try Anything New on Race Day...
Let's take a look at the numerous things I did wrong, which should technically have resulted in a failure of a race day.
1) I wore a brand new pair of shoes, in a style I've never worn before. They came in the mail two days prior to race day.
|Saucony Pro Guide 3|
2) I wore brand new socks. I got a little shop-happy at the expo...as you will continue to see...
|I have ALWAYS wanted a pair of REAL running socks. My first.|
|$19.95. So light and flexible.|
4) Brand new shorts. Beginning to see a trend...?
|I only run in shorts with full pockets, which is hard to find, so I had to swipe these. $30.|
5) Brand new hideously bright 80's tank -- I bought this so my sweet supportive boyfriend would be able to spot me easily, because the last time he watched me race there was a little issue called "he has NO ability to differentiate runners as they speed past him", and I had to holler up in his face as I was passing by.
|Just hideous. Wait til you see me in it.|
6) I ate something unfamiliar to my stomach the night before -- an entire roasted kabocha squash (a small one). I went to bed feeling like a log, and really, really kicking myself for eating it (I also had extreme heartburn from it)
|I hate you Kabocha.|
7) I woke up and drank something entirely new to me (from the expo)
|I had about half.|
8) I ate caffeinated Gu Chomps before the race, something I've never done before (I usually eat a banana before running -- NOTHING else seems to sit well -- but we were all out of bananas). I usually avoid caffeine at all costs.
|Mine were cranberry apple I think|
9) I decided not to bring my ipod. The last 3 times I have tried to race with music, my effing Apple product decided to effing die at the start, so I give up on effing Apple products.
However, if you saw my brief earlier post, my race was not a failure at all! It went as smooth as possible.
If you're wondering why I never mentioned this upcoming race in the past couple weeks, it's because I only signed up for it 1 week ago. I don't know why I was dragging my feet.
Oh wait yes I do. Because races are FREAKIN EXPENSIVE.
The race began at 9:00, which was just dreamy -- I woke up without an alarm at 7:30, got my business done at home, then sauntered over to the start a mere 1.5 miles from my front door at 8:30.
|No, it is not 1988. I'm just wearing highlighter-green.|
After shivering in my ugly tank and shorts (upper 40 degrees), I tucked in about 10 rows deep behind the starting line and we were off at 9:00 promptly.
I felt crazy disconnected to my body, thanks to the caffeinated Gu Chomps and my shivering skin, so couldn't tell what speed I was clocking. I was loosely aiming for a 7:15 pace, but truth be told hadn't put much thought into it at all and was just going to run. Have some fun.
|This is about the 3 mile mark, first time I saw my boyfriend. Smiling!|
My Garmin alerted me at the one mile mark. I looked down to see where I was hanging.
Mile 1: 6:27
"Oh. SHIT" -- I said this, out loud, truly concerned. I never, ever run sub 7:00's outside. I have done 6:40's a few times on the treadmill, but it's not a pace I can hold for more than 15 minutes.
In short, I thought I screwed myself, and that I would be hobbling the rest of the race.
Instead, this is what happened.
Mile 2: 6:47
Mile 3: 6:34
Mile 4: 6:39
Mile 5: 6:43
Mile 6: 6:47
Mile 7: 6:46
Mile 8: 6:49
Mile 9: 6:49
Mile 10: 6:47
Mile 11: 6:48
Mile 12: 6:48
Mile 13: 6:50
0.1 (0.36 according to Garmin): 2:21, 6:26 pace
|Spot the bright green? Passing some men at mile 9.|
I really don't know what happened. Like I said, I don't run sub 7:00. I kept thinking I would run that pace for 1 more mile, but I never ended up feeling bad enough to stop. So I just kept it up.
Terribly consistent though, right? Look at how many of those miles are within 1-2 seconds of each other!
My chip time was 1:30:00, and I mentioned in my earlier post that when my Garmin hit 13.1 miles, my time was 1:28:24.
Any thoughts on Garmin innacuracies? Do GPS's fail, or does this mean I was weaving/taking the long route?
|Doesn't look like I'm weaving...|
1st place in division (of 379), 5th woman (of 2,095), 57th person (of 3,408)
Here's the sad part though.
Here's the sad part though.
As I ran through the finish line, a race official approached me, threw a tag over my neck, and said "CONGRATULATIONS, YOU PLACED THIRD!".
To which I said "huh? Of Women?"
So for the next 2 hours, I proceeded to brag to my boyfriend, my mom, Mr. Incredible Runner Dane Rauschenberg, and my two friends who were also running the race, that I placed third.
I really wanted to go home and shower. Instead, I sat around waiting because the idea of standing on a podium and getting a trophy SOUNDS PRETTY FRIGGIN AWESOME.
Finally, at noon, I learned that the race official is a gosh darn dream-ruiner, and was mistaken in giving me that tag. I placed 5th in Women.
And so, that is how an incredible race ended up making me actually feel quite bad. I was moping as we went home.
Another reason I was mopey -- and this addresses a reader question -- is that I was a MILLISECOND from breaking the almighty 1:30. And I KNOW I had it in me. I'm not sore at all for goodness sake, I didn't kick it at the end. I really regret not making that 1 second happen, especially with how much energy I had afterward.
And then I remembered I kicked butt and had a really, really good time in my own city, and so all is good.