The turkey trots, that is. 🙂
So, if you haven’t been paying attention, 11 days before this race, I ran a marathon.
Up until 3 days before this race, my training has involved margarita to mouth reps and couch ass plants and as much time in pajamas and not in spandex as possible.
I was more than prepared for a personal worst. I expected it. I was going to run this slow.
Then, I had a really blissful 3 miler on Tuesday where nothing hurt, my turnover felt better than it has for months, I felt… light, airy, and FAST. I thought maybe, just maybe, I had some speed hiding somewhere in there. I figured why not give it a try – not as if I’m saving these legs for anything.
After a crappy night of sleep, we were up and going at about 6:30am. I laughed that triathlon Quix who had to be up at 4 to get to transition by 5:30 would be saying “Poor baby…” but been-on-vacation-all-week Quix was like “WAH, it’s EARLY!!!!” I figured it was just 5 miles, so I cut a nice slice of crusty sourdough and had that for breakfast instead of my norm and some tea (nothing I’ve done race morning but I’ve definitely had the same quality of food before morning runs). We parked in a different spot than last year, and walked 1.5 miles there as a warmup (which was MUCH better than sitting in a car in traffic for 1 hour+ to park), and dithered around and port a pottied and got water and ran about .25 of a mile and then lined up. Normally Zliten likes to sandbag his pace and start further back, but after the dodging and weaving drama at RnRSA, he decided to start with me in the 9-10 minute mile corral.
My plan was to start out around 9:30s and see what happened from there. If I was having a good day, I could cruise into the 8s the latter half and rock this race. If I wasn’t, I could maintain or slow a little without completely blowing up. Zliten looked at me like I was a little cuckoo inn the cocoa puffs and said his goal was 11s. The race started, we smooched, and took off side by side but running our own races.
I remembered there were hills but forgot the first mile was ALL UP HILL. I was feeling decent so I pushed it -garmin said about 9:45. I crested the hill and saw ZLITEN. So 11s were more like keep-up-with-Quixs. OOOoook. The next mile was steep ass rollers, so it was 7 min mile pace, then 11, then 7 then 12. I cruised as hard as I could through these, and actually followed Zliten up the last one. After we crested the last bad one, I took a few seconds to recover, and then kicked back to 9:20s. I was about 9:50 avg – so way behind my norm but I still had time to get it.
Pushing kept getting harder and harder, even on the flats and finally around 3.3 I noticed that a) I would need unheard of speeds to not make this my personal worst and b) I just had no gas. I had been fighting my lungs and legs the first 5k and then around then my head left the party too. And I was ok with it. I made a new goal to finish under a 10 min/mile pace (which under normal circumstances should have been cruise pace for a 5 mile race) and kept on keeping on.
I’ve run this route many times and coming over the bridge at 3.3 is where I usually start to kick and accelerate. I had nothing today. All the gas was gone. This was a slog to the finish. I’m thankful I made an impromptu secondary goal, because it was the only thing keeping me pushing and not walking it in. I took my first water stop around 4 and that pepped me up a bit and I did anything I could to keep my average pace below 10 (it was hovering between 9:58 and 10:01). I hit the end bridge which I usually cruise down in the 7s or 8s and could barely keep it in the 9s but I just stayed with it and pushed and finally found some kick the last stretch. I ran to the finish and crossed at 50:05 for 5.03.
My previous times were 45:50 (different course), 42-something for a 4.54 mile oops it’s short course, and last year 46:30-something for the same course. Year 1 I trained specifically for this. Year 3, it was in the middle of specific training to 10:15 pace a marathon. This year, it was definitely a post-script to the season, but a 3 minute PW was a little sad even if it was totally expected and made sense.
What made me incredibly happy though… I caught up with Zliten at the finish and he showed me his garmin – 50:11. Holy fuck – this boy PRed this race by 10 minutes from last year. He had a great day, and though I lost him on mile 3, he had the juice I was missing and pushed hard and accelerated and finished strong. He felt like he was going to puke for a while after the race. I had been stressing that’s how you need to feel at the end of a short race to know you gave it your all (and not feel like you had a few more miles in you) and he did it! Although, I’m thankful I was still able to beat him by 9 seconds. I don’t like him beating me. 🙂
Instead of being all emo, I’m taking this as a good yardstick of where I’m at. I may feel like I’m omg lets go train hard again, but this is a huge validation that it is a GOOD THING I’m taking time to do step class with the blue hairs and yoga and pedal my bike slow and take happy garmin-less runs and sleep in and just de-intensify. Because I’m not. If I can barely push myself through a 10 min/mile 5 miler racing, I am nowhere near healed and need some time. Just because I feel fine doesn’t mean I am fine. And being not-fine is actually fine after the year I’ve had.
This was race #22 of the year I showed up at, healthy, and ready to do battle. That blows my mind. Once we made this 24 races in 12 months goal (with new longer distances), I figured, I’d have to show up sick, injured, onthefloortired, or whatnot and just get through, or worse, DNF/S. Not so. I’ve not won every fight, but I’ve certainly done what I could each day with an in-tact Quix. They’re not all winners, but I’ve learned something at each and every one. Some rewarded me with outcomes I never thought possible (hi 2 u Pflugerville Tri, Tri Rock, and RnRSA marathon), some showed me weakness and what I needed to improve,and there may have been many high and lows, elation and tears, but I don’t look back on any of them and think “why the fuck did I race this?”. They all had a purpose. Whether it was perfecting race day strategy, trying something new, building to an A race, completing a series, or just helping pace my Zliten, every race day has been worthy of the champagne I’ve celebrated with after.
Look for more specifics after race 23 and 24. After the year we’ve had, we want to go out with a bang. The mind is willing, but the body is beaten. So, no century rides,ultras, polar bear club swims, or that sort of epic. We searched and searched and finally came up with it.
Dec 15th – 8am – 5k race. 6:30pm – another 5k race. It’s they day after my last day of work for the year. In another 3 weeks, I should be rested enough to try to best my time (on the same course from May). The evening one is a tour though the city’s best light show, and I plan to run it with “hydration” (nog and brandy, etc) and enjoy the pretty lights and the end of my epic year. Or maybe see what I can do there too. Who knows.
Since I missed posting this last weekend, here’s my racing/tri/sporty thankfuls:
-We have family that love and supports (even if they think we’re crazy) what we do. Even if my mom is sometimes like, “Are you going to win the race?” hehe. Yeah.
-I have a husband that is not only supportive, but has fully drank the triathlete koolaide and loves it just as much if not more than me.
-I have not yet had to really choose between my hobby and my jobby. It may be a huge juggling act sometimes, but I’ve always made it work.
-I may feel like I’ve gotten SLOWER, but I don’t for long lose sight that my base has gotten huge and I feel like I could tackle distances that baffled me even months ago.
-I went from eating like crap, to eating as little as possible (and probably kind of killing my metabolism) to eating like an endurance athlete to fuel my races. I may still have body issues and sometime cringe at race pictures, but beneath some of the flubber I wish to lose, I have a strong amazing capable body that lets me do things I never imagined at 265 lbs, or even 125 lbs. Marathoner, half ironman triathlete, what? Much better than supermodel skinny.
-I have a gaggle of bloggy people that amaze and inspire me on a weekly basis. You all inspire me to do more and be better. I always feel like a stalker when I totally athlete-crush on bloggers I’ve never met, but I’m a card carrying member of the fan club of the folks below…
Katie, awesome Ironman and triathlete
Sonja, Katie’s coach
Sarah OUAL, Oiselle runner extraordinare
Ty, fast ass Boston Marathoner and triathlete
Monica, crazy fast socal runner gal and eater of delicious foods
Sweaty Emily, fellow lover of race day champagne, winner of ultras, and all around badass
Pinkypie, an endurance lady from across the pond
The Happy Runner, who makes me realize that possibly having babies someday just means more PRs with additional cheering squads 🙂
Tricia, who inspired me to consider the marathon, who is a huge inspiration to many, and who has the most adorable son
The Oiselle Ladies, who actually make me think living in Seattle might be fun (and inspire the crap out of me in both fast running and business)
Libby, badass ultrarunner, who also inspired me to think about marathoning, and runs a marathon or ultra every few weeks. And is a badass race director. Y’know. No big deal.
Charlotte – as they say, my sister from another mister. I read her blogs and so often go “OMG ME TOO!!!”
Josie, who is an amazingly strong, buff, hilarious woman who inspires me to be buffer
Tonja, who I online-met in the weight loss days, who turned her love of fitness into a business and trains people to be superheros!
Annabelle, who is also a sister from another mister in that “omg me too” way. While I’m not quite in the vegan camp like she is, inspires me to be more ethical with the foods I eat and to love my bod for what it is.
Carla – I love this lady. She inspires me daily to be both stronger and a better person. I loathe that she’s leaving Austin and we have yet to meet (but it’s probably for the best as I’m more interesting online :D).
…and these are just the ones I remembered while I’m drinking whiskey on the patio at midnight. Y’all are awesome and inspirational. Consider yourself “I love you, man’d *hic*” Hopefully the restraining orders don’t start piling in, but seriously, while pro athletes are awesome, YOU really inspire me because, like me, this is your hobby, not your job. If I missed you, please comment! Thanks to Ty for the linky love idea.
So, this week’s goals:
-Ease back into quality food in smaller quantities. It was a shock to the system and I got through 3 days and then kinda went crazy over the holiday. Track and aim for the 1000s (aka under 2000).
Last week: 1800. 1800, 1500, and then radio silence… 🙂
-Starting weight – 182.6 as of today. Both UGH and not as bad as I was scared of. I’d like to lose at least 1 lb this week, but secretly, I think some of this is water weight and I’d love to see sub 180 next week.
Last week: probably higher than that. *shudder*
-Movement – 30 mins cardio activity 5 times this week. 2 weights sessions. 1 yoga. Cardio is anything. Today and yesterday it was playing Dance Dance Revolution. I forgot how much I love it and I may just play that for 6 weeks instead of swim bike run.
Last week’s movement: Monday: swim+ circuit training, Tuesday: 3 mile run + core and arm weights, Wednesday: 10 mile trainer ride+yoga, Thursday: 5 mile turkey trot run + 4 mile walk, Sunday: 30 mins DDR. About 5 hours of activity. That’s about right.
This week’s questions: what’s your favorite fitness activity? Hit me up so I can try it in the next 6 weeks!
Let me leave you with a bonus picture of our outdoor cat Nachocat being derpy! Bonus internet cat pic ftw!