13.1. And I’m ok with it. A little bummed but ok.
This week I worked on another great week of nutrition, more calcium (I eat way more dairy than I used to, but even so, I resumed taking supplements), more potassium (a zico a day keeps the leg ickies away?), stretching, using my shockies (muscle stimulator), and getting good sleep. I ate my normal pre race meal – steak, potato, veggies. I slept as late as I felt like. I read tweets and saw pictures about Houston Marathon Olympic Trials and got pumped.
Then I got out and did my own run. Zliten and I started together, but agreed that if I felt like I wanted to speed up or slow down I would. We got a mile in and just after that my legs felt zoomy so I took off. I was feeling good at about 10:30s so I went with it. Around mile 4 I realized I had forgotten both my nutrition and my sweatband (and it was hot-ish at upper 60s) so I stopped by the house and grabbed both. Around 6 I saw Zliten ahead of me and picked up the pace to 9s to catch him. I did about 6.65 and we ran together for a little bit and chatted, but then I felt zoomy again so I took off.
I got to the bottom of the hill and turned around. My plan was to do a bunch of loops so I wasn’t going straight uphill for 2 miles but I lost it around 8.5 and walked. That was when I made peace with my fate. I also couldn’t get the second gel down – it sounded gross and I felt full. All I wanted out of life was some pretzels or something salty. I ran/walked up to the house (at about 10.5) and stopped real quick.
I refilled my camelback, as at that time, I wasn’t sure how long I was going to go and was almost out, and mowed the fuck out of some tortilla chips (the first salty thing I could find). After about 5 mins I felt better and headed back out.
I did another quick loop, and though I actually felt better, I decided to call it at 12.1. I wasn’t mentally ready to do more. While the “I don’t have enough salt” thing was a breakthrough to try to implement in the future, I had done enough wear and tear on my body by 10.5 that I didn’t think it was prudent to try to push through.
If I would have been aiming for 12 miles, I could have done it way faster and not walked, but the net with all the walking was 2:22. About 11:40 pace. Again, I finished with the feeling I could have done more after a rest and gone faster, but you learn something from every run. And I learned a lot:
-More mid week miles. I can rock a half and even PR on minimal training, but I think I need more miles under my belt or a significantly larger running level of endurance to pull of a marathon.
-More mental toughness. This is the one I struggled with the most. I didn’t feel like it was a good excuse, but after thinking about it, I realized you only have so much “give a shit” and I have run out for the season. I am mostly succeeding at shutting out the thought of “wuss”, and have also mostly made peace with it. I took a chance coming right off tri season feeling good and realized that you need some downtime. Even if you don’t think you do.
-More love and reverence for the distance. This was just a thing to do in offseason. A step to ironman. I need to pick this up when I either a) accidentally have the endurance (aka, after tri season this year) or b) when I really want it and am excited about it.
-A race that is more suited for me. I hate hills. I am trying to get better, but still a weak point. This was one of the clinchers of not running 26.2 Austin. A pancake flat marathon? Might be good for that. A hilly ass run? Definitely not ready. Thinking about RnR San Antonio because of this.
– I don’t just want to crawl across the finish line of a marathon, I want to finish strong. I want to feel like I dominated that fucker. I’m not there yet, so I don’t feel justified in trying to race the distance.
So all in all, I’m ok. I’m about 15% bummed and 85% relieved. As I said on daily mile, if you shoot for the moon and miss, you end up among the stars, and this is so true here. I will run 4 halfs within 4 months (and would have done 5 if See Jane wasn’t cancelled). I have never put in so many run miles in a season. I have never felt BFFs with 13.1 the way I do now. 13? Aint no thang, chicken wing. I run it a little slower than I used to, but you can’t race every weekend.
And while that frustrates me a little that 13 is fine but I couldn’t do 20, it’s huge endurance in the bank for my real A race in October. I’ll be needing to ramp up to 6-7 hours of ass kicking without a rest, and having a good handle on 3-4 hours running will be huge. I will have a chance at attacking 20 miles again soon.
I know right now I’m as trained up as I need to be for a half that I’m not trying to PR. I’ll be cutting my long runs to what I have prescribed for Zliten through Austin (8, race, 10, 8, race) and then see where I go from there. I have a 10 mile race I’m looking at in April, and there’s really not time to lose much run endurance between then and ramping up for tri season. I’m still looking into training plans and coordinating my strategy through October, but I don’t see dropping much below the double digis any time soon minus a possible intentional brain/body break after Austin for about a month.
Also, most importantly – I successfully set out a plan and coached and supported Zliten to expand his runs from 5k to 13.1. He actually ran the distance last weekend strong. I am a proud wife! I thought it was a little ambitious but now he’s running longer distances like a champ! I have no doubt if we set out together to train for something, we’ll get there. (It also makes me think I might consider getting my first level coaching license but that’s another tangent…)
My brain is already going 1500000 miles about the training plan for tri season in a completely different way than I was for this marathon, so I know we’ll get it. We registered for the Texas Tri Series, which is May super sprint, June sprint, July sprint, August sprint, Sept olympic, end of Sept half iron. We need to pick what we race and what we run, and set our sights on hitting that half IM. It will be a challenge (considering my swim and run are there right now like a champ, but I need to add TWENTY MILES to my bikeness), but I think we can dominate.
So, whether it’s the safe choice or the wussy choice or whatnot, it’s been made. 26.2, we’re a missed connection right now, but I’ll catch ya later.