The Weekender – a half marathon, sun, a blizzard, rain, and silly disappointment

Peanut butter cups, sticks, and pieces being g...

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I spent the better part of the weekend trying to come up with an angle for a new entry.

I didn’t run on Saturday and thought about writing a post on the rich irony of it being so nice out the one Saturday I didn’t have to run at 7:30 a.m. I didn’t run because I was running at half-marathon the next day. Then I stopped, and thought, “lame.”

The idea of weather popped up again on Sunday morning when it was a cool 39 degrees out and drizzling when I went to run the first Cincinnati Heart Half Marathon. By the time I finished the race a post about running and the weather felt like double lameness.

As a matter of fact, after the half I did not want to write about anything at all. And I didn’t. Instead I took a long nap, ate dinner, and walked the dog down to the nearest DQ, where I promptly pigged out on a Reese’s Peanut Butter Blizzard. Hey, at least I kept to a small and walked the mile round trip to get it, I told myself.

That Blizzard was the DQ Blizzard of disappointment and despair.

Here is the deal: I know I ran my half-marathon at a decent clip, finishing it at 1:49:14 for a 8 minute 21 second average pace. I got incrementally faster on the 5K, 10K, and 15K splits, perhaps dropping a second on the last leg of the half.

Part of the problem that created disappointment was my mindset, I think. I went in hoping for giant gains in my pace running with the group.

Instead I spent most of the run trying to “catch up” because I got caught in line for a port-o-potty hell as the race began, ending up over 8 minutes behind the starting gun. So, I had no familiar pace coach or peers to gauge my speed against and cheer on/be cheered on by. I only had the pacers I passed in an attempt to judge how well I was or was not doing.

I passed walkers, 12 minute pace coaches and so forth all the way up to the 8 minute 40 second pace coaches near the 10th or 11th mile. Around mile 10 I started to worry I had run too fast and my brain started to fret over little things. There were a lot of hills and my mind flipped back to two weeks ago when I experienced a sharp pain on the outside of my left knee that felt like what I read described as an inflamed ITband on a down hill at the end of a 16 miler. I haven’t experience the pain since, but that dwelled on me and I worried the tightness in my left leg may turn to injury so I didn’t push it like I wanted to. Yes, I suddenly have a huge fear of that particular syndrome or injury, thus my disappointment coupled with my late start and one other reason.

The two bench marks I find myself running against in my group did better than I did by far. One ran a full 10 minutes faster than her earlier half-marathon pace and the guy I run practice with ended up a full 2 minutes ahead of me according to chip sets. He’s the one who thought I’d be blowing off the doors of my old record of 1:51:00 for sure since he’s seen me increase leaps and bounds in speed training.

After all the speed training, with the amazing 6 minute 45 second sprints that felt like a breeze I thought for sure I’d do better than I did. Really,  I thought I did better too in parts in run. Then I saw that result: 1:49:14, a mere 3 minutes and 13 seconds faster than my first half in October that I trained for by myself.

A foam roller named Sue

I tried to go into a hundred reasons why I didn’t run as good as I hoped. I listed a few here. Again, lame.

So, instead I’m starting to realize I sulked over nothing, the past, something I can’t change. I really just started to come out of the self-induced funk this evening when I swam for 45 minutes, biked a moderately hard pre-programmed three miles on a stationary bike (something I probably need to do more of), did lunges, core and balancing exercise to strengthen muscle groups. I also gave my IT band Hell on the foam roller.

I’ve begun turning that lame emotion into determination (and perhaps check some realistic expectations for my first full marathon). I just pray, pray, pray I don’t end up with injury or that stupid IT band syndrome I’ve read about on the Internets.


5 thoughts on “The Weekender – a half marathon, sun, a blizzard, rain, and silly disappointment

  1. Not lame. There are valid reasons why the race didn’t pan out exactly as you hoped – and it totally makes sense to feel bummed about it. That said, it does sound like you ran a strong and steady race, increasing speed the whole way. That’ll translate well for your marathon – as will that rejuvenated sense of determination.

    By the way, you’re the second guy I know who’s named his foam roller.

    • I know, I came across the first through your blog I think. His wife, the author of The Brick Wall, wrote about it I think. I just thought it hilarious, so I copied him after he sold me on the foam roller in the comment section of that post.

      And thanks for the affirmation. I think we both were commenting about the same time on each other’s posts.

  2. Regardless of the circumstance and what you had in mind, that’s an awesome race time. Nice work.

    My IT band has been acting up as well, I feel your pain, literally!

    • Yeah, I’m doing everything to losen up and strengthen mine. Down hill seems to really be a problem. Hopefully corrective measure, paying attention to for will help.

  3. I concur with the other ladies: great job! And it definitely does sound like there were some valid reasons to be thrown off.

    That image of the Reese’s reminds me of Halloween.

    In other news, I miss Dairy Queen. I think Salt Lake has one in the entire valley. I guess that ‘s not a bad thing. Those blizzards are bad (delicious) news.

    Okay, enough tangents for one sitting.

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