What a classic Greek race weekend. By Greek I mean tragedy and comedy. I'm actually laughing at a lot more now than I was yesterday. In fact, I've even created a separate blog on the comedy - it's all about The Mystery Chafe. (Read that if you want a quick giggle instead, because this report will be LONG).
I was still hungry at 10pm the night before the race, so my husband and I shared some food. (Yes, he actually came with me, although we slept like brother and sister - not touching, different sides of the bed. Anyway, moving on - that'll turn into a blog of its own if I let it.) The hotel had a sleep mask and a sound CD, though, as well as a memory foam bed. It was WONDERFUL. I'm one of those prissy sleepers that likes a sound machine and a sleep mask. (Trust me, if you ever have EDS, and you're tired enough to sleep all day long, you'll understand that there is NO value that can be placed on a great and luxurious sleep at night, when you're actually supposed to be sleeping).
5am came early, and everything was going along as planned (quick shower, make coffee) until I realized I don't have my timing chip. "Shit, shit, shit!" I yelled, running into the bathroom where Mr. MAJ was. "You need to HUSTLE. It's almost 5:30am and I need extra time to pick up a timing chip. I forgot mine."
(HOW long have I been doing this??? Thankfully, he didn't ask. By the way, I never got my damn coffee!)
So we hustled. I think I saw Clint from the Higdon Forums, but I wasn't sure. I didn't want to walk up to some random dude and start a conversation (although, later, I did exactly that.) Got there in plenty of time for a Clif bar, half a Power Bar, some Powerade, my energy drink, some water, and a warmup. Except that it rained on me the whole time and I was already soaked by the time the race started. The handful of salt pills I had stashed in my back pocket (yes, I also forgot a Ziploc for those) was melted together from the rain and I decided to just down all 4 before the run. (Considering that it was 100% humidity and I have low BP, this is never a bad thing for me.) At some point Al just went and waited in the car. I felt really good during my warmup, though. At one point I ran to the car and stuck my head in to tell him, "I sooooo got this!"
But seriously. I did. I mean, I was going to be out there about HALF the time I spend on a triathlon. Right? I was ready. I was even wearing my little necklace that says Life is What You Make It. Which I kept re-adjusting during the race to remind myself.
I started out feeling really comfortable, on track for an 11 min/mile pace (about my goal since my 5k race pace is 10 and change and I have been regularly running 10min miles in my 5-10 mile training runs). My only real goal, though: beat last year's race, my first 1/2, by any amount of time. But I have short, quick strides, and right away I got a little too into the marines yelling their cadence, somehow got into their long strides and wasted a little energy. I knew this when people were already passing me on mile one, even though I'd slapped myself onto the very tail of the pack. Then I ran into this guy named Al (yes, REALLY!!) who was really cool and we talked through the first 5 miles. I'm not sure if his pace threw me off or if he helped me because he distracted me. he lost me At mile 5 I let myself get mentally psyched out by the water kids who were like "Great, you're the last one," when I came by. I glanced behind me to see if anyone was there and there were at least 10 people. "LIAR!" I yelled at them as I ran off.
Almost no walking, not even through water stations. Almost no chafing (except the aforementioned Mystery Chafe.) I was still looking good by mile 9 with about 50 minutes left to comfortably run the remaining 4 miles. Then, just after the last hill, where the mile 11 sign was posted, I passed a group of spectators standing by Hooters cheering. "One more mile to go!!!" they were yelling at everyone. I looked down at my watch, which told me I could lope along and still PR by 10 minutes. "One more mile?" I yelled. "Are you trippin'?" They yelled back, "NO!"
One more mile? Shit, I got this. PR City. I put on some hustle.
They were wrong.
I still had almost 2 miles left. I passed mile 12 and I wanted to cry. There's no way I could get to 13.1 in the 6 minutes I had remaining. I had even slowed to chat with a dude who seemed to be struggling, trying to pep him up. "I've been trying to catch you for 12 miles!" I told him. At mile 10, my right arch had really started to hurt, so by this point I was so disheartened I just sort of shuffled. I walked for the first real time during the race.I crossed the finish line second to last in my age group and REVERSE PR'D.
Last year I finished 120/144 in 2:45; this year 2:50.
Jax, This Year
#537 412/over 500 77/78 W25-29 2:50:56 2:52:15 13:02
OUC, Last Year
#99 120/144W25-29 1699/1916 overall 2:45:53 2:45:04 12:39.7
Needless to say, I'm not pleased. I have improved all of my run times by over 2 minutes/mile. I was supposed to have my foot issues fixed. Triathlon has made me stronger, more determined and faster. I did take an extended taper and have been sick the past few weeks, but I really feel disappointed by the results. I'm now wondering whether I can hack it at Philly in 6 weeks, or if I should have bothered signing up for FL Half Ironman in May, but I'll wait to make those decisions until the stiffness is gone, and the Mystery Chafe is gone. (By the way, really, really fantastic work by Clint, who finished in about half the time I did.)
So, yeah. Do it, baby. The Reverse PR. It's the hot new thing. Everyone's doing it.