Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How I Was Able to Run 13.1 Miles, But Not 6.2 Miles

The morning started out fine.  I had my alarm set for 6 a.m. for a 6:30 departure with my friends Shaunna and Kristy (my regular running buddy) for the BAA 10K.  A glance at the weather showed 60 degree temps and full sun.  I chose to wear my spandex running shorts, a sports bra, a short sleeve tee shirt (mistake #1) and a baseball hat (mistake #2).

Once we figured out where to park for the race (not as easy as it sounds in Boston, trust me), we were good to go.  The pre-race festivities were in full swing on the Boston Common, and an even more welcome sight was the entire street block of port-a-potties!  (Ever been to a race where you had to wait looooong lengths of time in line to go pee before a race?  I have.)

Not a race picture.  A running to the bathroom picture.

While waiting in line for the bathroom, I realized that I wasn't, in fact, drinking my Gatorade Prime Pouch.  I was drinking my Recover Drink for post-race (mistake #3).  But whatever.  It was only 6 miles.

 Pre-race.  See the sparkle, excitement and confidence in my eyes? 

The race happened in 4 separate waves, each 4 minutes apart, with the elite athletes starting out first along the flat 3-mile out, 3-mile back course through downtown Boston. 

Mile 1 was pure adrenaline and dodging other runners.  I was pretty shocked at our split time of 8:52 after Mile 1.  That's really fast for me.  But I felt okay.  This first mile was pretty shaded and tree-lined, so the hot sun hadn't yet become a factor.

Mile 2 was the same.  We hit Mile 2 sometime in the 18-minute mark.  Still a fast pace when our normal training runs would be somewhere in the 20-minute range.  

Shortly after this point was when I started to fade.  I was HOT.  I hated the fact that I was wearing a ball cap and 2 layers.  (Um, I usually never run a race with more than a sport bra tank top, shorts and a ponytail in my hair.  So I'm not sure why, on this particular morning, I felt compelled to wear a hat AND a short sleeve shirt on top of my long sports bra.)  Grrrrrrrr.

There was no more shade.  It was full sun.  It was a flat course.  Kristy had started to pull ahead of me.  (Shaunna is a speedster and was wayyyyy ahead from the get-go.)

It was all I could do to move forward.  I kept telling myself to just get to the halfway point.  Just make it to the turnaround. 

I hit the turnaround in the 30 minute mark.  Still pretty on track, but definitely slowing.

Somewhere between Miles 3 and 4, I hit the wall.  I shut down.  It was mind over matter, and my mind won.  I started walking, defeated.

No sparkle in my eye anymore.

I tried to run again.  I would run for a few beats, but then start walking again.  I took this pic somewhere during Mile 4 when I was still walking.   Nothing could get me out of my own head.  

This was my worst fear for the half marathon that I ran earlier this month.  Thankfully it didn't happen to me then, although my finish time was much slower than I anticipated.

But it happened to me during this 10k, that's for sure.

My pre-race goal was to finish in under 1 hour.  

My time?


You can be sure I'll be looking for redemption.  And soon.

(And for the record, Shaunna and Kristy did awesome, with times of 51:55 and 59:49, respectively.  They rocked it!)


Jennifer said...

If it is worth anything you look really, really hot in that last photo. I can imagine that the heat would play a big factor in weakening the mind.

Momof3 said...

Considering how hot it looked you still did an awesome job!

Fairly Odd Mother said...

First of all, I think all runners have "bad" races. I did a 5K last month that I thought was going to kill me. And just over an hour is awesome! I know you don't think so, but---really---think about how many people can run a mile, never mind cover 6 miles.

I'm really, really nervous about my first 10K next week. . . .the heat DESTROYS me, and my brain is my own worst enemy. I sometimes feel like screaming SHUT UP to myself when my mind starts going all negative. But, then I think people would start to run away from me. ; )


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