Monday, May 30, 2011

Race Recap: So You Had A Bad Day

Yesterday, I ran the Great Hyannis Road Race - a half marathon.  As noted in my earlier posts, I was extremely nervous for my first race back in almost a year, but I was also very excited! I have been training harder and faster than ever and really thought this would be the day that I could PR.


For those that don't want to read the full re-cap (and its a long one). No such luck.  I ran it in 1:50:38, came in 189/637 overall and 30/133 in my division.  Ultimately, knee pain/IT Pain, Foot pain, and calf pain slowed me down. The last five miles were so painful I can hardly remember anything else but the pain Ok now from the beginning with some more upbeat, positive views!

Now back to the very beginning...("a very good place to start," ok I could not help myself for those of you that get the musical reference, what can I say I am a dork)

Since we last spoke, I have been prepping for yesterday's order to do so

1) I went on a panic mission to find the perfect socks (see this post)....I officially bought more socks in 24 hours than I know what to do with (can we say nerves?).  With the help of my wonderful running buddy and Erin from Until You Tri I found these socks! My running buddy gave me a pair of his clean ones (hey, don't judge me!) that were too small and I wore them on Friday's elliptical stretch out workout and they were great - I of course ran to City Sports and bought two more pair, yes in men's.  Making my grand total of buying socks to 6 different types of socks in about two weeks, but at least that is FINALLY settled haha.

2) Then I got to fueling - started early on Friday with dairy products galore.  This totally goes against my rule of trying not to consume too much dairy pre-race weekend but honestly I am a sucker for Pinkberry and Berryline and Captain Frostys (softserve on the Cape), so I had them both on Friday....needless to say my stomach was not my friend on Saturday, oh well.
Pinkberry on Newbury - yum!
 Captain Frostys

3) But I continued to fuel on Saturday night with a hearty runner's dinner - the number two thing I was worried about. But I did get my fish, pasta, sauce, and salad (and OJ and an orange). It was the perfect meal. Thanks everyone for the suggestions!!!
Notice the amount of liquid - orange juice, lots of water and seltzer - hydrating much?

4) I made a new playlist. Every few races I like to make a new one, because I get soo bored of the old ones. Aaron is amazing at helping me find the perfect songs for the different moments in the race. This one rocked! I loved it...unfortunately, most of the time I was in too much pain to notice how great the songs were...

5) I did extra PT on Friday (stim and stretch galore) and had Aaron stretch and rub my muscles on saturday before the race (what a trooper he is).

6) Friday, we rod the course in the car to see what it was like, hill, hill, hill, hill.  Again, running buddy was like no hills and again our definitions differ. Ok, yes, you look at the Garmin and the stats on the Garmin say only an elevation gain of 196 ft, I swear the garmin lies! Nothing like a few hills to get your nerves rattling. I felt fairly confident though because I have been running more hills than ever but worried about my IT band on them....We finally also picked a spot where Aaron would be waiting for me with Shotblocks and water and left the worries behind

So yesterday, we drove over nice and early to Hyannis for the race.  The weather was perfect! Not too hot, fairly cool actually and grey (and it did not rain). They said it was deceptively humid but it felt good to me.   I did my normal prep - multiple bathroom trips, stretching, and warm up. And before I knew it we were off!

 Getting Ready - super serious
 My in the zone pictures
Me and the running buddy - pre-race.

Running buddy and I stayed together for about, oh 3 minutes and then he took off (and did awesome, coming in 42 overall and 16th in his division, crazy!!).  I settled into my plan the goal was first three miles slow - 8:15, 8:10, 8:00 and then keep at 7:50s for the remainder of the race....well....
Here we are all smiles!
Hi hubby!

The first three miles were great. I remember thinking how wonderful and easy this felt. Things felt great and I was soaking up being back in the races. People were passing me left and right but I did not mind and kept to my plan as close as possible - 7:54, 7:56, 7:55

The playlist also hit on exactly and at the end of Mile 3, the hills and my pump up music began and I sped up, feeling strong on the uphills and passing people with ease! I kind of made it my goal to pass one person on each hill - what can I say I get competitive.  The next three miles were not bad either - hilly and tough but I kept on moving - 7:37, 7:53, 7:57.

At mile 6, about, Aaron was waiting for me. And I know people will feel different ways about this...but it was a small race, I am only racing myself, and people have others run with them sooo don't judge me!!!  So, yes Aaron was waiting there with his rollerblades to rollerblade along side of me for a while and give me fuel. I promise you, he never was in anyone's way.  Some might think this is cheating but I don't see much difference of having someone jump in and run with you. And honestly, things are suppose to be fun. I am not winning any medals here, so yea for me it was great and what I needed. Aaron rode with me for the next two miles and supplied me with shot blocks and water.  People loved it! He chatted with people and helped me along. Mile 6 and 7 - 7:57, 8:13.

At Mile 8 was when the pain began.  I remember Aaron leaving and me saying to him I am not going to finish this and he said something along the lines of yes you are, you are doing great.  And for the next few minutes the song of Galaway Girl got me through.  But after that, things went down hill fast, or should I say up hill fast. The hills increased and got longer and steeper.  People were passing me again and people who I had passed were passing me!  It was pretty disheartening. There were so many times when I just wanted to give up and was thinking if I would ever run again.  I kept thinking, am I last? But I kept going as my times slowed even one point I leaned over and almost cried, someone passed me and said keep going, so I did. I tried to remain positive thinking about my husband, my running buddy, my PT all encouraging me and pushing me.  I thought about the Ultra marathon Man and if he can run a marathon on the South Pole, I can do this. I thought of quotes like "it is just putting one foot in front of the other" and "if this is easy, you are not trying hard enough."  But unfortunately, for the most part I just thought of PAIN and focusing on how many miles I had left.  At that point, the pain from my knee/IT band had traveled to my calf and my foot and the pavement was not helping!!!  Mile 8-11 - 8:17, 8:24, 8:47,8:55.

Somewhere in those miles, Aaron appeared again to take pictures.  I screamed to him in pain "AARON,"  he quickly stopped taking them when he realized through the lens that there were tears in my eyes...I can only take sooo much pain...

Aaron did not even want me to post these, can you tell how much pain I am in here?

At Mile 12, it was tough going....I saw Aaron again and yelled for him to come run with me but he could not keep up with the rollerblades off, I saw Aaron's family yell for me, I tried to look good but it was hard, I saw the running buddy who yelled to finish strong, as I yelled about the pain....but I took his words and the support of my family and finished as strong as I could. 1:50:38, 8:25 pace, 189/636 overall, 30/133 in my division

Aaron, G-d Bless him, had cold packs and ibuprofen waiting at the finish. As I collapsed on the stairs and savored the ice and some food, I felt so disappointed in myself.  I really wanted to PR, I knew I could do better and it just did not happen!  I felt like I should have been able to push through the pain (as the PT says there is really nothing wrong with me and I can do it), but I could not.  Everyone was so encouraging and said I did great and that it was my first race back, everyone has off days, and not to worry!  I, of course, was negative nelly...and I guess my competitive side of me just wanted to do better, I had trained harder  become faster and was so pissed that my knee held me back YET AGAIN.

Driving back from the Cape yesterday, the song "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter came on and Aaron remarked this is your theme song of the day. Mainly so what, you had a bad day. It really is OK.  This helped a lot. I really have to be easier on myself and realize the victories of the day.

1) I finished!!!! I did not think I could but I dug deep and did it!
2) I made it about 8 miles without pain - better than weeks past!
3) I am a faster stronger runner than ever before
4) I had fun and remembered how much I liked racing (well at least while I was not in pain)
5) I am lucky to have such amazing supportive family and friends - thank you!!!
6) I made an amazing new playlist - a big plus for me
7) My socks worked out great (but my toes are still black and felt the pounding, bah)
8) My fueling plan worked out great!
9) I did not have to battle the heat
10) I actually did a pretty amazing overall  job and can't wait to be ready to go at it again!!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday and that all your races went well and if not, be positive, there is always another race and so you had a bad day, oh well, maybe tomorrow will be a better one....


  1. Those are all amazing victories of the day! You should be proud of yourself. Even though you didn't get the time you wanted you pushed through the pain and kept going.

    And remember you're way ahead of all the people that never even left their house yesterday. lol :)

  2. You should be crazy proud of your race! :)

    Oh, and don't worry, I totally got your musical reference right away... Guess I'm a dork, too. LOL

  3. Aw, I am so sorry you did not have a great day:(. It DOES happen to all of us. But hey, 30 out of 133 in your division is pretty friggin awesome, if I do say so myself:). I really liked your race recap...I was with ya every step of the way through all of that pain and frustration. You rock for pushing through all of that to finish!

    I am so glad the socks worked out, haha! Those really are my favs! I can't live without them now:).