Monday, May 31, 2010

Why do I race?

I ran my 3rd half of the year yesterday and they are only getting worse. Two of the past three that I have run have been frustrating and uncomfortable and all I wanted was to be done. The half I ran 4 weeks ago was the only one that felt good and was enjoyable. I think it is time to step back and reassess my training, racing, and fueling.

I decided not to experiment with this race and went back to my old standbys of a PB bagel and banana for breakfast and a Gu before and during the race. To prevent myself for going out too fast I lined up with the 1:45 pace group to keep an 8:01 pace. This backfired too! I'm not huge on running with pacers and this only reinforced that. I tried not to look at my Garmin since I figured the pacer was on, but when the pace felt faster I looked to see the first 2 miles were around 7:30. I slowed to my own pace and ran for awhile with the 3:30 pacer for the full who was actually running the right pace. This lasted until mile 4 when the race was over. I didn't remember this hill being so bad last year, but yikes it sucked. Now we're running uphill and in to the wind, but soon the course would turn and the wind would be at my back. Wrong again as soon as we made the turn the wind disappeared, so now it was calm, sunny and hot (80F) and not even 8am by now.

The race only continued to get worse as I was caught and passed by the 3:40 pacer and soon the 3:45 pacer, but still no 1:50 pacer in sight. Now I am hot, sweaty, tired and the belly cramps are starting. At this point I am waiting for Matt to catch up with me and figure I'll just finish with him. I was even tempted to stop and wait for him to catch up. Yep, I gave up on this race and considered removing my chip to prevent the time from being recorded. I continued along and walked the next hill at mile 9-10, I haven't done this in years. Luckily it made me feel a little better and my speed picked up when I started running again. I was now passed by the 1:55 pacer and was only waiting for the 2:00 group. Finally I turn the corner and see the finish line, an end is in sight! Somehow I managed to cross in 1:53, but behind the 1:55 pacer, I thought pacers were supposed to be right on? I guess they need better pacers.

I know many people would be thrilled with a 1:53, but I know I can run better and have twice this month already. Worse than my time was just feeling like I didn't want to run and wondering why I was even doing this. Last year I ran the full with this race at 6 1/2 weeks pregnant and felt the best I have ever felt during and after a race, yes it was cooler and I took it easy finishing with a 3:56. In the past 24 hours I am feeling less disappointed with the time and just more upset with how I have felt during races, I'm not enjoying it. Yes, I've had tough miles before, but not this consistent that I can't figure out and I don't like it.

More complaining here: besides the GI issues of the past couple months, I am once again fatigued, weak, and lack energy. I haven't felt this bad since I was first pregnant, no I not pregnant. Do I need to eat better while breastfeeding? Not sure, I feel like I am already eating constantly. Am I dehydrated? Maybe, it has been hot, but I am constantly drinking water. Is my thyroid low again? Maybe, but unlikely since 2 months ago it was the best it has ever been since being diagnosed with hypothyroid. Am I getting enough sleep? Yes, Ophelia is sleeping through the night and I am getting between 8-9 hours.

Okay, I'm done complaining; now I need to step back and rethink my training. I have 5 weeks until my next race and really need to focus on good training. I'm having a hard time with this since I never train for halfs, they usually are just a part of full marathon training.

4 comments:

  1. woah! i think you wrote your answer in your own post:
    "I know many people would be thrilled with a 1:53, but I know I can run better and have twice this month already."
    sounds like you've been doing lots of long racing. why not mix it up a bit and throw in some shorter stuff? i don't think anyone can run three great half marathons in a month!

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  2. Don't forget to get your iron checked. The Dr.'s mentioned that the anemia can hang around even while breastfeeding. Slow FE isn't so bad.
    You are out there running and that is what counts!

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  3. I am not sure if you know this or not...but you just had a baby a few months ago! I am lucky if I can run down the block! :)

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  4. I know, I'm probably racing to much already, but this used to be my long run pace. I have 5 weeks until the next half so plenty of time off and might look into a 5K/10K sometime in between.
    Iron is good, at least it was a few weeks ago.

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