Saturday, March 31, 2007

Guess who opened a huuuge can o' whoopass?

Someone opened a can of whoopass today, and it wasn't me. Before I tell the story, I'll get to the punchline. A big fat PW. 1:59:05. 4 1/2 minutes slower than my first. 16 1/2 slower than my best.

I don't have an explanation. I didn't blow out. I didn't misjudge my RPE and take it too easy (there was nothing left to kick at the end- nothing). The start was slow, and I tried to make it up slowly, but it wasn't happening. After 7k, each k got longer and longer and I saw my target slipping further and further away even though I felt strong(ish) and I was still passing people (including this trainer from my gym who has never beaten me- I plan on keeping it that way!) I said goodbye to 1:45 when I hit 10k in 54 odd minutes, and realised I was exactly 1k behind plan when I hit 11 in just under an hour. I thought of Jodi and Rachel, 70.3ing today and hoped that some of my lost mojo was making its way to them!

All I can say is that the trails kicked my butt- they opened that can, and instead of standing up to them, I stepped back and I took it. I struggled with running on an uneven surface and on a slope. I really struggled clambering up a sandy hill (but I didn't walk, like one of the guys I passed. Phew!) I struggled with the humidity, and the absence of my usual nemesis, wind. I would love to run in that forest again- a long training run, perhaps- expectation free. That way I could really enjoy myself. I would love to buy me some trail shoes and get into trail running. I know trail running is a different kettle of fish compared to road running, but I was expecting a fast, fun run today and just scraping sub-2:00 only a few days after my 5k near-PB is a touch demoralising. I am MARATHON training, yet for the first time ever both my 5k and my 10k are BETTER than my half time???

I found out after the race that the course had changed significantly since last year. I think the winning man was 13 minutes slower, and the winning woman (who I know is a faster runner than last year's winner) was I think 6 or 7 minutes slower. My friend K finished in 1:34 last year, and 1:46 (I think) this year. We don't know if it was longer, harder, just a slow day. I saw a girl who I've seen finish in 2:10ish finishing after 2:30. This made me feel better at the time, but it's not helping much now. Right now I'm feeling a little sad.

BUT. Onwards and upwards. We spent a lovely day reading on the deck and lounging on the beach. Right now I'm eating filled pasta and drinking a quiet G&T by myself (Cheers, Wes!). Then, when P gets home we're off to a party- theme is S&A. I was thinking "athletes", but I'm now leaning towards "sunburn". I still can't wait for Rotorua, and I still don't feel like sub-4 has completely slipped away. If my 20-miler goes badly, I will reassess seriously, but for now...

PS- one interesting observation: I ran sans-tunes today, and noticed just how much harder the people with music were breathing compared to those who weren't. Not being able to hear your breath is a great distraction!


The Scott Family said...

Sounds like a tough course! Don't think you should be 'sad' with a sub 2 .... especially when you consider how much slower the others were compared to last year.

And as you say, its part of your training for the Rotorua. After a decent taper I'd have money on you going sub 4!

Curly Su said...

trail running is SOO different from road running; you can't even compare the two. you just finished your first trail half under 2; be happy!! (under 4 in the marathon is still SO feasible!)

TriShannon said...

Trail running is another animal... sounds like the course was also hard or long based on others' times. Be happy with sub 2.

With taper and no trails, sub 4 is totally doable!

Jessica said...

Hey. You stuck it out and you finished. You didn't give up when you saw your goals slip away. I know what it feels like to be sad over a race result; but a race is just ONE DAY and your training and dedication is every day. You're still a rockin' athlete! So I'm going to say - Congratulations! :-)