Have you ever ran a road race and within a few hundred yards you knew it wasn’t your day? That happened to me. But before we get into that let’s take a look back leading up to this race.
I first ran this race 10 years ago on my 30th birthday. I ran with my friend Betsy. The course has changed since then but from my memory the elevation overall has remained the same. I ran the 2004 event in 1:48:58 (8:54 per mile average).
I ran this course again in 2012. The course in 2012 was pretty much the same as it was this year. When I ran it in 2012 I ran it in 1:32:50 (7:30 per mile average). The big difference in 2012 was I had a cramp at mile 10 and ended up walking about 1 mile.
This year leading up to the race I had completed a 1/2 Ironman 2 weeks before. I have been running several miles to get me ready for my fall races. including 2 long runs of over 12 miles.
On Friday 8/29 I ran 16 miles. My legs didn’t feel well from this run and was hoping I would be recovered in time for the Labor Day race. The next two nights I was out late and got very little sleep. I decided to take the next two days off leading up to the Monday race. I normally like to run the day before a race but because of not sleeping much and being busy I thought it would be best to take the time off. Also my nutrition leading up to nutrition wasn’t ideal. Eating late dinners and not really healthy food I felt a bit heavy entering Monday.
On Monday I practiced my morning nutrition that I did for the 1/2 Ironman. I had one Ensure and oatmeal for Breakfast. I sipped water until the start of the race.
Once the race started I knew it was going to be a struggle. Sure the weather was warm and very humid but that wasn’t going to be my issue this day. It was my legs. Within a few hundred yards I could see my legs weren’t 100%. It wasn’t that they were tight they just felt fatigued from Friday’s run as well as running 40 miles back-to-back weeks.
I was able to run the first three miles in averaging under 7:00 minute miles. It’s not that I was running slow I could just tell my legs weren’t responding. It felt like a struggle the whole race. My two slowest miles weren’t hilly at all. At mile 6 I think I lost a bit of focus but was able to rebound the next few miles.
Here is the breakdown of my average per mile.
I had plans of coming into this race peaking to run an A race. I ended up running an A- race. I finished 177th overall out of 1991 (top 9%) and 33rd out of 245th in my age group (top 13%). I normally would expect I would be in a higher % overall but this race is very competitive.
I now have three more key races this fall. RTB on 9/12, Ironman Chattanooga on 9/28, and a full marathon on 10/26. I will be better prepared for those races. Though with RTB I plan on doing it as a duathlon with some biking beforehand. In the end I really want to try and qualify for the Boston Marathon so my main focus for these next several weeks will be running.