Sunday, February 5, 2012

Landing


The best word to describe my race this morning is: disaster. Well, maybe I am being a little too pessimist but things did not turn out as expected. I was hoping to run at least 1:15 for the half-marathon. By what I heard that was an elevation loss in this race. Well, I have never quite seen  the elevation loss. It had its gently ups and downs.

I had to get up at 4:45AM and around 5:30AM I left my house in direction to the race's location. I got there around 6AM. It was dark and they were still putting up all the equipment to make the race possible. I set in one of the park benches, and waited. A couple benches away was a homeless guy. It seems like he t got up early too.

I started my warm up by 7:30AM. I had to walk about a mile to drop my bag so I could pick up by the finish line. No idea that the drop off would be that far away.

The weather was perfect, clear and cool. The race started by 8AM and from the start I already knew that was going to be a bad day. I felt heavy and my legs were not answering. I tried to follow a small group of runners and see what would happen. I was able to keep up with them until around mile six. At mile six I started to have cramps on my soleus muscle. I was not expecting anything like that. Two weeks ago I did a ten miles and cramps were never an issue. So I had to slow down a little, bite my lips and breath deep. Well, it worked out for the moment but it would keep coming back.

By mile eight things got a little worse. The cramps got a little more intense and I felt in no man's land. People started to pass me. I could not answer because every time I tried to pick up the pace, the cramps would come right back. Things got worse by mile nine with five runners passing me. From there on it was getting only worse. I just tried to survive and not quit the race. 

My last three miles were really slow. My last two hundred meters to the finish line felt like an eternity. I did not have anything in the tank. My legs were completed dead. I was feeling so embarrassed to cross the finish line running like a slug. My time was 1:17:38, good for 31st place, second in my age group. My splits went like this: 5:53; 11:26; 17:17; 23:14; ?; 34:38; ? 46:07; 52:25; ?; 64:26; 70:42; 77:38.

I believe I peaked last week and all the cycling that I did, killed my legs. If I had backed off on cycling and just done some easy maintenance runs, I would be racing better.

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