Remember a few weeks ago when I was all excited about my Spring races? What a roller-coaster it’s been. I bonked my half marathon, I did surprisingly great at Crazy Legs 8k, and today I bonked a 20k race.
I never recapped Crazy Legs, but in short, I set my mind to 8:50 minute miles before the race. It’s just five miles, and I had been putting in my speed work. It was doable. The first mile split was 7:56, I was stunned. I’ve never seen a split beginning with the number seven on my Garmin before. That split was followed by 8:44, 8:33, 8:33, and 8:44. That finish was better than what I expected out of myself! It was exactly what I needed after my half marathon bonk two weeks ago.
And then today the 20k bonk happened, crushing me right back down. Running, it truly does humble a person.
I did my shakeout run, I ate my pasta, I’ll even own up to having two whiskey and cokes, I went to bed at 9:00, I woke up, drank my coffee, ate my bagel and peanut butter. All the regular stuff. I got to the race site an hour early, parked, got my bib, chatted with a friend, stretched, got into the corral. The start gun goes off, I start running. From the first few steps I thought, “Oh boy, my legs feel clunky”
Though my legs felt clunky, I still managed a 9:05 split to start. That was encouraging. I felt like John kept wanting to pull away and go faster, but 12.4 miles is far, I kept pulling back. He said he’d run with me since it was really a training run. Also, huge thing to note about this race, it started at 9:00. It was sunny and 60 at the start. It got hot quickly. (See also, excuses).
That was the fastest split, it slowly dropped. John stopped at a porta-potty and I stopped to walk at mile five. Mile five. From there mentally I went into a black hole of negativity. “I train so hard and on race day my body doesn’t cooperate. Why bother? I look like such an idiot with this giant M-dot tattoo and I can’t run 12.4 miles. I quit everything”
Mile 9 runs very close to my home, I very seriously considered just running home. There was no medal at the finish anyway, just beer. John was trying to pep talk me out of my black hole, I scolded him, and he shut up. Marital bliss I tell ya.
There was an unofficial beer stop somewhere after that, I stopped, because heck, my race wasn’t going well anyway. What’s a little beer going to do to my race? Oddly enough, it got me moving. I stopped walking so much and keep chugging forward. Not fast, but I was in more neutral spirits.
We finally finished, with a 10:10 average. I was expecting 9:40s from myself, so let me be disappointed. I can’t even say that I had much fun. What I can say is that John is the most patient, understanding, spouse in the entire world. All he wanted to do was get me in a happier place when things fell apart. He’s a good one.
After the race an internet “stranger” approached me, a guy who followed my old blog. It was a bizarre coincidence to finally meet him, and hear his appreciation for my honesty in my blog posts. I appreciate that people appreciate it. I really do. Too often I am misunderstood for being negative, but I’m just trying to express and dissect things that went wrong. Sometimes the truth isn’t puppies and rainbows. I honestly want to improve and get better.
So, I have two weeks to taper down, and magically “get better” for the Syttende Mai 20 mile race.
We ran together the entire race, and the photographers took separate photos of us throughout. There’s one we where posed together, but they separated us. Derp.