….and My Story Runs On….
Yep, first time ever lying in a cot getting help from the medics…..
Clearly not doing too bad as I’m smiling here but never had this experience before. Of course, I need to share my learning lessons. I wish I could’ve taken the picture of my peeps all hovering over me, teasing me, “this is our running coach!.” It was a pretty comical moment…but grateful that I can have these moments so I can be a better runner and coach. There is always a lesson to learn!
This (Aravaipa’s Javelina Jangover) was my best race last year, I had a great blog/vlog about it too. I hadn’t really been training for this race but I was definitely prepared to do the mileage. What I didn’t prepare for though, was the plan to PR (personal record) my time from last year. My little sister, who is a great athlete, decided to switch from the 7K to the 25K to pace me and help me (this was her first 25K trail race!)
My plan for longer distances is to always take it easier for the first half so I conserve energy…then kick it up during the 2nd half which on this course tends to be downhill. I was mentally prepared to follow this plan but I always know that when I’m trying to keep a specific pace (to PR), I tend to be slave to my watch (some of my best runs happen when I’m not doing this...) and keep checking my pace. I still ChiWalked on the uphills because I conserve more energy and can do it just as fast so might as well be walking.
I did notice that I was thirstier than normal so I kept drinking. We got to the aid station at mile 8.5 and put more water in my hydration pack. Had a few pieces of potato/salt and a shot of coke and ginger ale (this usually helps with a bit of energy/caffeine boost). A lot of Team RWB peeps were there volunteering so it’s always great to see your friends and get some energy from them!
The course was now mainly downhill so I started trying to get my average pace up as I monitored my watch. I was averaging an 11:40 for a bit. One thing I know about myself is that I don’t like being uncomfortable when I run…I know I could probably push myself more (I prefer to use my ChiRunning technique to improve my performance not muscling through it). And I was very focused on my form: I continued to use the mantra Align & Relax, use by arms for the uphills as well as to counterbalance my forward lean and did as much active and passive pelvic rotation as possible to keep my legs from working harder. This was working great until…..
I started realizing I just couldn’t drink enough water to quench my thirst. My poor sister kept saying “come on, we only have a 5K left” “you can push harder” and all of the sudden my legs weren’t feeling it anymore and my stomach starting bugging me. I felt like I needed to throw up but couldn’t do it. When I realized there was no way I was beating my time, I decided I needed to stop running. At this point I just wanted it to be over. I was grateful to have my sister there with me and we walked the last mile.
Those of you that know me, know that one of the things I enjoy most after a run/race is a nice cold beer. You know I wasn’t not myself when the thought of a beer made me want to throw up!
We got to the medics who were amazing. Checked my pulse and my blood pressure (all good there!)…they lay me down on a cot and elevated my legs so the blood could flow back to my stomach. Thanks to all my friends that came by to check in on me…at least I wasn’t one of the runners getting an IV and being taken away with an ambulance.
So, what happened? I had to think about my last few days and here is my assessment:
- In retrospect, I didn’t hydrate the way I normally do a few days before a race. I was at a Toastmaster contest from 8am-1pm yesterday and only drank half a bottle of water but drank double the amount of coffee that I normally do. The night before, I was hanging with some friends, had a few beers (not a big deal but probably didn’t help with the hydration issue) and ate a lot of salty foods.
- I tried pushing too much at the beginning. My fastest mile was the 2nd one and I remember not being able to get my heart rate down until we stopped at the aid station for awhile. (I also had a double espresso a few hours before the race which probably didn’t help either). It was also hotter than I was expecting.
- Basically I pushed my body more than I should’ve and wasn’t prepared for it physically.
I have no regrets….running is always a way to learn more about your body and yourself and last night was just another learning lesson for next time! I finished with a 3:32 (last year was a 3:16).
Any big learning lessons you’ve had from a run recently?
From My Running Story to Yours….
(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)