Not livin' up to the Zoomylicious name...

Ugh. That both sucked and blew. I still PR'd, but missed my conservative goal time by over 6 minutes. A month ago I ran a blissfully awesome 15 mile training run at a pace less than 15 seconds slower. My goal for this race had been 2:30, which should have been easily attainable, given my training and HM times last Fall (in the 9:30 range) and my 15k PR on a brutally hilly, snowy/icy course back in March at roughly the same pace--today should have been a breeze, relative to that tough race.

But days after my speedy, comfortable 15 miler on 4/9 I got hit hard by a respiratory bug that has not fully released its grasp a month after the fact--my rough runs in the past month have far outweighed my good ones, ever since. Add to that peak allergy season and it made for a pretty miserable experience. Last year I hit my inhaler once, at the 11 miler mark. This year I needed it 3x over the course of the race and wasn't able to talk much at all (Eryn kept me entertained for the first 10 miles or so, but once she lost me I was really regretting not having my iPod--by that point in the race everyone was really quiet and I was sorely in need of ANYTHING to keep me motivated).

I also found that any time I dropped below the 10 minute/mile pace that my stomach rebelled (I'm suspicious that I may have eaten too much, too late last evening, as I was still feeling kind of full when I went to bed around 8:30pm). Typically I regain my appetite very fast after any race effort, but it's been over 5 hours since I crossed the finish and I'm still fairly queasy. Mother's Day buffet tomorrow isn't even something I am looking forward to at the moment--which is totally unlike me (as anyone in the weight loss group can attest). And I don't even want a celebratory beer (I got my free nasty Michelob Ultra, but gave half of it to DH's aunt)!!!

More telling evidence of my bad race was seeing the times of people I have typically beaten in the past year by ~3-5 minutes at similar distances. All were 2-7 minutes ahead of me...so hopefully it was just me having a bad day. I must say I'm not looking forward to marathon training, much less running the damned thing at the moment. I can't even claim any real injury for my pokeyness...legs and feet felt great, well-rested, and rarin' to go, but the rest of me was unwilling to go any harder.

Eryn and I were pretty bummed to only manage to find one of the RunningAHEAD crew (Mary/hopeful4ever...who happens to be neighbors with one of the local gals I have run with/against at several prior races in the area--small world!) pre-race. I kept my eyes open for Rick/rvelich and his wife, Tammy, during the entire second half of the race and was thrilled to pieces to see them less than a half mile from the finish...I really needed that. By that point I knew my goal time was gone and decided it was worth wasting a little of the gas left in the tank to mug for the camera blowing kisses (I did pick up the pace a little more after seeing that HTFU sign, thank you so much, you guys...it was just what I needed to go hard for the last few hundred yards uphill!). By that point any competitive drive I had was gone and I was just so relieved to be so close to being able to have that race behind me.

Next year we definitely need to have pre and post-race meeting spots better hammered-out, as well as exchange of cell #s. I am still really sad that I didn't get to meet Rick and Tammy in person, or Cory/corland, or marathonmanleto/Joe, mulks/Tony... Not actually meeting these folks face-to-face only added insult to injury--a do-over on the day would be great.


  1. Kirsten-
    Don't beat yourself up over one race. With the sickness you had I don't think your body took a hit but your lungs did.
    I know it stinks when you know you can perform at a certain level and don't do it on race day BUT you did set a PR, and you did on less than a perfect race day. Given that, go in to marathon training knowing that you have made majot improvements in the last year and get ready to kick some butt over the next few months.

  2. Thanks, Alan! If I have learned one thing from that race it's that my current asthma treatment isn't doing the job as well as it could. Hopefully I can find some regimen in the next few months that prevents this sort of thing on marathon day. :)


  3. awww K, i'm sorry you weren't able to have the race experience you wanted....prob not much of a consolation, but you actually completed the whole shebang for the 3rd(?) year in a row- much more impressive compared to those who just sit at home and don't bother hitting the pavement. That there in itself is reason enough to party like a rockstar. ::heart::

    You'll get 'em next year gf!

  4. Thanks, girlfriend! This was my second year...glad I didn't run it 2 years ago--Eryn did it for the first time that year in wind and cold rain for the entire distance. At least I've had gorgeous weather the 2 years I've done it. ;)

  5. awww ((Kirsten)) I know it wasn't what you wanted but a PR is still a PR! Considering your pre-race illness and mid-race issues, you did a darn good job! But I know how it feels to be ready to do more and not be able to...just remember, there's always another race. I was glad (jealous) to hear you got to meet up with Rick and his wife...how fun!

    Your marathon training poll? I used Hal's Int I and II my first 2 times out and highly recommend it. It was enough, and I stayed injury free. I did Pfitz for my last 2 marathons and have had nothing but injury. But, I was probably doing the speedwork all wrong and I don't think multiple marathons, close together, are something I am able to pull off, so there's a learning curve.

    Best wishes to you in your training and I hope you are feeling better soon!

  6. Thanks, Jennifer. It's very comforting to know that I'm not the only one who isn't always content *just* to PR. :)

    Don't feel jealous about my "meeting" Rick and Tammy...I never got to actually talk to them, unfortunately. Somehow most of us RA peeps didn't track one-another down in the mob before or after the race. I DID get to see them with the HTFU sign just shy of the finish, though. I know I picked up the pace in that home stretch just to do right by them for sticking it out and waiting all that time to see my pokey butt plod by. :D

    Thanks for the input on your training plans. I'm kind of doing a DIY thing taking the commonalities of about a half-dozen plans, including quite a bit of Higdon's break-down from week to week. I'm starting at about 33mpw and hoping to peak somewhere around 50-55 with a few 20 milers and maybe even one 22, but I'm gonna keep it flexible and maybe change things up mid-way depending upon how I'm doing.

  7. That was a stinker not being able to meet up with everyone. Tammy, Dianna, and I tried inside the Devos Center before the race, but didn't see anyone. There were SOOOO many dang people! Holy Toledo! Then, with Tammy running the 5k right after y'all started the 25k, that threw a HUGE wrench into the logistics of 25k race spectating. I lost her after she finished her race coming out of the shute and it took us 45 minutes or so to find each other. That's why we ended up just hanging out at the end of the 25k race. :(

    Incidentally, some dude got rubber-legged and went down at that intersection we were at about 15 minutes before you can through. It took them about 10 - 12 minutes to get a medic on scene to treat the poor dude! I was surprised at the slow response considering there were several cops right there that radioed the incident in.

    Well, it was good to see you running anyway and, we got to *meet* Eryn in a similar fashion. We did get to meet Joe Leto the evening before... uber nice guy!

    Well, perhaps I'll be able to pace you to a better time at next year's race?!? You did great PR-ing though! Congrats!

  8. Thanks, Rick--I was really bummed to not have met any of the RA dudes...but there will be other races. :)

    Interesting about the guy who went down. Eryn and I were both commenting about how many more runners we saw collapsed on the sides of the course this year. I wonder if that's why they took so long to get to that guy--it seemed like all medical personnel were crazy busy. Not sure why there were so many more runners having issues this year...?