My God, could my post title be any longer?!
When I wrote my post after the race, I felt a bit rushed. My mom wanted to get to her campground earlier rather than later, so I tried to shorten it. (I know, I didn’t do such a good job with that, now, did I?)
My after thoughts:
- I gave up on myself way too early. When I saw my second mile was already in the ten minute range, I thought, “well, there go my time goals.” I wanted all of my miles to be in the 9 minute range, and already I’d lost that. Never mind it was for a much needed pee break (even though I’d visited the porta potties twice in the hour we spent at the start line – call me a nervous runner with a nervous bladder.) I’d never run 9 minute miles for all of my long runs, with less hills, so why did I think I would miraculously do so on race day? Just from the adrenaline?
- To steal a phrase of MsV1959 (her Twitter name, her blog is Gymnotes), the “awful mental chick” was in town for that run. I began to think I was not meant for racing, I wasn’t mentally strong enough, and maybe I should just continue running at 5 or 6 a.m. in the morning when no one could see me. I also thought I’d let down the relay team next year if I ran this crappy. I wondered if I’d started to concentrate on too many goals atone time – writing, running, spending time volunteering? Will I ever be more than mediocre? (Yes, the tiny violin player had come out, all set to play for my pity party.)
- I’d taken a lot of ribbing from my family about being a high maintenance runner. I had to have my pink Camelbak, Gus, endurolytes in case I needed them, and of course, I needed my iPod. (God forbid I not have that.) Meanwhile, my brother gets dressed, has one Gu with him, and he’s set to go, after only running for 6 weeks. And kicked my ass while doing it, but that was already a foregone conclusion. I think I let all the ribbing get to me, even though I know they didn’t mean it in a mean way.
- So many people run for so many good causes. There were people running with tshirts on, running in honor of babies, literally, who had died from cancer.
- I saw a blind girl on the sidelines, cheering around mile 7, and thought “she looks so excited. I wonder how that must “feel” to her, feeling the tremors of all these people pounding the pavement right next to her.”
- I was able to really make eye contact connections with some spectators. Have you ever done that before? It’s just for a fleeting moment or two, but in that moment or two, I feel so happy and a real, genuine smile seems to cross both of our faces. It’s my way of saying “thank you” for the support, for coming out and cheering so many people on that you don’t even know.
- I never want to build up a race so much in my mind again. All it did was give me extra pressure that I can do without.
- Your diet and sleep effect so much of how you run. I slept like dog crap the night before (so did Jamie, hmmm, it didn’t seem to bother him as it did me), and I was tired from the week before, from the three kids of my sister and the energy it takes to keep up with them. But, would I have traded a minute of that week? HELL, NO! I had so much fun with my family, and seeing those three as they develop and grow up. I don’t get to see them as much as I would like, and every time I see them, I find myself growing more attached.
Speaking of family, my sister said it was alright for me to mention this photo, since it appeared in the online version of the Utica Observer Dispatch (courtesy Gate House Media). Here’s my oldest nephew, as he made his “sweaty freaks” sign.
Sean, in the Observer Dispatch at the start line
A Request for Miles Donations:
If you get Sports Illustrated, then you may have already heard about this woman’s story, which can be found here. Her name is Vivian Bales (the article says “Vivian White” but I think that’s wrong), and her goal is to “run to Iraq.” It is her hope to run her last mile with her son, who is currently stationed in Iraq. A lot of people who ran the Boilermaker donated their miles to her. As soon as I found out about it, I did too, and plan to do so from now on, on a weekly basis. I wrote her on Sunday and she responded to my email today – WOW!
To donate miles to her cause, she asks that you not send them more than once a week (I’m sure she is getting inundated!) You should send her an email at vbales AT consolidated DOT net. (I promised her to put it on my blog in a way that the spam robots couldn’t pick it up.) Just think of how many miles us running bloggers could help her out, especially those of us who are training for marathons, or the RagnarRelay in February? Please, please, please post something about this on your blogs, I think it’s such a great cause.
Tonight’s run was a redemption run. Five miles faster than I’ve ever done them before, I think. I say I “think” because I had to stop my watch once to give a lost driver directions (only think it took 30 seconds) and another time to wait about 15 seconds for traffic, so as to not become human roadkill. These splits were better than any others I’ve had, and I’m especially happy with mile 2, which has the “hills.”
Tonight’s run, whose miles will be donated, had these stats - overall time of 45:18, average pace 9:04.
- Mile 1: 8:56
- Mile 2: 8:51
- Mile 3: 9:48 (fighting the “mental chick,” walking a short bit, taking some Gus, stripping off the running shirt)
- Mile 4: 8:58
- Mile 5: 8:45
I kept thinking on tonight’s run, YES, Willie was right. I DO have more in me than what Sunday’s race results show. Even if next week’s race is not great, or I can’t do it because of work, I’ve got tonight.
Thanks for reading.
So it was not my best race, by a long shot, but I learned a few things, about myself, anyway, if not about running.
I knew it was not a good sign when about a mile after the start, I find myself looking at the sides of the road for the “porta potties that would be all over the course” as was announced at the start line. I finally see people running off to the bushes to do their business, and I think “that looks like a plan.” Only one tissue in my bag and I don’t want to take the time to get it out, already losing precious time, so I say to myself “this isn’t good.” Keep running.
First mile was probably my best, about 9:15. All downhill, pace-wise from there. This was just one of those days where I could not focus, could not push myself to keep going no matter how hard I tried. Or didn’t try, I’m not sure what was going on. But the crowd support was really good and there were tons of volunteers. And a fly-over by military jets at 10:30 this morning, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
I do like shorter distance races the best, I think. 10K and 5K and flat courses, especially. This was not a flat course, I’ve shown you the elevation chart before. The Beast, or that huge incline between miles 3 and 4 was really not the worst. It was the inclines around the 10K mark, and the other inclines that just seemed to go on and on forever. I did find myself walking a lot. I just had that “empty tank” feeling that we all know of, literally the entire way. Couldn’t get rid of it to save my life. Not gatorade, water, gels, or enfuralytes could really help banish it today.
Things I did see that I really liked:
- A guy dressed up as an F.X. Matt beer can. That’s the kind of beer they used to have at the finish party. Now it’s Saranac. I’ve discovered I don’t really like it, but it was still alright to drink after so many weeks of being good.
- A guy carrying a full-sized flag passed me just as we started to go up the Beast, holding out in front of what looked to be a quite heavy, full-length flag with the enblem of “Don’t Tread on Me” and the rattlesnake symbol. He definitely got some cheers.
- Passed some wheelchair racers, who had only started about 15 minutes before us. (They definitely should get more of a headstart because when it came to the downhill right after mile 4, this one poor lady had to put on the brakes. After doing that huge hill, she should definitely have been allowed to take more advantage of the hard work she’d put in getting up there.)
- A spectator holding a sign that said “thank you, Dr. Braker, for saving my life.” I was like, “can you imagine being that guy/girl out there on the course, who sees that and how good it’ll make him feel?” It made me feel good to see it!
- Lots and lots of family spectators. My sister and her family saw us off at the start. I understand my nephew, Jack, who’s 5, was crying because he wasn’t able to see his actual “Aunt TT” run past him, I feel so badly for the little guy.
- So many kids and adults were out there with their hands out to “slap five.” I made sure to hit many of them on my way.
I have some pictures below from the beginning starting line area – the sign with “Good luck, Sweaty Freaks, Aunt Terri and Uncle Jamie” was done by my nephew, Sean, who’s 8. He came up with the motto all on his own. He even drew us both in on the sign, and then added a bubble after I took the picture, in which he is saying “get going, you lazy bums.” The other one is being held by my nephew, Jack, the 5 year old. For privacy reasons, I can’t show their faces on here, but take it from me, they’re quite adorable.
Our stats are below – my brother ran on his own, and I think he did amazingly well. He said his quads were definitely burning afterward, and I feel badly that he had to wait so long for me at the finish line. We then waited for at least a half hour until my mom could make her way to us from the finish line, so unfortunately we lost out on our “ultimate carbo-reloading, glycogen replacement time window” so we’re taking it easy today and heading down to my mom’s seasonal campsite near Cooperstown, NY. It’s really beautiful down there, for those of you who have never been.
Brother, Jamie (“Jim”):
- Chip time: 1:05:05 (average pace of 6:59)
- Place overall: 796 (of 10,582 finishers, although we’d heard 10,877 were signed up)
- Division: 64/675 (Men, 35-39)
- Men overall: 710/6018
Me: (don’t look, it’s really awful, honestly):
- Chip time: 1:36:47 (average pace of 10:23, although my Garmin said I ran 9.42, for 10:17 average pace)
- Place overall: 8339 (UGH)
- Division: 404/581
- Women overall: 3124/4564
The weather was nice, a bit sunny for my taste (I’m so used to running so early in the morning when it’s overcast, I’ve grown to like it.) I wish I could figure out why I did so badly, I’ll just have to think about it some more. I’m refusing to get down over it, I’m planning on trying to run a 5 mile race in Weston next week if I can leave work early enough to get there (think it starts at 6 p.m.) and I really am beginning to think that a 10K or shorter is my distance. Five miles is what I run in the mornings and it’s my perfect distance for not needing extra water. I think I carried too much extra weight today on my back, maybe that contributed to the slow pace. Not sure.
Anyway, there’s a 10K coming up in Gloucester that I am now going to turn my sights to. It was written up as one of the fastest 10Ks in the country, and it’s known as the Lone Gull 10K, held in September. It’s flat and there are ocean breezes. If you ask me, that’s a really great combo. Maybe I can hit one of my goals for the year by doing it, to run a 10K in the 54 or 55 range.
Thanks to everyone for all of the support and good luck wishes. I’ve not been able to get on the computer as much as I would like, so I’ve been trying to respond to messages via my new iPhone and I’m not the best thumb typist as many of you have probably already discovered.
My nephew Jack's sign "good luck Uncle Terri and Aunt Jamie"
Good Luck, Sweaty Freaks, Aunt Terri and Uncle Jamie
Jamie and I at the staging area, taken by my sister