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.