Parkinson’s Half Marathon 2018

If we’re friends on Instagram or Facebook you already know the jist of my Parkinson’s Half Marathon race recap. If not, this is what I shared:

“Ran steady & strong for the first 7 miles, on target to break two hours. Then I fell apart & went to a dark place for two miles. In those dark miles I remembered when I used to bonk I could chalk it up to “I drink too much, I eat too many cheeseburgers”

Now? What’s the deal? Twenty-six pounds down and I can’t seem to increase my pace, in fact, I was faster last spring!

Let me be proof that losing weight doesn’t make you faster!

This was not a bad race, it was a “Hey, you need a new endurance manual”. I’m relearning how to fuel for this new body. I’m relearning how to challenge it.

2:01:31 is nothing to scoff at, especially considering the tale of my splits:
8:40, 8:50, 8:59, 9:05, 9:08, 8:57, 9:11, 9:08, 10:02, 9:49, 9:27, 9:17, 9:57″

I stand true to feeling like it wasn’t a bad race. Lots of lessons were learned! My hope in sharing this is to show you how losing weight doesn’t miraculously make everything amazing. Running is still hard. Racing is still hard. Whatever you’re waiting to accomplish until you lose X amount of weight, stop waiting. Start putting action towards that goal right now!

Everything I thought I knew before my weight loss is all things I need to re-learn. Fueling. For the last few months my Friday night dinner has been a salad, usually a generous portion that I can’t even finish from one of our many fabulous local Madison restaurants. I knew a salad wouldn’t be a good choice the night before a half marathon so I ordered a rice noodle dish instead. I even had a cookie with my lunch from Potbelly Sandwiches earlier! Carbs!

I woke up Saturday morning, had my cup of coffee, granola with almond milk and felt okay, other than the frigid temperature! I joked “the air hurts my face”, and it really did. I had a Gu at mile 8, which I know is too late. I didn’t even want to take it when I did. I choked it down and felt full after. The cup of water I washed it down with made me feel even fuller. My appetite is fickle.

Then I began to feel really tired, like crawl-into-the-ditch-and-take-a-nap tired. At the finish I just needed to sit, feeling so fatigued and sleepy. And SO COLD. I hung around long enough to see a couple friends finish and then ducked out. Normally I love the post-race atmosphere here!

I talked privately with a couple of local coaches who know of my weight loss situation and they don’t think it’s nutrition. One of them suggested more strength training, the other is willing to check my running form. I’m so grateful to have a tribe of amazing people who care and offer support!

Next steps are increasing my strength training, getting my running form checked, and being more proactive with hydrating. I know I didn’t drink enough water the night before, or any on race morning. Doh!

The next race I’m signed up for is a 20K first weekend in May. I’ll be taking these lessons into that race and it better damn well be warmer!

 

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It was too cold to even bother getting a finish line photo! Instead I went home, took a scalding hot shower, napped, and then hugged my fireplace. This is my post-race photo.

 

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5 comments

  1. Yes…strength training is key! I have really lost running speed thanks to a lack of strength training lately. It is frustrating, but I have to remember that my body needed rest (hence the reason it forced a break on me). I hope you have warmer temperatures for your 20K, but I hope it isn’t “summer” by then. I have a feeling we are going to go from winter to summer without the spring transition!

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  2. I definitely think strength training can improve your running, but your fatigue sounds like something else was going on — perhaps the lack of water? I suck at fueling during races because I don’t need to for 10Ms but really should for 1/2s. 20K is so close to a 1/2 – sounds like a good chance to try tweaking things.

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  3. Strength training has been key for me to get back to running. I am very convinced it has made a huge difference. Separate thought, do you go out too fast? I found that taking the first three miles a bit slower can help with the later ones. This is something I have to think really carefully about in a race. It’s often too easy for me to get caught up in the start.

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    • I do strength training, but clearly not enough. I think what I do is just injury prevention maintenance. And YES, I for sure go out too fast, I know this. That first mile is always so congested I get all hyper. Good thing to point out and be more conscious of it next time.

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      • It’s hard because our bodies are all so different. I know some things don’t work for me, but work for other people. I’ll never be someone who runs super high mileage. I love your determination and honesty in all this.

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