Thursday, October 23, 2008

Columbus Half

The Columbus Half Marathon was this past Sunday. Overall, it was what I would have expected...but nothing I would have hoped for. It was the type of race that would describe my year.....just okay. Kind of Blah. I'm not upset or overly disappointed, but I hoped maybe I could pull off something I wasn't expecting. Overall results were 1:27:57....16th overall Female.

Jason and I left for Columbus Saturday afternoon. We stopped by his sisters home to drop off the sugar cookies for a party they were having....then we dropped off our dog at my In-Laws. All this took a while as we can never just seem to stop somewhere quickly. I figured we were fine. I kept saying, "As long as I get to the expo by 6:50pm" (it closed at 7:00pm with no race day pick up).
So we make the hike down to Columbus. We stopped for a late lunch and found our hotel. We stayed at a Hyatt about 20 minutes north of Downtown since everything was booked. I must say, it was a very nice hotel, with a kick butt TV. My parents met us down there....but had to stay at the Motel 6 across the street since my dad never believes in planning ahead. Our hotel was booked up. My mom had some choice words in describing their room. It was hilarious!
I looked at my watch and it was 6:00pm. Uh-oh. We better get to the expo. Jason and I made our way down. I had direction on how to get to the start line. If I recall from 2005, the start line was near the expo. I was so wrong. I don't know if they changed it, or I was mistaken. We found the start....no expo. We drove around, got turned around, went down one way street. Not good. My watch read 6:30. I wasn't saying much....Jason wasn't waying much. The second I opened my mouth....we got in an instant argument. It was my fault I didn't get directions and made a stupid assumption.....but I guess I was making him nervous by not yelling about it...so I think we wanted me to yell or something. Just as we were yelling...we came across runner people with bags. Whohoo. Everything was okay. 6:40pm. We found parking. 6:45pm. We got inside the expo 6:50. I grabbed my stuff.....6:55pm. I can't believe we cut it that close. I'm a crazy planner in travel race circumstances...but perhaps since I've been to Columbus a million times, I was too laxed about it.
So in a nut shell, I got my stuff. #3013.

That night we ate dinner, watched knocked up, and went to bed. I made a wake up call, set the alarm, and set my phone alarm. I have a triple alarm system going when I travel too.

Race morning, I was up 1 minute before any of the alarms went off. Felt pretty decent. We drove up, found parking, and I warmed up. All was good.

Got to the start line 2 minutes before the race (geeze...what was my problem with cutting everything so close!!). It was cold...but perfect for a longer race. I had gloves and shorts on with a long sleeve under my race shirt. The gun went off and off we went.

The first mile was a 6:44. I had a feeling I would pretty much keep up this pace. No faster. I just had a feeling with how I felt. It wasn't hard...but it wasn't effortless (if that makes any sense). The first 2 miles I couldn't feel my legs from the cold...but they warmed up after that. I hummed along with a group of people and kept my eye on certain women to keep me motivated. I came through 5 miles around 33:25. Again, it was fine...but I felt kind of worn out. I actually picked it up for mile 6 and ran a 6:30.....and maintained upper 6:30's for a while. Mile 10 was 1:06:55 or so.....which put me pretty darn even from 5. I kind of really wanted to be done then. The last 3 miles actually seemed to come quickly though. My hands were getting pretty cold from the couple liquids I took. They spilled on my gloves and got them freezing cold. Mile 12 had a hill going toward the finish...which was a downhill finish. I picked up the last mile...but missed the split since my hands were too frozen and must not have hit down on my watch hard enough to get the split. I saw mile 13 was 1:27:02. I was like "lets move it and get under 1:28 at least." I did both. 1:27:57. I felt fine when I finished. I was happy to be done. Ran a 2 mile cooldown immediately and called it a day....and a "racing season."

Overall, I felt pretty complacent about the race. This year was just off. It wasn't terrible...just not great. There isn't any one thing I can pinpoint. I was injured in the spring and sick a couple times...but that shouldn't have killed my whole year. I noticed many of the paces seemed a bit harder that I thought for workouts....and I was much more worn out then normal. I had too many days I was just totally beat up and needed to chill out. I changed up my training a bit, and tried not to take much time off in the winter, keep up my mileage, and start off with some interval training and work into the longer stuff. Something just didn't jive. I had a good 5 miler with a 30:54 PR.....and a bunch of 18:40/18:50's 5k's....but that was about it for me. Crim sucked....and the Columbus Half was okay. I thought my training was going pretty well and I could turn it around leading up to the Akron Half....but I got sick....and the rest was history I guess. I didn't get my mojo back after that. I didn't really look forward to my runs leading to Columbus...and didn't get all that excited about the Half either. I know when it's time for a break...and I needed to pull the plug now. If I'm not excited to race....it's time.

I also realize that I wasn't quite ready to get back into all the training as soon as I did. I forced it a little too much. Just because I thought I should be ready to race and train, didn't mean I really was. I probably took on a little too much at one time. With work, my baking venture, and other business stuff I work on...it probably took a little too much of a toll. I notice I get canker sores after the longer races too. I'm wondering if it may be a vitamin thing as well. I'm not making excuses....just thinking about things on paper so I can try and fix whatever was off kelter.

So, I'm taking this week off and already looking forward to some nice runs. I'm going to try and get my system back to normal...and work from there. Perhaps this winter, really work on strength, tempos, and making sure I stay healthy (rest and nutrition).

It's interesting how we as runners know our bodies better then anyone, but always seem to ignore signs. We know they are there...but we find various excuses to ignore them. In the end, the body wins out....every freakin time.

Time for some good old, freezing cold winter running. Some of the nicest, peaceful, prettiest runs take place in the winter....even through the darkness, snow, & sludge. I'm really looking forward to that....along with the post run pancakes. Yum.

Until then, see everyone at the start line next year. I'll be writing about anything interesting that comes up in my runs....there's always something.
Up next is the Akron Thanksgiving Day Race with my brother....who runs once a year on Thanksgiving....with me....or rather, I run with him. It's my favorite "race" of the year.

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