My race weekend recap
I arrived in Phoenix, Thurs night around 11pm. I stayed with my Andrew(13months older than me) and his family. It had been over a year since I saw them last so it was wonderful to catch up and spend time with the kids. I talked my brother into running the half with me about 6 months prior to the race. He is a hockey player and so he figured he really didn't need to train. We both tend to be a little overconfident in our abilities! :) So three weeks before the race he started running. THREE WEEKS!! His first race ever and he didn't train! I told him he was crazy, and his wife was almost begging for him to not run for fear of him getting hurt. My brother is a very determined man. We all knew that he would finish, injured or not. He committed to do it and he did.
The Friday before the race we headed to the Expo......WOW!! It was amazing! We got there early before most of the crowds so we were really able to experience everything. I was like a kid in a candy store. I felt like I had ADD! I was bouncing from table to table like a crazy woman. My favorite purchase was the ifitness belt. I had been looking for a running belt for a while and got to try them on to see how they felt. I was sold immediately. It is very comfortable. I also got my brother a pair of Mizuno Wave Nirvana running shoes(my faves) as a little gift for running with me. He says they are the most comfy shoes he has ever worn. Seriously he won't take them off. He wore them to a business meeting with his shirt and tie!! I wish I had taken a pick of that!
Anyway, we enjoyed the Expo and walked away with a great goody bag, tons of loot, and a much lighter wallet.
IFitness Belt...So cute!We pretty much relaxed the rest of the day in the hot tub and playing UNO with his kids.
My brother Andrew and I the night before the race...felt like the night before Christmas!!
Saturday I did some light carbo loading and ran a quick 2 mile to loosen everything up from traveling. Saturday night I felt great, I had everything laid out and ready to go, it was so much fun to see my brother getting ready for his first race. He was so nervous! We both planned on getting to be around 9pm but it ended up being more like 10:30pm. I slept really well but woke up at 4am, and hour before my alarm would go off. I was wide awake and finally starting to feel those excitement jitters. I ate breakfast, oats and a banana with a cup of coffee to get "everything" moving. My brother was up by 5am and we were dressed and ready to go by 5:55am.
Quick pic before head out!
Love the bondi-band but my brother say's I looked like Mrs. Potato head...where are my ears?!?LOL!
It was really chilly and I wasn't prepared for that. The only thing I brought that was warm was my running jacket and I really didn't want to throw it away during the race(I can't run with it tied around my waist). I was praying that by the time we got there and parked it would be a little warmer so I could leave my jacket in the car. It wasn't. It was 40 degrees to be exact. So I sucked it up and brought my jacket. :( It's not the fact that it was an expensive jacket, because it wasn't. It was like $20, so buying a new one wasn't a huge deal, but I have been running in that jacket for over a year....I get very attached and a little neurotic when it comes to what I wear when I run.
Before the race....My last picture with my favorite jacket.:(
We parked by the finish line and took the 40min shuttle ride to the start. I was overwhelmed at the amount of people. Of course I had to pee as soon as we stepped off the shuttles so we got in line for the porta johns...YUCKY!! I hate porta johns! #1 it is always too dark in there and #2 they are ALWAYS out of toilet paper! Plus, I think there should be separate porta johns for people who have to go #1 and people who have to go #2....just sayin'! I almost threw up in my mouth twice!
We watched the Marathoners take off...beautiful!
We had over and hour for the race to start so we walked around a little, talked to some other runners, took some pics and then headed to our corrals. I was in corral number 4 and my brother was in number 15. My heart was pounding! They sang the national anthem, and off the first corral went! My goal was to finish under 2hrs, but I was pretty sure I could pull off 1:50. I found the official 1:52 pacer and stood behind him and his pack of runners.
RUNNERS TAKE YOUR MARK!We started moving and I started my Garmin. A little too soon...oh well. By the time I crossed the start line I was moving at a 6:28mile pace!! Crazy fast! I immediately started to doubt if I would even be able to keep up with the pacers if they were going to be moving that fast! I decided to ditch the pacers and stick to my original plan. I settled into a nice pace between 8-8:30 min mile. I ditched my beloved jacket at the 5k marker and almost shed a tear. Races bring out crazy emotions!
Mile 4 and 5 were a little tough. My legs felt heavy and I was having a hard time getting my breathing under control. Usually by mile five I'm in the groove but I started to have crazy thoughts that I wouldn't finish sub 2hrs. I just could NOT find my peace. During my training runs it's so easy for me to find my peace. I focus on Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." Here there were a lot of distractions, the cheer leading teams, bands, and thousands of spectators that lined the streets almost the entire race. Normally I love being cheered on, but I couldn't shake the funk. My pace stayed pretty consistent and by mile 6 I got it! That runner's high. My body felt great, my breathing calmed down, and my pace even picked up a bit. Miles 6-10 flew by, I slowed twice for cytomax and GU, but was right on track for an awesome PR!
At the start of Mile 11, I felt a twinge of pain on the outside of my left knee.
I adjusted my step and my stride a little and it felt a little better. About two minutes later a bolt of pain shot from my hip through my knee and down into my calf. I have never had that kind of pain. It took my breath away and I came to a dead stop. I moved over to the side and massaged my leg for about 30 secs and tried to keep going. I hobbled about 50 feet and had to stop again. Thankfully I have a medical massage background. I knew right away it was my IT Band. I didn't know though if it was torn or just strained. I spent literally 5 mins massaging and stretching it. As I watched runners pass me by I felt the waves of disappointment over come me. I started walking and made it to a slow jog. Mile 11 took me almost 15mins to complete! By mile 12 my leg was numb and felt like dead weight but I was able to run with most of my weight shifted to my right leg. I knew if I could run the last two miles at 8 min pace(normally no problem), I would still finish under 2hr. 1:59 to be exact!! I pushed as hard as I could.....I could not get my body to go faster than a 9 min mile. I finished in 2:01:44... I have gone over the whole race in my head step by step over and over and over. I could have done so many things different. I went to the race website and watched myself cross the finish line...not pretty. I'm disappointed that my body failed me or maybe I failed my body.
I should have gone to medical and put ice on my leg right away but I didn't. I waited at the finish line for my brother to finish. He finished strong at 2:23:48! I am so proud of him!
I think I have earned the right to have a little pity party....and I did. Everyone keeps saying "you should just be happy you finished." I am happy I finished. I am not happy that I finished in 2:01:44. I'm not saying it is a bad time. It's great! It's a PR. I beat my last time by 10 minutes. I know what I am capable of. I set a goal of sub 2hrs and not only did in not meet that goal, I injured myself. I allowed myself 2 solid days of pity party. Did it help..no, did it accomplish anything...no, do I feel better? A little.
I think it's okay to address the disappointment we runners feel after a bad race. There are a lot of negative emotions that come along with not racing well. For a few moments, I questioned my ability, desire, training, and dedication. Sometimes we have a bad race and it's out of our control. Other times it's a result of something we could have done differently, and then it's a lesson learned. I am dedicated to running. I have the ability and the desire to be and do my best(Phil 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me..."). I could have stepped up my training and I will next time. Lesson learned. Next time I won't go out so fast. Lesson learned.
My sister-in-law and good friend Amy met us after the race and I felt like such a wet blanket. Everyone was so excited and I didn't want to ruin it for my brother. He was so proud! So I put on a happy face...
Just the girls
my neice Eleksi and nephews Dawson and Braydon
The pain in my leg and knee didn't really come to a head until about 4 hours after the race. JIMINY!! I sat in the hot tub and iced it down all day Monday. It helped. I was pretty sure it was just a strain because by Tuesday it was a little better. Today I went to my Dr. and he confirmed it is an IT Band strain. Much to my surprise he said I only have to take one week off of running and then ease into it slowly. He showed me some exercises and stretches to do and gave me the green light to run in another half next month.
So, I haven't talked to hubby yet, but if all goes as planned I will be running the Mercedes Half Marathon in Birmingham, February 14 for redemption! Of course I would NEVER push myself...I promised to take it easy for a week. I have been reading a lot of horror stories about IT Band injuries and I do want to make sure mine heals properly. Amanda from Run to The Finish had an excellent post 7 Tips for IT Band Recovery she posted it yesterday! Just the info I needed!
ON A POSITIVE NOTE
I'm grateful for the bonding experience I had with my brother and the precious time I had with his family. I really enjoyed the whole Rock 'n' Roll Race atmosphere and plan on making it an annual event with my brother. His wife was encouraged and says she might start running so she can run next year too! I also learned that I need to listen a little closer to my body and not take it for granted. Hubby and the boys greeted me with a $200.00 spa gift certificate, so I am going to pamper this body! My first massage is schedule for Friday!
So I had a bad race. Not the end of the world. This will help me better appreciate my great races.
Have you had a bad race experience? How did you bounce back?
Grace and peace,