It is all about The Country Music Marathon right now and with my last long run done I refuse to do anything to jeopardize that race during taper time. My marathon mentality told me that I need to take this race slow and easy and just enjoy it as a fun run. My leg is not 100% yet, it hurts just sitting here, but running does not make it feel worse – unless I try to run fast. Slow down I told myself, think of the marathon. Only 3 weeks from today!
However, that is easier said than done. The Cooper River Bridge Run is an epic race and it is easy to get caught up in all the excitement. Even after cutting the field from 45,000 to 40,000 people this year it is still one of the top ten biggest races in the United States and the 3rd largest 10K. It is MASSIVE. Because of its size, and the fact that they close the bridge so the race can go over it, you have to be shuttled in to the start location. I was up at 4:15, at T’s house at 5:00, and we were parked and walking to the shuttles by 5:30. I must say that out of the 5 or 6 years I have been a part of the Bridge Run the shuttling went the smoothest this year and we were dropped off at the start by 6:00am. You have to get there early because once shuttles stop you’re crap outta luck; however, this means I got to sit there and wait with 40,000 other people for 2 hours from 6:00 until the 8:00 race start. Also, it was only 45 degrees which to a Southerner is FREEZING, to a Southerner in April, that is just down right wrong so pretty much everyone was shaking and huddling up for warmth.
At 7:00 we got up and went for a last minute port-o-potty run, uggghhhhh…..smelly, we should have gone before everyone else got to them and then we made our way to our corral. They changed the corralling a bit this year and all the elites started together, then everyone who said they would run in under an hour was split randomly between 4 different corrals (usually this is split apart by time more) since T and I registered the same day we were placed in the same corral – C.
Just standing there surrounded by 40,000 people it was really hard not to soak up the crazy energy and want to do well. Then one by one the corrals started to be released and I was so pumped, nervous, excited, but I kept telling myself it wasn’t a race just a fun run – hard to do when 40,000 people around you feel differently. Suddenly it was our turn and we were off. With everyone crammed into one corral I had to do a lot of zig-zagging that first mile and I wasn’t even one of the people going super fast. I felt a bit sorry for poor T (we have an unwritten rule that she runs anything under a half without me because she is just too fast) because she was trying to cut a PR on this crazy packed race and had to dodge people who were stopping and walking in the first minute or two. They needed to split up the corralling a bit more. 45-60 is a huge gap in times and paces and lots of people in that group were not even running, they were walking. However, that’s my only complaint, other than that the run was very well organized and went really smoothly.
I was doing my own thing and noticed that mile 1 was a 9:10 pace, only 15 seconds slower than the 8:55 I’d have to pull for a PR. However, trying to keep running fast and adding in that hill started to really hurt my leg so I had to slow it down an listen to my body. I felt like I was still working, but went at a pace where my leg was not hurting too much. I guess I didn’t go quite fast enough because according to my watch I crossed the finish line at a 60:45. Slower than my modified hour goal. Boo!
I feel pretty poopy about not meeting my hour goal. I know I did what was right for my leg, but it was really hard because when I finished I felt like I could have run more. The problem is that I could have run more at that same 10:00min/mile speed, I couldn’t have run faster or my leg bothered me even more. I guess it is hard thinking back to two years ago when (I was in my best running shape yet – working on getting back there) I finished in 55 min and felt like I could not walk another step. I miss that giving it all you got feeling. However, being the great running partner she is T was waiting for me at the finish with a water and attempted to put things in perspective when she pointed out that last year the doctor wouldn’t let me run this race at all due to injury, that I basically missed almost all of 2012 because of one injury after another and am just now beginning my comeback. Thanks for the reality check T, sometimes I need that (secret, I’m still feeling a bit bummed though, guess it’s time to get that attitude in check). By the way T did amazing – not only did she get her PR, she crushed it BIG TIME! Probably because of her brilliant running buddy shoes, wink, wink. If she can knock 2 more minutes of her time she will earn a “competitive” bib next year which makes me beyond excited for her! (In my head I am totally picturing her lining up next to the Kenyans and Ethiopians who kill this race every year.) Now do you see why we don’t run 5 or 10K races together? Yikes! Girl is fast!
So there it is:
– Goal not met
– However, at least I could run this year
– I listened to my body
– I am beyond happy for T my best training buddy
… and most importantly…
– The Country Music Marathon is just 3 weeks away! (Holy Crap!)
After a bad race, how do you get your mind back in the game?
How do you ditch those negative thoughts? The comparisons? The what ifs?
(You know – I did better last time. What if my leg didn’t hurt? etc.)