Monday, June 20, 2011

Baltimore 10 Miler...Kick in the Pants that I Needed

My general lack of posting lately coincides quite well with the malaise I have been experiencing for most of June.  I sort of lost my way for a little bit.  It was a combination of a lot of things but ultimately, running took second priority to everything else in my life.  All of a sudden, I missed a lot of runs and my mileage was not going in the direction I wanted.  Instead of cracking 40 mpw, I was lucky to hit 30.  I could blame it on being careful from my injury, but I think my motivation was kind of low too.  The cycling was helping, but I had yet been ready to jump back into running full bore.  Then the Baltimore 10 miler happened.

Back in Feburary, I ran a 56:55 on a tougher course though in better conditions.  Had I avoided injury, I would have been a serious contender for winning this race.  Knowing full well that I was undertrained, I went into this race to see how long I could hang with the leaders and maybe pull off a miracle.  I figured, if worse comes to worse, I'd still be able to hold some kind of pace together and finish in one piece.

The problem with running is that it only gives back what you put in, no matter what times you have run in the past...  I would pay dearly for my hubris going into the race.

It was hot (shocking), and I took a spot up near the front.  Very soon we were off.  By mile 2, I was all but completely dead.  I was trying so hard to keep up with the runner who finished just ahead of me at the 10 Mile Club Challenge back in February.  He had become my next target, and clearly, had not spent the spring being injured.

Splits for the first 2 miles were 5:30 and 5:36.  Yes it was downhill, but it really didn't matter.  I was dying just trying to stay in the vicinity of the leaders and realized I probably just blew the entire race.  Had I gone out at 5:50-6:00 pace, I probably could have broken 1 hour and easily won my age group.  Instead, the rest of the race proceeded to be a steady decline as I hemorrhaged time.

Rest of my splits...6:36, 6:13, 6:21, 6:43, 7:00, 6:15, 7:15, 6:53, for a 6:24 average and a 1:04:25 overall.  That ended up being around a 4 minute positive split which is pure insanity for a 10 miler.  I put on a clinic for how one SHOULD NOT race.  I was 8th near the half way point and ended up an unremarkable 29th, 6th in my age group.  To make matters worse, many of my running friends were out there racing, and many cheered for me, including blogger/runner extraordinaire Jess; most still thought I did well, and a few noticed how "unhappy" I was during the second half.  I am certainly glad for the unwavering support despite my poor showing, and that most of them had much more fun than I did!

Overall, I only ran about a minute slower than I did last year, and as I said, am convinced I could have run substantially better if I didn't bust out of the gate on a mission to kill myself.  Most importantly, something sparked inside me.  That fire that has been missing for a long time caught again and all I could think about was how ridiculous I had become with missing runs.  At that moment, I decided no more.  I've drawn up a plan to get me to 18 weeks from the Philly marathon which includes running with some cycling.  By early August, my mileage will be comparable to what I was doing June-November of 2010, when I was kicking ass without getting injured.  Cycling will fill the time I used to run more that caused my injury in Feburary.

The Philly Marathon will most likely be my next main goal race with the specific goal TBD, though I would love to reattempt sub-2:40.  I'll have a half marathon thrown somewhere in there for a test beforehand.  I'm still planning on a duathlon a month through October to keep things on that front interesting.  Triathlons may be in the future as well.  But for now, I'm just happy to have a plan again!

1 comment:

  1. That wasn't exactly a good day nor an ideal course to run a fast time. Considering your lack of training and setbacks the past few months, I'm impressed that you had the balls to go for it from the start. That takes a lot of guts. Sometimes that results in a really not fun day and sometimes it leads to absolutely stellar performances. Methinks in the fall you'll have more of the latter.

    I was gonna run the Philly half this year but between the free entry to RNR Va Beach in September and the $85 price tag, I chose not to and instead let my friend talk me into running a 50. Go figure