I clearly cashed in all my good luck at the Oakland Half Marathon. The Benicia Run for Education felt like the third trip to one of those ATMs with a $5 service charge. Or like rolling snake eyes in a crappy game of craps. Or some other stupid gambling analogy. Let’s just say it didn’t go well.
My oh-so-wise inner runner is now reminding me of my awesome training regime:
1) I wanted to give myself plenty of rest after the Oakland half two weeks ago and was at a conference this past week for work. This meant I did very little running and lots of eating. I somehow managed to put on almost 5 pounds in two weeks, and I’d bet my last chip it wasn’t muscle.
2) I had two glasses of wine Friday night. Doesn’t sound like much, but that was enough to brew up a hangover. To overcome said hangover I drank two entire glasses of water. Eight glasses are for pansies.
3) I ate a nutrient rich dinner of movie theater popcorn last night.
4) I washed that popcorn down with a Coke and was up until about 1:00 am.
5) Oh right. It’s been a couple months since I did any speed work.
I set a goal of 51 minutes based on my recent 5K and half marathon times, and told myself I would be happy with anything under 52. I knew the deck was stacked against me right off the start line. I ran the first mile in 8:15 and it felt too difficult. I hung onto that pace for 3 miles before hitting a wall.
My pace began to decline rapidly. I kissed 51 minutes goodbye. Every incline, however gradual, felt like a mountain. I lost sight of my surroundings. I stopped thinking about the tangents. All my focus turned inward, onto how awful I felt and how awful the race was going. I completely gave up. I let go of 52 minutes and started to fear I would miss 53.
I played leap frog with two other women throughout the second half of the race. As we neared the finish I was tied among the three of us for second. The other lady started to pull away and I thought, “Great. I have nothing left. Just let her have it.” Somehow I managed to stay close and barely pass her with one final surge in the last 50 meters. I was happy to pass her, but disappointed I wasn’t well in front of her to begin with.
This is technically my fourth race in the Run for the Bling of it! challenge. I am choosing, however, not to post a picture of my T-shirt. Medals, also known as actual bling, were awarded to the top 3 in each age group. I came in fourth and I’m bitter about it!
The race directors took pity on me and cut a quarter mile off the course, enabling a finish time of 50:05 (give or take a few seconds). If I do the math (and you know I do), I should have finished in 52:07. Okay, maybe it wasn’t a total fail…