Bonk, Bonk, Bonk…A Race Recap

Running of the Elks - After

Funny that is picture was what Runner’s World choose for Monday inspiration today.  I hit a major bump in the road with Running of the Elks on Sunday.  My stupidity is still stinging today.  But let’s start with Friday…

Running of the Elks - Bib

Friday after work, I hustled up to Elk Grove to pick up my Running of the Elk race packet.  Pick up was very organized and I breezed in and out in about 5 minutes.  I was hoping that since my last bib number ended in 93 and this bib ended in 93 that I was going to have an awesome race and PR again.

Running of the Elks - Start 1

Saturday morning I got up at 5 and my tummy was…off.  I had to force some food into myself, shower, dress and drive the 15 minutes to the race start.  I got there early enough that I was able to part pretty close.

Running of the Elks - Start 3

The race had a really nice turn out and I chatted up a very sweet couple from Marin that were working on doing 50 halves in 50 states.  Impressive.  I’ve never raced out-of-state before.

Running of the Elks - 2:15

I found my pace group leader and got ready for the start.  But by the time the race started and I reached mile 1, I already knew that I was in trouble.  I had no energy at all despite the fact that I had Gu’ed 15 minutes before the start.  Usually when I Gu, it’s like putting race fuel in pinto.  I’m ready to run.  But this time, it was like water in the gas tank.

I can tell you that I made very bad nutrition choices on Saturday and I paid for them during and after the race.  I had no energy and felt generally lousy.  I deviated from my normal Saturday routine.  Normally, I get up at 6, eat toast with peanut butter and run 4 miles.  I have a snack after then normal lunch and good dinner with lots of carbs before a race.  But this Saturday I did none of that and ate junk food all day.  Note to self; you should already know this but when you eat like crap you feel like crap.  Duh.

Running of the Elks

I officially retired my Saucony Ride 6’s after Modesto.  They had close to 400 miles on them at that point and I felt every one of them during Modesto.  Since I’d been doing my long runs in my Mizuno Wave Syonara’s, I stuck with them for this race instead of my Brooks.

Running of the Elks Results


My finish was more than 15 minutes off of my desired finish but I did finish.  I was completely wiped out.  I got my medal and hobbled back to my car, drove home and took a nap.  I didn’t stay to enjoy the post race festivities.  I didn’t eat anything.  I just went home.  I felt like walking to my car was too much for me.

Lessons learned:

*Don’t mess with your fuel.  Eat what you normally eat, don’t go off the reservation and eat a bunch of junk food if that’s not what you normally eat during training.

*Stick to your plan, if you normally run a four mile the day before your long run, do that on race weekend too.

*Try to keep your head in the game.  Don’t have a serious conversation with your mom about heavy stuff while you’re waiting for the race to start.  That shit will mess with your head.

*Stay positive.


What was your worst race ever run?

What are your lessons did you learn from it?


8 thoughts on “Bonk, Bonk, Bonk…A Race Recap

  1. My worst race ever was my one and only marathon (I’ve been scarred since). I got the flu the week before but I chose to run it anyways bc I was on the mend and I had trained sooo hard… yeah it was an epic fail around mile12 and just got worse each mile:( I’ve learned that if I’m not feeling well that it really is ok to back out of a race… I hate to waste the money but I have learned you can hurt yourself even worse ya know?

    Great job! I know it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to but sometimes it really is about just getting it in:)

    1. Liva and learn, right?!

      Congrats on the Marathon. I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around running that far. It just doesn’t seem possible that the human body can do that but you did and you should be hugely proud of that accomplishment. You did something that only a very small percentage of the population has done and that’s huge!

  2. Sorry your race didn’t turn out as expected… but the bad ones make the good ones even better.

    My worst race ever was on the best half marathon course I have ever ran. I was sick, but had already registered, paid for a hotel room, and enlisted someone else to run with me, so I decided to do it. I ran with a pack of tissues and blew my nose the entire race. I felt absolutely terrible and couldn’t eat anything during the race. I am pretty sure I was one of the last finishers, and I am usually middle of the pack. I am glad I did it because it made me want to run the course again, but it probably wasn’t the smartest and I ended up getting sicker afterwards as a result.

  3. You still did a very GREAT job and I think your lessons are spot on!! It’s always important to stick to what you know race day (fueling wise) and to stay positive and “in the race!” You’re awesome and congrats on finishing!!

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