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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*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.
What was your worst race ever run?
What are your lessons did you learn from it?