I hate to say it but that's just the reality of it. I had been a little lax in my triathlon training, and that hadn't hurt me any, so I was carrying that same attitude into my marathon training. Last week I got lazy and skipped a run. Then I missed another. At the end of the week I only had 4 miles under my belt and 2 weights classes. The rest of the training calendar was disappointingly empty.
Then there was the prerace nutrition. I had very little water the day before the race. Saturday was the day of the indoor yard sale and while I did remember to pack a cooler, I had no one to watch my booth. Which mean any time spent in the bathroom was time that I could potentially be missing a sale. I had 16 oz of water, 12 oz of Diet Mtn Dew, 20 oz of Toasted Almond Iced Coffee, and probably 20 oz of orange soda.
Just in case you are wondering that's a very bad hydration plan.
My eating wasn't much better. An English muffin chased with a creme filled chocolate covered donut for breakfast. Pizza and chips for lunch was my yard sale lunch. Jay offered to take me out Saturday night because I was feeling pretty blah, but I decided we needed to stay home and eat in.
(With a twitter suggestion from Bari) I cleared the table of all electronics, turned off the overhead light, turned on the table lamp and lit a candle. I was going to get out the "company's coming" dishes, but Jay already had our standard every day stuff pulled out and piled high with Jambalaya.
Sunday morning I ate a quick bowl of oatmeal and almonds before church, then packed a PB&J sandwich and an apple for my prerace lunch.
Only it was Homecoming at church. And they invited everyone to stay after for a potluck lunch. I had two choices (due to tourist traffic where I live going home wasn't an option) - I could leave church, sit in my car for an hour and a half and eat my PB&J sandwich OR I could stay at church and enjoy some good country home cooking.
I promised myself I wouldn't eat a lot, southern potluck food isn't the lightest of fare. But then I saw the lasagna and the chicken and dumplings and I just couldn't resist. I capped off the meal with a slim piece of chocolate pie, a brownie, and a rice crispy treat and it was time for me to hit the road.
As always with Knoxville races, I got lost. Thankfully Jay was home and near a computer and was able to guide me where I needed to be.
(Crap this is already a long post and the race hasn't even started!)
I had allotted myself 30 minutes to get to the race and 30 to register. I hadn't allotted 15 minutes of getting lost time. I was left with 15 minutes to register and the parking site was a block away from race registration. I was in a bit of a rush and forgot my super cool water bottle.
This isn't my exact bottle. Thanks to a google image search I found the picture here. But it gives you an idea about what I was working with. Typically I just slip it on my wrist and go. It was about 8 minutes before the race start when I realized I had forgotten it in the car. Assured that there were water stations on the course, I decided against a mad dash back to my vehicle. I'd just drink what they provided.
Although it was a race on Knoxville's "greenway" system, the first several miles were in the blazing sun. Unseasonably warm - it was 85 degrees at the start of the race. By the first aid station only 2 miles in, I was already parched. The 1 oz of water provided by the volunteers did nothing to quench my thirst.
Thankfully I got to the second aid station in time. A run/walker caught up with me around the 5 mile marker. She told a race volunteer that the 2nd station had ran out of cups and they need more. She had advised them to pick up the cups and reuse them. (Note to self: work on speed so that never happens to you.)
Shortly there after I had to take my first walk breaks. I know some of you swear by them, but my body just doesn't like to stop and walk. Or rather it doesn't like running again after a walk break. But I was so hot and thirsty I just couldn't keep running without a little bit of rest.
By the third station I didn't care about my time anymore. Fearful that they too would run out of cups, I stopped, drank, refilled, and drank some more. Murder on both my time and my legs but it had to be done.
Around mile 6 I started feeling better. I remember what my husband had said about the mileage - I told him that I hadn't worked up to 10 miles and that I'd probably stop and walk a mile or two. He responded with quite possibly the only kind words he's ever said about my running.
"You know how you get, after a few miles you just keep going and don't think about it. You'll do all 10 miles no problem."
That gave me the extra umph I needed. He didn't just say that to be nice. I know when he comments about my running (for better or worse) he means what he says.
During mile 7 I heard a clatter. Gosh this dehydration is worse than I though. I'm starting to hear things. The clatter got louder and louder. A spectator had a cow bell - she was ringing it for all the runners as they went by. This was the only part of the course with a turn around (its normally a 15K race but they added a little to make it 10 miles for 10-10-10) and as I passed her a 2nd time I spoke to her.
"I forgot my 'I need more cowbell' necklace at home. Thanks for that!"
After a few quick tears it was settled, I was going to own the last 3 miles of the race. I didn't have anything left for my standard sprint to the finish, but I was able to pick it up a little more as soon as I saw the big "FINISH" banner.
I thought I was going to die stopping immediately after crossing the finish line to put my foot up on a 5 gallon bucket so my timing chip could be removed. Unfortunately they had ran out of bottled water, but they were able to take the water coolers to a house nearby and fill them up. I got a cup, walked, walked back, refilled X 5 before finally taking a seat in the grass to wait for a shuttle back.
This was my first point to point race and besides the constant changing scenery I wasn't a big fan. Actually I wasn't a big fan of this race at all. As hot as the day was with the sun directly overhead, there should have been more water stops. There was no fruit at the finish line - just organic suckers and Carmel popcorn from Earthfare.
Back at the race start/awards ceremony there were Subway sandwiches and cookies, but still no fruit. What's a girl gotta do to get some post race fruit??
What I'm banking from this race:
- I do not want to run on the Knoxville greenways without an escort.
- This would be a good 20 miler (assuming I've got Jay or another family member on a bike with me) because of the permanent restrooms and water fountains along the way.
- I really need to step up my training if I wanna shave 15 minutes off my half time from last year.
- I need to take Disney more seriously. I think because I've covered the mileage already I'm not as intimidated as I should be.
- Race day its PB&J all the way!!!