Sunday, October 14, 2012

One Week Later

Today was a weird kinda day...all morning I kept looking at the clock and thinking "one week ago today, I was...."  Silly, I know...but I couldn't help myself.  One week ago at this time, I was having a sliver of pumpkin pie and apple crisp and desperately wishing that our guests would leave because I just wanted to go to bed.  Ha!  OK, if anything I'm at least truthful on this blog.  I'm feeling back to normal for the most part and not feeling as exhausted as I was earlier in the week, but going to go to the doctor sometime over the next week or so to check things out...I felt a little short of breath earlier today when I was doing a brief treadmill run, so going to the doc to make sure all systems are OK for my peace of mind.  I did go through a range of emotions last week about not finishing...I wasn't really thinking about the DNF as I was just so happy that I wasn't hurt, but as the week wore on, it started to niggle me more.  The thing that is really helping me to deal with it is that I'm more than this past race, and it just wasn't my day.  So, with that...going to move on.

So...once I get the thumbs up from the doc, what am I gonna do over the next while?  I'm easing back on the running for the next few months as we always take a break after our regularly scheduled Fall race, and moving to more strength training.  We'll still do our weekly runs but keep them around the 10 - 12K mark, just so we don't turn into total schlubs.  I've signed up for a tabata style workout class at the Pacific Institute of Sports Excellence, and will throw in some yoga and bootcamping.  Basically just going to stay active and just exercise for the joy of exercising (yes, I said joy....ha!).

Some great up this morning to track Marilyn as she was debuting at the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon race, and she came in as the second Canadian woman!  I watched her round the corner on the live feed and she looked like she was pretty tired but had a smoking awesome time of 2:42:44, just missing the Canadian master's record.  So excited to see her do so well!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

2012 Goodlife Victoria Half Marathon Race Report

Well...this was the most memorable race of my life for many, many reasons - geez, where do I start? 

Race morning started pretty much as per usual...I did my usual routine of waking up at 3am to eat something and having a banana before the run.  Hubs and I headed down to my work, as it's really close to the start line and left our gear there, including our cell phones (this becomes important later on in the story).  We headed down at around 7:15, and man was it ever packed!  We wedged our way into the crowd, and I looked at my Garmin and thought that it didn't look like it was reading right...but after checking it I thought it was OK. You know how sometimes you wish you would have just listened to your gut?  Well, this was one of those times.  As the run started, the pacing on my Garmin was completely off - in the first kilometre, it was telling me that I was running 3:50/km splits - OK, I've been working hard but that's just crazy!  Luckily I had a pace bracelet, so had to run by feel and hope I was making my splits. 

0 - 7K

1K  5:30
2K  5:09
3K  4:58
4K  4:58
5K  5:05
6K  5:16
7K 5:12

8 - 14K

I knew that I was making good time but my splits were a bit fast, so I tried to slow myself down after the 10K split.  Definitely a personal best on the 10K, and I was on target for a 1:50 half.

8K  5:02
9K  5:04
10K  5:02

10K split:  51:15  target 52:07

11K  5:11
12K  5:19
13K  5:32
14K  5:22

15 - 20K

Did you guys notice my heading for these splits?  You might have a feeling of what's coming next.  I was tiring fast, and around the 17K point I started to take some very quick walk breaks.  It was weird, because I remember everything up to this point...I was feeling a little dizzy but thought I was just a bit tired, and pushed onward.  Bad idea...very bad idea.  At some point, my brain must have shut down because I don't remember much past the 18K point.  My body must have just been in automatic mode and I vaguely remember running and weaving and then nothing...I passed out cold.

I came to, and I remember people all around me and one particular lady who was so wonderful - later on I would find out her name was Trudy, and she had called Hubs to tell him what had happened to me.  I didn't know where I was or what my name was, but I knew his cell phone number...weird how the mind works, eh?  Unfortunately, I knew his cell phone number but the cell phones were back in the office...argh!   I was too weak to walk so the ambulance was dispatched to get me where they started an IV on me because my blood pressure and blood sugar were dangerously low, and I was dehydrated.  The paramedic that worked on me was so wonderful...I kept apologizing to him and he was so kind.  Once they did what they could, I was taken to the medical tent and the nurses there who were also incredible worked on me.  It was such an odd feeling...not feeling your body, not being able to move, and not knowing what year or month it was or how old you are.  The nurses kept asking me those questions to see if I was coming out of it and I honestly couldn't answer them, and they were worried that I had hit my head because I was so disoriented.  Hearing that...and having no filters...I started to freak out that I was going to be like this forever and even tried to do accounting in my head!  Yep, even in a medical situation, I'm doing debits and credits in my head...such an accounting geek.

At this point, I was so worried about Hubs because I knew he would be worried...and luckily, he thought to come by the medical tent and he just happened to see my head through a crack in the awning.  I've never been so happy to see him.  Lesson to be learned here, folks...always, always, always run with your cell phones!

My final splits - I passed out one kilometre from the finish line...yes, one freaking kilometre.

15K  5:22
16K  5:30
17K  6:05
18K  5:54
19K  5:49
20K  6:57

Where did things go wrong?  I was feeling sickly at the beginning of the week, so should have listened more to my body and not pushed quite as hard as I did.  The Garmin problem was also an issue, as I was running too fast to start and likely hit the wall way too soon.  I drank along the race route, but not enough, given how hard I was pushing.  I've run all my races doing the early morning brekkie/banana routine, but maybe for this level of pace, I need to eat more.  All learning for the next time.

How am I feeling now?  I was exhausted and am still feeling tired today but my mind is pretty much back.  I've got some soreness - I think my calves must have immediately cramped when I collapsed as they are insanely sore.  I'm not going to hurts to know that I've done so much work over the past four months and to not complete this race when I was on track for a personal best sucks, to put it plainly.  But...all is not lost.  It was Thanksgiving weekend, right?  Even though this completely and utterly shitty thing happened, there are a lot of things to be thankful for...

 - I'm thankful that I wasn't injured - miraculously, I have no scrapes, bumps or bruises...I literally must have just crumpled to the ground

 - I'm thankful for the wonderful people who stayed with me (Trudy, whoever you are...thank you so much) and forfeited their race to help me, a total stranger.  I don't know your names or who you are, but I am forever grateful

 - I'm thankful for the amazing paramedics and nurses who were soooo incredibly patient, understanding and kind even was a complete spaz

 - I'm thankful that the clinics that I took showed me that I did have it in me to hit my A goal...I may not have finished, but I did hit a 10K personal best of 51:15.  I'll take what I can get!

 - I'm thankful for Hubs, always

 - I'm thankful for family and friends..we still hosted dinner on Sunday, but luckily most of it was pre-prepped so it mostly involved just putting it in the oven.  I texted my BFF to tell her what happened and was roundly chastised in the most loving manner possible because I knew she was worried and cared (love you R, mwah mwah, XOX)...having something like this happen made me realize again how important family and friends are and how things really could have been so much worse

What does this mean for my future race plans?  Well, I was already going to take a break from running to the end of the year...and I think what I'll do is run a 10K race next spring, and then volunteer for the Oak Bay Half Marathon and other local races.  What happened at this race really, really makes me want to give back and I feel it's important for me to do.  And yes, I do plan to race next year's Goodlife...and finish.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Race Goals

So I was going to be a big ol' chicken and not post my race goals...but I realized in the the past, putting it out there is what seems to push me so here I am.  How am I feeling about this training cycle?  I pushed hard at the clinics, harder than I ever would have dreamed I would have.  I am so thankful to have had such a great group to train with, and an even better instructor with Jason.  I've been working hard on my form after taking all the clinics with Marilyn, and I think if I can keep my form going throughout the race, I might be able hit my time goal as I won't be muscling myself along throughout the important especially for the first half of the race.  I did all the long runs and made sure my pace was within range - not too fast, not too slow.  I've also been eating really well since about June and really kept an eye on making sure I got enough protein (thank you Arbonne protein powder...vegan, full of protein and delish to boot!).  Last year, I seemed to have lost a lot of muscle mass as I was doing no strength work and was pretty much just running.  This year, I kept up all the bootcamps as I wanted to make sure I kept up the cross training.  I think the combo of the extra protein and strength work has helped me maintain and even build muscle...I can see the difference, but more important is the lack of difference on the scale.  I weigh the same as I did in June when I was admittedly a lot fluffier than I like to be when I'm running, but my clothes are fitting much better.  Kinda excited about this result as it means I must have built muscle, and it gives me some food for thought about what I want to do in the off season as I'm really interested in doing more strength training.

OK, enough procrastinating and trying to baffle you guys with bullshit to distract you...ha!  Here are my goals for next week's half:

C goal (I know I can):  2:00

B goal (I think I can):  1:55

A goal (pinch me, I'm dreaming): 1:50

Truthfully I'm nervous about my A goal.  I've done the physical training, but it's the mental toughness part that I'm a little worried about...I always seem to fall apart at around 16K, so I'm thinking about my race plan.  Do I go for even splits?  Do I try for negative splits?   Do I try and build a cushion?  The physical part is hard but the mental part, for me, is always harder.

Let's do this!