Boy, you think you know everything there is to know about your sport with training and racing, but then you get a slice of humble pie. I got served mine this past weekend at the Tallahassee Half Marathon. A few months ago, I started running a lot. In fact, it started when my Snapple Triathlon Team put on a running challenge. Oh, how I love a challenge! Whoever got in the most miles for the month wins a prize. Anything with a prize, I'm in! I ended up logging in over 200 miles for the month, which really helped my running speed. I did not win the competition, since there are super studly athletes on my team. I got away from my serious run training the past few weeks while focusing on swim training, but still was hopeful that I would run my goal time.
It was cold! Really, really, cold. I live in freaking FL! It shouldn't be 30 degrees in FL, right?!? So, I lined up at the starting line, with as little layers as I could stand, which was still 5 layers of clothes (the top 3 layers were my awesome new Snapple Triathlon Team gear.)
As I started running, I thought I would hold back for the first half of the race. Approaching other runners, I'd ask them what pace they were trying to hold. Too slow or too fast, moving on. Little did I know that the people that I thought would be too slow would end up passing me right by at the halfway point.
Since I am a slave to my Garmin, I would keep checking the pace. Hmmm? Why am I getting slower with every mile??? And why do my legs feel like I had 20 pound weights on them?!?
At the 7 mile point, I had decided that today was not my day to have a good race, so if I was going to suffer, I'd wait for my good friend, Brook, and we could suffer together. Suffer we did. Brook did amazing, finishing with a P.R. by 3 minutes.
I learned a lot from my horrible race. I learned that you need to put in the work to get the results that you want. I learned that your nutrition during the race and leading up to the race can make a huge difference in your performance. Also, you never know what your body will do day to day. You just show up race morning and hope for the best.