I was torn on how to handle this. I didn't want to push my long run to Sunday because of church; I didn't want to run 14 miles after the 10k because it started at 8:00 am and the day was supposed to be record-breaking hot (it was, too). So I could either skip the long run and get a good 10k PR, or run before the race and use the 10k as practice for running hard on tired legs.
I went with scenario two. I ran 8 miles before the race, but I still wanted to go out at 6:30 pace. Um, NOPE. Not happening. I ran the first few steps and had major stomach cramps right away. I had scarfed a gel while picking up my number and apparently that doesn't do good things to my stomach. I was hanging on to a 6:30 pace for the first half, but during the second loop I HAD to make a bathroom stop. That meant running way off-course to the bathrooms in the park! It made my race a good bit longer than 10k and honestly didn't really alleviate the cramping. So I ended up with a very sad, pathetic 43:10: a pace slower than my half marathon pace. Ha! So much for a nice 10k PR!
The weird thing about this is that I won the women's race - absolutely no one opted for the 10k on this hot morning, although the 5k was crowded. I was so embarrassed to win with that time, I almost stepped out of the race before crossing the finish! Then I decided that would make me look like a jerk, but let me tell you I was so confused to be breaking the tape. It goes against all the rules for someone running over 40 minutes to win a 10k.
|Students painted the awards for this race.|
After I finished I drank water and stretched and decided to attempt the rest of my run. Well, the stomach problems didn't go away, but I ran through them. I actually did 4 miles and circled back to the start of the race and grabbed a beer and got a free massage before heading the final 2 miles home to complete my run! I had a good 15 minutes rest before the last two miles, but both were under 7:15, which pleased me.
This kind of pathetic performance isn't really inspiring as the last long run before a race (Especially the stomach issues: it has been a very, very long time since my stomach has been a problem in a race).
However, I'm going to try not to think too hard about this one. I often have crappy long runs, and before the Louisiana Marathon I had a terrible final long run (I had to end it walking). I still felt like I had a great race! So I'm going to let this one go, drop some mileage, and get ready for Boston.
Yay for taper!