Custom Search

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Wall 30k race report

This year I was intent on running a better race than last year's 30k, at which I sucked. I haven't raced in a while, but for some reason all day yesterday I had a good feeling about this race. That should've worried me since I usually do best for races that I am totally unprepared for!
It was surprisingly warm - 60's and super humid - and I wore shorts for the first time in ages. Also my Karhus!
Why thank you, I do find our linoleum rather quaint.
I carpooled over to Destrehan-the-ugly, dragging brother Abe along, and arrived in time to pick up my number before the start. As we walked up to the start I clicked on my Garmin. I had decided to run with it as an experiment to see how it felt for a race. If I liked it, I was going to use it for the Mardi Gras marathon in two weeks.
Uh-oh. My Garmin was completely dead. I must not have had it all the way on the cradle. I didn't have a back-up watch, and there is no time on the course, so I had to run this one on my own! I've never run a race without time before!
Because of that, I can't really comment on my pace. I know I felt really good and was running merrily along for most of it. I chatted with runners I passed on the first half (once we thinned out, one man passed me and no one else for the first half, but I passed a number of people. This might mean that I started too fast. Sure wish I knew). I enjoyed hitting the turn around and looking for other runners I knew. I'd seen Abe already, who was 5th, and saw others after I turned the corner.
Suddenly, out of the blue, my calf cramped on me. Oh my gosh. I had no idea that a calf cramp would be so painful! I staggered, slowed, and tried to run through it; it wasn't budging. Here is where I started getting passed - two girls and a guy - that is the worst when you're limping and everything already! I eventually stopped to massage it and tried to walk it out. I am here to tell you that doesn't work. I asked the volunteers at the next aid station (the cramp occurred about mile 10; they were between 12 and 13) if an ambulance was near. I did not think I could finish with this pain! They offered to radio for it, but eh...I decided I didn't feel like waiting. So I gritted my teeth and ran through it. It hurt like the dickens.
Can you tell it hurts? That is a scary face. Yikes.
Finally the race ended - those last miles seemed to take forever - and I squinted at the clock as I approached. I ran a 2:21:40, and actually beat the 2:23 pace band I had printed for myself before I changed my mind and decided to take the Garmin. Only I have no idea how fast I started or how much the cramp slowed me or anything because I only saw the finish time! I was third female overall - admittedly, it was a small field - and I'm actually happy with the race overall. I feel like it was a good training run for the upcoming marathon, and with a watch or Garmin and non-crampy leg I will have a better run. I am trying to figure out why I cramped (I never have before) and I think I was dehydrated; I had two cups of coffee and no water before the race and actually no water on the course, either, this was the first warm-weather run for me in a long time and I under-hydrated.
I'm pleased that despite the cramp, my actually energy levels were fantastic. I wasn't fatigued and I felt comfortable at the finish. That's the best kind of race. I hate finishing and feeling bleah.
This year's Wall definitely beats last year, which was bitterly cold, windy, and miserable. I'll call it a success!
Side note - The Karhu experiment flopped, too. I have never worn them for long distances and I got several blisters and a black toenail. I still love these shoes for shorter runs, just not distance.


  1. man you speedy girl! nice race!!

    oh, can i blow up that race picture in poster form?

  2. Congratulations on the good time, even with the cramp!! I am the queen of cramps, especially when it's warm (I think it has to do with electrolytes for me) so I feel your pain! I don't usually get them during a run but I get them when I swim sometimes and they are excruciating!

  3. Congratulations!! I'm surprised they didn't have water. That seems weird. How did Abe finish? You guys are so fast!

  4. Congrats! Sorry you had the calf cramp--I hope it was a one-time deal!

  5. Definitely sounds like dehydration - I had HORRIBLE HORRIBLE cramps in my calves after a 16-mile training run about a year ago. I actually called my mom BAWLING (yes that's how bad they were cramped up!) after thinking about my day and my fuel I realized that I was most likely dehydrated as I'd only drank a few sips of water the whole run (it was in March so cooler outside!).

    I also had a few cases of bad calf cramps during marathon training from under hydrating. It's so painful!

    Anyways, sorry that happened to you but still great job on the race and getting third female overall! That's awesome!

  6. Linds, they had water on the course...I just wasn't drinking it for some reason. The overcast skies tricked my thirst sensation!
    Abe finished fifth.

  7. Great job on the finish, sorry to hear that your calf was hurting! PS, that IS a scary face :(

  8. This is the 3rd RR I've read on this race and there were only like 200 people in it (or so I hear). Weird, eh? I also heard it was HUMID. Nice job on Cowboying UP.

  9. Ugh. Cramp does not sound fun but you are so tough for sticking it out and getting a great time. Awesome.

  10. Oyyy, cramps are NEVER fun. But, way to go on cranking out the finish.

    I always have held a sweet spot in my heart for linolium. MMmmm, smells like asbestos

  11. Nice work! Was there no water on the course or did you just not drink any? That's a long way to sweat and run without any h2o. Also, I've had my garmin poop out on me before. Sometimes it's just this freak thing where it won't turn on (even after the charger tells me it's fully charged) and other times I didn't get it in the cradle all the way. It was definitely a pain in the arse when the thing wouldn't turn on before the Portland Marathon!