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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Last long run and a 10k disaster!

You know I don't like long tapers. They make me feel stiff and out of shape. So this past weekend was my last long run before Boston. Unfortunately I forgot that I'd registered for a 10k on Saturday.
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!


  1. Yes, definitely just let this race go - you will do great at Boston. And so much of that experience is just about being there... granted I know you want to put up a great time, but still, just running Boston is an amazing/exciting accomplishment!

  2. you will have no problems with Boston. And I am very glad you did not step off the course, there are so many people who would love to run that time, or run at all...Even a crappy run (literally) is better than no run at all...

  3. While you might not be proud of it, congrats on the 10K win! I know comparing times between people is not good, but the time you just ran with a bathroom stop is basically my 10K PR, lol. I wouldn't worry about how the day went, you will do fine at Boston.

  4. I think that was a great race. Even if you did not feel your best, physically or mentally, about it. Some races you just have to chalk up as fun and/or training. But you placed and whether or not you are proud of the time you had when you did it, I think that's still something to be proud of!

  5. you are a beast! you're gonna kill boston, sub 3 i think....

  6. Congrats on winning the race, hope you got some excellent goodies...

    Bummer about the stomach issues, sometimes things are just out of out control.

    Three of my girlfriends that I run with were training for Boston and they had their last long run this weekend (22 mile) so they did 16 miles AFTER the 10k. Sounded a little too crazy to me, so I skipped out on that long run. I decided that I'd rather push myself in the 10K and do a long run later since my marathon that I think I'm going to do isn't until May 6th and I can fit in more long runs before then.

  7. Ha! I still think it is a great training run! And what a story. I think sticking it out through the heat, stomach cramps, race-ish pace, etc is a good sign.

  8. Haha. I was embarrassed to win a 5k with a 21-22:something time once. And then people gave me a hard time on the blog for whining about my time being lame when I had won the race... Umm, that's just not a winning time! Ha.

    Glad you didn't crap your pants.

  9. Ok, I know I'm super behind on posting to this. I read it a few days ago and my kids were going crazy while I was trying to comment so I just had to get off the computer.

    Anyway... It's hard trying to PR and race something when it's not your "A" race. Going into a 10K with 8 miles is tough. Next time, maybe you can arrange your long run a few days before or after so you will have fresher legs. I KNOW you could nail a sub 40 under the right conditions.