Monday Monday – It’s All About the Shirt

There are a couple of truisms when it comes to racing.

Don’t go out too fast …. and
It’s all about the shirt.

This weekend’s 20 miler gave me an opportunity to be reminded of both – one in a good way and one, not so much.

The race was the Clarksburg Country Run featuring several distances. I originally registered for the 20 mile race but had the option to change to the 5K, the 1/2 marathon or the 30K. My original thought was to do 20 miles as a testing ground to decide if I wanted to run the California International Marathon on Dec 6. I had pretty much decided against that so I thought I might switch to the 1/2 Marathon and go for a PR but then I decided to stick with the 20 miler because….. because… well just because.

I went up to the race with 3 other women from Forwad Motion including my training partners Dana and Maggs. The ride up was beautiful, winding along sloughs and vineyards. Lovely. We got our chips and bibs and then went for the shirt where we were pleasantly surprised by this:

Nike Shirt from Clarksburg 20 miler

Nike Shirt from Clarksburg 20 miler

It is a beautiful technical fabric shirt and when you fondle the fabric – like buttah. The shirt alone made the $40 entry fee well worth it.

This is in contrast to the shirt I got at the Folsom International Triathlon which has to be the fugliest race shirt I have ever gotten. It is cotton which makes it pretty useless to start with but check this out:

T-shirt from FIT '08

T-shirt from FIT '08

I have no idea what the artist had in mind there but that shirt did NOT make the $75 entry fee worth it. Fortunatly it was a great race and they had burritos afterward so it all worked out.

Back to Clarksburg, though – I started out with the idea that I would run 20, 10 minute miles. That was my plan and it was a good plan – a very good plan. I believe I could have done that, too. It isn’t what I did, though.

The day was perfect – sunny and about 60 degrees. I started out running with Dana and Maggs and we were pulling about a 9:05 – 9:10 pace. I knew that was all wrong and I decided I would drop back at the 5 mile marker – only I didn’t. I stayed with them. Then at 6 miles I said I would drop back and I sort of did but not by much. I was still quite close to them. In fact, by the time we got to the turn around I was only about 1/4 of a mile back but definitely losing steam.

I was happy, though because this run was non-stop pretty, taking us along country roads through vineyards with no traffic at all. I could see Mt. Diablo off in the distance, bumped up again a clear blue sky with a row of fluffy clouds marking the horizon. The view was a great distraction because I took the no-iPod rule seriously and had nothing else to keep my mind off the pain blossoming in my quads.

At the 1/2 marathon marker (and they did have one) I PR’d with a 2:06:30 and I was still okay – barely. By 15 miles I was toast and in pain and at 16 miles some women we had left in the dust at the start passed me. I was done for.

The last 4 miles were a walk/run death march but I made it – I finished in the official time of 3:26:20 for an overall pace of 10:19/mile. I was in serious pain and none too happy but whatever. Done, done.

This little race also served lunch which turned out to be ziti with canned sauce and salad made with iceburg lettuce mix but they did have fruit and water and it was clearly a community effort and I loved it.

Lesson learned once again. Do NOT go out too fast. It just doesn’t pay, particulary with me. I tend to run out of 02 and then I need to stop and let my muscles re-oxygenate and it takes time. Next time I race distance (which won’t be for a while) I’m going to take myself seriously and hold back. Hopefully I’ll get a great shirt out of it, too.

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9 Responses to Monday Monday – It’s All About the Shirt

  1. comms says:

    So this means your NOT running the Dec 6 full mary?

    Great pace and too bad you went out fast. Those death marches are not fun.

  2. iliketoast says:

    It is also about the medal. But the shirt is good too.

  3. jeanne says:

    holy crap, look at your time!!!! you have GOT to run that full mary! you’ll kill it!

  4. stronger says:

    very nice shirt! Save those old shirts for your next trip to a 3rd world country.

  5. even though you went out too fast this time, you’re getting faster overall! Noticeably!

    and I’m now coveting the shirt. I have a similar one that is one of my favorites. SO SOFT and COMFY!

  6. fe-lady says:

    One more truism about racing…
    You gotta space them out if you really expect to do well.

    I mean you just ran a half a month ago, right?

    Recup is real.
    Nice shirt tho..and good crazy effort!

  7. Chris says:

    That’s an awesome race shirt. Totally practical and everything. That other one… yeaahh. I might not even wear that one in the garage to change oil. Maybe you can cut it up for rags? 🙂

    I read something someplace about taking walking breaks before you need them because by the time you need them, it’s too late for them to be very effective. I don’t know how much water that theory holds, but I did run my fastest IM run split ever by taking 1 min walking breaks/mile starting at mile 1. Something to think about.

    Anyway, congrats on a 20 miler in the bank!

  8. Karen says:

    Ok. I have to laugh at the FIT shirt. I felt the same thing–I mean, what’s with the green and brown? And is that supposed to be a train graphic on it? Mine is strictly used for night shirt now, but I’m considering turning it into a dust rag.

  9. Runner Susan says:

    okay, i’ve missed too much. i’m going to work on your blog more next week. don’t worry, it won’t be too painful.

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