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:
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:
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.