Friday, January 17, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again...

So I ran a race under-prepared for the first time EVER.
I knew I needed to start putting up higher mileage. I am committed and determined to run the LA Marathon on March 9th.
Coming off an injury has been harder than I expected.  I don’t know why I thought I would get right back at it where I was. Even my training runs were proving slower and more difficult, but somehow I thought I could go back to my normal pace for a half marathon.
I picked an inexpensive, locally run, flat course and it was awesome.  Awesome AND windy!
The Camarillo Marathon taught me a lot of important lessons.  Some that I needed to learn and some I needed to re-learn.  Here they are in no particular order:

Train for the race you want to run.
I kept telling myself, and anyone who would listen, that this was just a training race and time wasn’t important.  Saying something doesn’t always make it true.   I ALWAYS want to go faster and feel better.  I really wanted to be sub 3 hours.  Alas…
I didn’t run further than 6.5 miles prior to this race.  Mile 8 mile training run turned into a really long walk.  And my race day showed this.

A half marathon IS a big deal.
I’ve started taking 13 miles for granted.  I’ve done a lot of half marathons, so it’s become less of a big deal. BUT it is.  When you are “pace challenged” like me and coming off of an injury there is a likely chance you will be running for 3 hours.  That is 3 hours of continuous exertion.  This is not easy no matter how many times you’ve done it. This IS a big deal

 Nutrition is important.
I haven’t been eating right.  It was the holidays, blah blah blah.  Insert Lame Excuses here.
I need to make better choices.  My recent choices have made me feel heavy and yucky. I need choices to make me feel lighter and stronger.  I will say, I took some advice and tried peanut M&Ms instead of GU or Shot Blocks during the race and it worked! I bought the Fun Packs and ate one every 5 miles.  The sugar and protein was just what I needed and I stomached it much better. I’m gonna try the pretzel ones too…

 Finding the positive can be easy.
When the “wheels fell off my wagon” at about mile 9, I felt really defeated.  As I watched the 3 hour pacer get further and further in front of me, I gave up for a minute.  Then I thought, “This is the furthest I have run in almost 3 months! This is a win.”  I ran/walked the rest of the race, enjoying the scenery but not the head wind.  I did my best and felt very confident for my 9-miler the next week. 
PS- The 9-miler went AWESOME!

 It’s not giving up if you finish the race.
I did. Even though I didn’t hit my super secret time goal or run the whole time.  I made it through the finish line.  I was in pain, but I was happy. 
It was a good day.

I’m still not 100%.  I am slowly doing more mileage and making every effort to eat better.
I’m focusing on being healthy so I can finish the LA Marathon and feel great.

This is all I can do now that I’m back in the saddle.

Cody, Me, Neil
Camarillo Marathon and Half Marathon
January 5, 2014

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