Posted by: pursuingsub17 | April 22, 2010

First race of the season always the hardest

I really have to write in here more. It’s just been hard. I work hard, I train, I make dinner, eat, watch a little TV and go to bed. Thankfully I have a few minutes here at work and I’m alone today. So sloughing off for a few minutes to write my blog should be okay.

I was all gung ho to get training again after taking about 4 days off. Work, again, has been mentally taxing. I managed to do some speedwork and then two days later was my first 29k long run of the year. I was doing well, felt good, then rolled my ankle 10k into the run. Good grief. Swollen for four days. It was a little tender to the touch by my race day last Sunday but the swelling had gone down.

Still – it was a tough race. But they always say the first one isn’t going to be as good as the last…for some people anyway. I finished the 10 mile race in 1:39. Little dissappointing but I did learn things that day. I did have a good sleep the days leading up to. I wasn’t in any pain – but I just didn’t have the energy to get up over 10 minute miles. I kept a consistent pace but couldn’t push myself at the end. It was hilly. But the hills didn’t kill me. I kept my pace. So what was the problem?

I came up with a few ideas and then emailed them out to Coach Mark and the rest of the team for feedback. I thought maybe I didn’t eat enough the night before. I filled up on a salad and only ate half my pasta and ground chicken (always a good pre race meal for me). So maybe I didn’t eat enough? I also ate late – 8:30 or 9pm I think. I had a glass of wine – maybe I shouldn’t have. I could barely eat my breakfast the next day because of either nerves or eating late. Each mouthful of cereal made me want to gag. But I did force it down. I had a banana and water with NUUN tablets a half hour before the race. I stretched and then had a gel but I didn’t wash it down with water.

The feedback I got gave me an aha moment. They said too much solids at first but then it was agreed that what I ate wasn’t that heavy. What it boiled down to was the lack of fuel on the run. That’s when it hit me. Should have watered down the gel with some water before the race. Then, I forgot to have a gel until about 3 miles left. “Oh yeah! Better have my gel” I thought as I began the last steep climb. I kept waiting for another water station but there wasn’t one. I finally downed it without water but I only had about 15 minutes left in the race. By then, too late.

Hence – no fuel = no energy.

So I learned something. I still did pretty good – running without pain and never really slowed down. But I could have picked it up if I had have had one gel 25 minutes in and another a half hour later…and with water. I think I did that on my marathon last year too.

There you go – learned something for my next big race…May 30th is the marathon! Oh, and I also regisered for the Calgary 70.3 Ironman since the Sylvan Lake 1/2 Iron was cancelled. Still around the same time so my training is on track. Only problem is that the swim will be ice cold. Literally. The lake is glacier fed!

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