Listen and Succeed
Monday, April 27, 2009
After planned #21 - half marathon in Olathe, KS was postponed due to weather, which is the same as cancelling it for me I lost some of my forward momentum both with training and keeping my foods under control. I ended up working a lot during the past month which really affected the amount of time I was out on the trail and the weird weather didn’t help either. As my next ½ marathon in Nashville was approaching I had to get in some distance and managed an 8 mile long training and several shorter distances but still not what I normally would do to prepare for a race. So I didn’t know what to expect from my body during the race. I went back to my previous thinking – just finish, don’t worry about time.
We (my husband and I) got into Nashville on Thursday, April 23 and after checking in at the hotel made our way to the expo downtown. Then it was dinner time and we found a quaint restaurant where I ordered amazing pasta with shrimp, scallops, crab and portabella mushrooms, not too bad there on the good for you meter but the sauce was fairly rich. So I kept the amount I ate down to less than ½ the amount served. A good carb load for the race. The rest of the weekend on the food side went pretty smoothly with salads, crab (no butter), chicken and light breakfasts. Finally back on track with my diet.
We went to bed later than usual Friday night so 4:00 a.m. came pretty early. After a good practiced breakfast we hopped in the car for the 6 mile drive to where we would catch the shuttle to the start. The first couple of miles no problem, then STOP!!!! (stress starts) What should have taken no more than half an hour to 45 minutes with the traffic took over 1.5 hours (stress builds) then almost another 20 minutes to park because there was no one directing traffic (stress gets worse), we end up parking on the grass next to a lot (even more stress). It’s after 7:00 when we finally get on the shuttle bus, the race was supposed to start at 7:00 (ahhhhh!) but we find out that things are this way every year, parking on the grass is common and the race starts late every year due to the traffic issues (the stress starts to subside). We make it to the race village, do our obligatory swing by the porta-potties and head to the corals (stress is almost gone). Now the positive side – the potty lines weren’t so long, we didn’t have to stand around for a long time waiting and our corral came to us as we just waited near the start the slipped into the throng (I release the remaining stress, the race is what I strive for).
The race itself was well organized as the Rock n Roll series usually is. Lots of course support, fluid, spectators and music. I didn’t however expect LOTS of hills. The whole course was ups and downs with very little in the way of flat. The elevation profile didn’t do the course justice. Good thing I had trained with hills just in case. The heat and humidity however I couldn’t train for. The temp was 70 degrees at 5:00 a.m. and was in the 80’s shortly after 8:00 a.m. So with hills, heat and humidity it was time to listen to my body and watch my heart rate. Even though I slowed down on the earlier hills to keep my heart rate from staying too high I was able to increase my speed and hold it on all but the most difficult parts of the course. In doing this I was able to pass a larger number of people toward the end of the race (many who had passed me earlier on). I was quite pleasantly surprised when I crossed the finish line in 3:21:31, only 3:36 slower than my PB. WOW! A race I just wanted to finish and I was able to average a 15:23 pace. And I finished feeling good, feeling strong with only a few aches that were easily taken care of with some amino acids and ibuprofen. Our bodies are amazing and powerful things if we just listen to what they are telling us. I fueled well and I listened and I did better than I had hoped.
Now I have the medal from #21 – Country Music ½ Marathon, Nashville, Tennessee - April 25, 2009.