(I figured I’d write this post as soon as I wasn’t sore anymore, but that seems like a fleeting goal as my hamstrings still rival piano cords a week later.)
In short, we had a blast at New Bedford last weekend and had a great team performance. I was initially upset with my run, but a much wiser (and more talented) friend reminded me that “the process is the goal, kid” so I’m letting it go.
Race morning was sub-optimal. As Team Racing Coordinator, I spent a lot of time going into the race organizing the trip and working with the Race Director to get registered as a team. When we arrived on Sunday, however, we were not on the list and had no numbers assigned. Needless to say, the stress from that was not a great start to the morning. Thanks to my much more level-headed teammates, I managed to get through the warm-up and shake it off. Despite conversations at breakfast about whether we’d wear capris for the race, it warmed up considerably by 11 and most of us ended up in shorts and singlets only, which would prove to be a good call by mile 8 when the sun was beating down.
The first few miles of the race were a breeze. Megan, Christine, Abbey and I hung together and tried to chill out over the uphill sections of the first four. Somewhere out there is a great picture of the four of us cresting the hill at four, but I’ve yet to find it. Megan pulled ahead around 5, Christine at 6 and then the wheels came off the bus for me. Because miles 5 through 9 are downhill, I’d planned to cruise but found myself with seriously flat legs. At some point, I whined to Abbey who informed me that it was the wrong time to fall apart and that I was getting overheated. Add to that some serious wind at mile 8 and I was all sorts of grumpy. Fortunately, the race photographer only captured 15 shots of me wrestling with a Gu packet and none of my six mile hissy fit. At mile 9,I finally dumped some water over my head…and instantly felt better. (Stupid human.) Having finally cooled my system down, the last few miles were markedly easier. I was happy for the finish line, but not dying for it.
Ended up 17th overall, with Gun 1:26:02, Chip 1:25:50. Women’s Open ended up with 6, 11, 17, 19 and 38th for 3rd place. (Last year, I was 43rd, Gun 1:28:00, Chip 1:27:51 and we were 7th as a Women’s team.)
Upon reflection, my lungs felt great for the whole run and I never felt like my conditioning was lacking. Instead, I felt limited by legs that had no “pop.” This is supported by my general experience over the last 8 weeks, where Tuesday quality workouts have thrashed me for my Friday quality work, which happen to be the longer efforts. This could explain great conditioning, but poor adaptation to longer pace work. As such, I’ll be focusing on longer pace efforts between now and Vermont City and dropping most of the low end speed work until after the marathon.
13: 6:45 (that hill is grim, no matter how much I try to attack it)