Monday, March 5, 2012

Anyone want a do-over?

Well, another sucky attempt at this stupid 5k distance.  

Problem number one: I don't know what my current pace is.  At any distance really, but mostly for speed work.  I met a friend from the race team and we went for a short jog before the race and she asked me what pace I hoped to race.  Having really no clue, I told her it'd be nice if I could run solid 8s for each mile, that would land me just slightly below 25minutes.  SADLY - that's just where I am right now (I ran this race 2 years ago and it is my current 5k PR of 22:09. sigh).

Problem number 2: I have lost my ability to properly pace myself, I've lost what pace FEELS like.

I wore my Garmin, specifically because I didn't want to go out too fast and die at the end (long time readers know I don't like to wear the Garmin in races because I spend WAY too much time looking at the thing and not concentrating on what a certain pace feels when I run!) .  Funny... Garmin or not.....

Mile 1: 7:27 (oh crap!)
Mile 2: 8:09 (better, but I was already pretty cooked.  ugh)
Mile 3: 8:39 (really?  Holy suckville!)

Overall: 25:21 (8:04 pace)

##$@*W)(@NDJ_)E%%@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm not upset at the time, I fully accept this is where my conditioning is right now, I just wish I'd have run it more consistently pace.  

Somehow though, I managed 3rd in my age group.  I'm not sure how I pulled off that miracle other than thank you for smaller races.


This "comeback" thingie is really blowing - big time.  I honestly have no one to blame but myself. Whatever progress I was making last fall is gone.  February should have been a great month to get my head on straight and get back to the speed work, yet it was anything but.  I've managed to mutilate any and all progress ... but every race I do, good or bad, teaches me something about myself out there and I think this race was just what I needed to kick my fat butt ... what a HUGE wake-up call!

I have a plan, I really do, and I think it's going to go great.  

Starting this Tuesday, the Phidippides Track Club fires back up again and I will be the first one there with check and release form in hand.  This is a interval speed work track club and these guys are wickedly fast and really make me push myself out of my lollygagging comfort zone.  I'm also starting to work with a guy from the team who is making me go to these cardio boot camp classes.  If you've never been to an hour-long cardio boot camp class, I'm here to tell you that this class will KICK YOUR SWEATY BUTT (and every other sweating pore in your body).  Holy crap this class is insanely tough.  This guy is also going to work with me get my diet under control and help me try to understand why I keep sabotaging it; it will be great to have someone other than myself to toss ideas out and someone there for support. 

I think with these new plans in place, by summer I will be able to regain the fitness level which I desire.  I've just gotta put all the personal stuff aside and stop using it as an excuse and keep my head focused.  I know I can do it!

So today's feeble attempt at consistent pacing brought me to recall a marathon I did a few years ago: The Big Sur Marathon in 2008.  Bleh!  Fellow blogger and Pikes Peak extraordinaire, GZ (what an incredible athlete he is!!), recently wrote a great post, "If you could make it right....", asking readers what performance you'd make RIGHT if you could have another chance.  Meaning, what race did YOU personally screw up so badly and wished you could re-do it all over again. 

It appears I have a reoccurring pacing pattern,  Truthfully, though, this inconsistent pacing problem is more a lack of proper training.  If I haven't done the work, I don't know where my pace should be.  I hadn't done the work for today's race and I hadn't run a prior marathon in 5 years when I ran Big Sur. Both left me sort of clueless out there on the course.

In 2007, I started working with a personal trainer (very long time readers will recall that whole nightmare - ha) as my goal in 2008 was to get to Boston and I knew I needed some serious weight training to get my body fat down to race strong.  But I didn't want Big Sur to be my BQ race; I wanted to go to Big Sur with my girlfriends and Big Sur teach me the valuable lessons about pacing and fueling, etc. that I had lost with my marathon hiatus.  I wanted to use Big Sur as a fun run as I got into better shape for a fall BQ race.

But my then-trainer had other plans and told me there was no reason for me not to BQ in Big Sur (Hell yeah there is...that's one of the hardest marathons out there...can you say holy monster hills, Batman!?!).  But in my stupid head, I wanted to please him - despite telling him repeatedly I did not want to BQ in Big Sur - and when I stepped on the start line of that race, in sweltering heat and horrific winds, I thought to myself I was going to get to Boston or I was going to die trying.  I wanted to show him I could do it.

Mile 1 I think I clocked about a 7:20 mile.  I held onto this insane pace - even though I only needed a 9:10 pace to BQ.  My head thought I could hold on to this for the entire race.  

By mile 18 I was puking.  The heat.  The hills.  The wind.  The ridiculous pace all got to me and I almost DID die trying.

It took me 3 months to get over that race, I was literally was so distraught how poorly I ran it....but mostly, I was upset with myself that I set some stupid goals to make someone other than ME happy with my performance.  That race cost me a small fortune and who knows if I'd ever have the funds to go back and run it correctly.  But, as lessons are always learned in a race....and I will never run another race to please anyone other than myself.  Ever.  
Big Sur course.  Ugly scenery, huh?  :)
My friend, Kathryn and I, at the start.  I knew I could be doomed when the start
was already 80 degrees.
Standing at the bottom of the infamous 2-mile long Hurricane Point Hill.
The Bixby Bridge.
Great friends I ran with!
The pink ice plants were incredible!
So yeah, I'd like a do-over of Big Sur Marathon someday, please.  An all-expense paid trip would be really nice, too! :)

How about you guys, do you have a race you'd like a do-over?  If so, which one and why?  I love hearing other's stories....

Until next time....

Run strong, friends!

46 comments:

Heather @ Just a Colorado Gal said...

Man, that course is beautiful! I might add that to the list!

Too bad delosperma (ice plant) doesn't grown that well here! We use it all the time for clients and it works.... but not like that!!!

chris mcpeake said...

I feel your pain. I find if I havent been on the track regularly my feel for pacing and what pace I should be at is lost in space.

The good thing is it will come back quick with a few months of hard workouts.

good luck

Tasha @Healthy Diva said...

The Big Sur is on my "race bucket list" so hopefully someday I can run it.

5Ks are TOUGH, but you did a great job. :-)

Johann said...

I think that is still a great 5k time. I'm way slower than that currently and not really looking at improving that either. I suppose my focus is just somewhere else. I've never done any track work. I would do over a 50k mountain race where I didn't carry enough water and knew I was taking a chance. Have a great week Jill!

C2Iowa said...

Your time is pretty dang good - IMHO. If you ever are feeling down - just pull-up my emails and look at my paces! Things could be worse: you could be in my shoes. Hope that this week is a good week for you.

Big Sur - what a course!

Taryn said...

I thought your time was great! Don't beat yourself up too much! :)

Wow, Big Sur looks beautiful!! What amazing views!!

misszippy said...

Well, heck--I think when you've been running as long as you and I have, we're going to have a pretty good list of do-over wants, don't you? And--5ks just suck, anyhow, in my mind! Seriously, though, I never run well in 5ks if I am also marathon training. It's hard to do well in both. You really haven't lost all your progress--you just feel that way. Dust off and get to that track workout!

Redhead Running said...

First off, congrats on finishing another race! I know getting back to it is hard, especially if you've lost the fitness base, but we all know if you just keep at it you'll get back there sooner than later. You've got this girl!!!

Love the idea of a do-over for a race... Your story is a helluva one, I think we all fall victim to the lure of someone else's goal for you at least once in our training. If I could do-over one race I think I'd choose my first half. I gave up, the rain, the wind, I was defeated and just walked when I was so close to the finish. I know it was the difference between sub-2 and my 2:02 finish.

Ewa said...

What a beautiful course. Oh, wait, I know this place. I love, love Big Sur.
Wanna run Big Sur Marathon with (OK, ahead of) me next year?
I would love to have your pace... oh, well... I'll just shuffle along

On the Right Track said...

That is one BEAUTIFUL course...5K's are so so hard...especially for endurance runners like yourself...but...I think you ran a fantastic time and reflecting on it will only make you stronger!!!

I'd take that pace in a heartbeat right now...Be kind to yourself:) You're gonna get there, I can tell!

Danni said...

The good thing about 5ks is that they are a dime a dozen and you'll have the chance to run a great one. And, with something that short there's just no way they're all going to be awesome.

Jenny @ The Little J-Bird said...

That is a great 5k time!! :) Congrats on 3rd place! Woo!
I would like a do-over of the Marine Corps Marathon from 2010. I was having a great race until about mile 21 when I just lost it due to dehydration. I crossed the finish line with a migraine and was miserable so I felt as though I didn't get to experience it how I wanted to.

Betsy said...

I'm right there with ya. My running pace isn't what it was but I don't know what it is. When 10k pace shows up on my schedule I try to run what it was/should be/I think it should be and it just doesn't work for me.

Big Sur is definitely on my to do list but it's going to be for fun and with a camera!

Karen said...

I wouldn't ever want a total do-over. I don't like looking back and wishing I could change things. It is just frustrating to know I can't.

That said, I swore I'd never run another marathon after my first one. But a few months after that disappointingly slow finish time (just under 5 hrs, yeah boohoo, cue the violins), I promised myself I would do another just to get a better time.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

That is a great 50k! You are waaay to hard on yourself. You are still out there working your butt off to improve. That is what really matters! Not every race is going to be filled with rainbows and sunshine. Some races leave you beat down just to see if you are girl enough to get back up again. And you ARE. This is just another step closer to a place you will never arrive because you will forever want to improve and get better and stronger and smarter and faster. I say congrats on another race closer to where you'd like to be. (But enjoy the victory that you just had too!)

I don't think I need a do over. I'm just ready for the next thing so I can use (hopefully) what I learned already.

HappyTrails said...

LOL - I need to remember the "holy suckville" phrase - good one! Hey, you're just being kind and waiting for me to get back in the groove so we can unleash our fury and blaze up Pikes Peak in record time (for us), right??? Hang in there and don't be discouraged. You know what you are capable of - once you can get past a few little roadblocks, you'll be cruising along at the pace you prefer. You had a long down time with your injury - it will just take some time to rebuild and renew. You'll get there! :-)

Liz said...

That is not holy suckville! The problem is that your PR is just too fast! With a few weeks of specific training, I bet you could run some more consistent splits. Beautiful pictures, by the way.

XLMIC said...

My best recent 5K I just went for it right from the start...no pacing at all. I totally crashed and burned but realized that my overall time would have probably been exactly the same had I paced more evenly.

A re-do I'd like would be my first marathon...just went out way too fast!

Teamarcia said...

First Congrats on the AG 3 in a 10-year group no less!
Its not all gloom and doom no matter what you say.
Do-overs? How about do-over racing seasons? I've got a couple of those I'd like to trade in.
Beauteous Big Sur pics. THat one was on my bucket list wasn't it?

Char said...

Pacing is the hardest thing about racing. How can you ever get a new PR unless you push it hard and if you push it hard and blow up then you have a miserable race. But when you get it just right it's magical.

Terzah said...

You are too too too hard on yourself! But I think your new plan sounds awesome.

I hear you about the do-over race, too. I'd do over Top of Utah last year. I just went way too fast at the beginning trying to keep up with a pace group that....was going way too fast. I will not make that mistake again in any race!!

Happy Runner Girl said...

Great plan :) I guess my do-over would be Tucsan 2004. I went out way too fast (it was a major downhill). If I had ran a bit smarter earlier on I might have done better. I sure trained my butt off for it!!

Julie Arts said...

I absolutely ADORE that last picture of you in the pink flowers. Gorgeous!

Jason said...

5Ks are all about going all out and hanging on for dear life. No goals, no paces, nothing but sheer speed and pain......thus why I don't run them.....haha!

Amanda@runninghood said...

I know what it feels like to be bummed about a race or the way things went even if everyone else seems to think it is pretty great. Sorry you are disappointed in the consistency of your splits and in the way your come-back has gone. But to us outsiders, I come read this and just think "Wow! Jill is getting back at it and doing great!" It wasn't too long ago at all that you were barely running and then when you were it was way slower than you are now. I'm thinking you're doing pretty dang good and by summer time you'll be in an even better place. I also think that 5ks are so tricky and if you haven't been 5k training, it can be hard to run these as well as we'd hope...especially when they go hand in hand with marathon training. Love your pics here...I've never had this race on my list but maybe it should be. :) I don't have many regrets these days and I suppose I used to have races that I'd wanted to do over...especially RIGHT after the race. But now I just honestly look forward and really try to find another race to do it again. LIke with Newport...it went so opposite of how I'd hoped so I ran another marathon 4 weeks later. Hoping that Boston goes better than both of those. If I did name a few then I'd say I'd want a do-over in the regional 800m in 1997 where I should have been regional champion but I couldn't bring myself to beat my friend who was expected to win. I was expected to get 6th place and a point for the team but something in me came out and I was about to win but then just barely let her. I kicked myself for a long time. And so did she and my coach. We both ran a 2:30 that day. Darn!

ajh said...

Great pictures of that race. I have always heard how pretty it is but I didn't know it was so hard. It's amazing what we attempt to please others rather than do what is good for ourselves.
You are a determined person and will get back the fitness you want and the pace. I have faith in you!

Julie said...

In my book you rock! And your new plan is only going to make you rock more. You will get there, just give yourself time.

brg said...

congrats on 3rd place in your AG. You are in a very competitive AG - I know you aren't happy with your time but I think you should be proud of yourself!

LOVE the pic if you in the pink flowers.

You got your head on straight - you'll get back to where you were and then surpass it! :)

Matthew Smith said...

I think you did great at your 5k. You ran basically what you said you would. That's pretty good pacing. And, you scored a medal, so that rocks!

It sounds like you've got an intense training program that is really gonna put some speed in those strides. That Big Sur Marathon looks like a winner. I think you should do it again!

Jamoosh said...

Woot! Age Group Podium. Regardless of your feelings to contrary, well done!

Tara said...

Girlfriend you didn't tell me that you got 3rd in your AG!!!! That's pretty cool! Congrats!

This is it, you are going to start that track team today and that speed work is going to whip your little bootie into shape and you will be rocking that Chicago marathon course. I just know you will! :)

I have always loved the pic of you sitting in those pink flowers......

xoxo

Molly said...

I had a great do-over last year in a local 10 miler. Two years ago it was unseasonably hot, and even though I conquered the hilly course in training runs, race day sucked so bad I almost quit at mile 6. Mental meltdown. But a year later I nailed it with a 8 minute PR. yay!

Beautiful photos, congrats on placing 3rd in your AG!!!

Julie said...

Jill!! Just reading this race report makes me smile! Awesome job on all of your races! You are giving me inspiration to get my a$$ out running for real. Take care! Miss you tons!

Abby @ Have Dental Floss, Will Travel said...

I've totally been there. I was actually just talking to a friend about it over the weekend! I hate blowing up because of lack of training, though on Saturday I came to the realization that I'd prefer that to having something beyond my control go wrong and derail a race.

Irene said...

I need a do over, too. My entire year of running in 2011, and (as it turns out) this year, too. It's hard to get a rhythm going again. My perceived effort is off kilter, too. Some days I feel like I'm speed lightning, but the reality is at sloth pace. I know a big part of it is in our heads. You're still out there, though, and that counts for something. You even had an AG prize! Woohoo!

That purple iceplant is so pretty when it's in bloom like. Mother nature can be amazing. Beautiful photos!

Raina said...

Like the new blog template. Very pretty :)

It's hard not to be critical of yourself when you don't perform how you'd like. I have the same problem. With all the races on your plate this year (comp'd and all) I think you'll see a faster 5k :)) .

Ice plant is beautiful- too bad it needs to be well drained. Doesn't grow in my yard well! Have a great week.

Mark said...

Still a good time in my book...really nice pic of the purple flowers! You are running great!

Aimee said...

I know you were disappointed in your 5k time, but you rocked it! Woohoo for an AG award! :)

Seriously, I would LOVE to join that track club. It is only like 5min. from my house. But, my husband usually doesn't get home until 6p, so I don't think I could swing it. Maybe I'll look into it though! You'll have to let me know how you like it!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures

pensive pumpkin said...

i love those ice plants. so pretty.


there are lots of things i want to do over. nothing to do with running, yet. lol

Mamarunsbarefoot said...

I HATE, HATE 5ks! Don't like feeling like my I'm going to throw up my lungs.

Adrienne said...

Hmmm...good question! I would say the last 4 miles of 2010's RNR Seattle. I did nothing but heat the H$%% outta myself for hitting the wall when I still finished in a great position with a respectable time. I would simply just go back there and go with it...that or run the pace I was actually fit to run. Oh, well!! :)

Neon Blonde Runner said...

I WANT THAT ICE PLANT in my yard!!!!! I'm going to have to check it out and see if it grows in Virginia.

Congrats on your 5k, even if it wasn't some earth shattering record, you still did awesome in my book :)

Katie @ Will Race for Carbs said...

As usual I am super behind in reading and late to the party commenting!!

If it makes you feel any better, I would gladly take your 5K times and your marathon times and your sucky times because they are still better than mine! I am going to pat you on the back even if you don't pat yourself!!!

So I forgot to email you back about the boot camp because I was drowning at that time, but I need to check those out. They are so close and I need something to kick my butt. And this summer my sister is staying with us so I can go to BRC runs! Hooray!

Big Sur is a beautiful place. I love it and I so hope you can go have a redemption run.

Laura said...

Sorry for the disappointing race... it's hard not to beat yourself up when you know you've run faster in the past. Bootcamp style workouts have become so popular, and you're right, they are killer! No matter what shape you're in as a runner, it's a whole new challenge. I definitely think you'll see fitness improvements from it!

Black Knight said...

Congrats for the podium!
Sorry for the disappointment but the 5km are really tough because you must run breathless from the start to the finish.