For about 24 hours leading into yesterday’s 10 km race, I was questioning my sanity, and truthfully, I’m still questioning it. There’s no doubt in my mind I was suffering the ill effects of injury; nasty, painful aches in the pelvic/groin region. I couldn’t bend over, squat down, cross my legs, make any sudden movement, heck, I couldn’t even put my socks on without wincing in pain. So what the hell was I doing racing?
I told myself over and over it was a cycling injury, not a running injury. Dear Physio, who’s been extremely conservative in the past with me running with injury, would never have given the green light if he thought it bad. And then there was my stubborn, and somewhat insane, side refusing to wimp out.
I warmed up for 20 minutes prior with a 5 minute jog, leg drills, and a whole bunch of 1 minute and 30 second speed intervals. I did a last minute re-lace of my shoes, had 3 shot blocks at the start line, kissed my Rings, and was off.
Right away my mental capacity was struggling, my belly felt hollow, my pelvis felt like it had a whole library’s worth of books stacked on it, and Negative Nelly had invaded my brain space: “Maybe you’re not cut out for racing? Why are you out here? If you just stopped, it would feel better?” But I knew I couldn’t stop. I knew if I stopped, I wouldn’t start again.
I tried to focus in on a line I’d read from Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run the evening prior. Jurek says he shuts his brain off when running ultras, he doesn’t think about anything else other than the moment at hand. I told myself not to worry about the finish, not to worry about total time, not to worry about the other racers around me. I told myself to focus on my run, focus on my pace, focus on my foot turnover.
I wasn’t doing too badly with pace at the outset, but as the out-and-back trail progressively got warmer, my legs got slower. I tried to tell them to shut up, I tried to force my bricks for feet to go faster, I tried to dig deep, but there just wasn’t much there.
With about 4 km to go, I got passed by a dude, who had instantly slowed as soon as he got by me, which kind of annoyed me, I mean, if you’re gonna pass me, pass me already! I figured it wouldn’t take much effort to get by him, so I sped up, but as soon as he saw me next to him, he kicked his pace up a few notches. Yep, he was one of those guys!
I kept him in my sights and gradually reeled him back in, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce. As soon as I saw a white tent up ahead, I thought for sure we were nearing the finish corral, and I dug so deep, I was running faster than speed interval pace, I had that dude eating my dust, all the while giggling inside. Dude, you just got chicked!
No! Wait! Where’s the finish line? No! It should be here! No! I saw the tent! Nooooooooo! I WENT OUT TOO EARLY!!! And despite my legs physically able to keep going at that pace with the short distance left, the stupid side of my brain won the battle. My pace slowed, dude passed. D’oh 🙁
JOG FOR THE BOG RACE:
- 8:50 a.m. BG before: 6.4
- Temp. basal: none
- Carbs: 3 shot blocks (16 grams) no bolus
- Time: 56:39
- Distance: 10 km
- Average pace: 5:36 min/km
- Average cadence: 87 spm
- 10:15 a.m. BG after: 9.0
It’s not a personal best this time, but I am proud of my fortitude to push through the pain and finish strong. Mind you, I’m still majorly hobbled today and feel as though my left leg is in serious need of a transplant – OUCH!