Racing woes and pumpkin EVERYTHING

Happy hump day!  I may or may not have spent 5 hours in the library today.  Never thought I would be that person…but a Trader Joe’s pumpkin bagel with maple almond butter made it better.

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Gotta love interpretive Spanish essays about the political power of 16th-century historians

The last two and a half weeks have included some little twinges here and there, some rough workouts, some strong workouts, lots of pumpkin things 😉 and one heck of a race.  Not exactly in a good way.

Last Friday, we raced at a pretty stacked invitational a few hours away from campus.  We left on Thursday evening; before leaving, I had lots of chicken parmigiana left over from a date night, along with some veggies.

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Sunset on the way to the meet!

Arrived at the hotel, made a quick Whole Foods run, had a team meeting, ate some fruit, and went to bed.  During the team meeting, our coach told us each what the general game plan was; personally, she thought I could be around 40th.  While the meet was stacked, the field was pretty small- only about 125 women.

We woke up at 5:45 for a shakeout, ate breakfast (oatmeal with almond butter and a banana, vanilla Siggi’s, and coffee), put on the flash tats and uniform, and headed to the meet!

It was almost-chilly when we arrived at the race venue, but all of a sudden the sun got really intense.  The temperature didn’t rise too much, but I didn’t feel great in the blazing sun.   Should’ve known…

Warm-up: ✓ Drills: ✓ Strides: ✓

Lined up at the start, pre-race butterflies, gun went off.  We rocketed out of the starting boxes like bats out of hell, relishing the downhill start.  I tried to rein it in a bit after the initial adrenaline-induced sprint, felt fine through 2k, and came through around 55th place, just over 7 minutes, which is 5:40/mile pace.  (I just calculated that’s a 17:36 5k.  LOL.  Maybe slightly ambitious.)  While I have been tired, I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, so I was hoping for mid-18s on this difficult, hilly course.

Around 2.5k, I guess the sun got to me or something happened, because I felt like shit.  I felt like someone had sucked the life out of me with a vacuum cleaner.

  • Me: “Legs, pls move.” Legs: “No.”
  • Me: “Eyes, pls open.” Eyes: “No.”
  • Me: “Body, pls run in straight line.”  Body: “nope.”

I weaved my way up the hill that notoriously breaks everyone, somehow managing to get to the top without walking.  I came through 2 miles in 11:45ish, I think.  Not horrible, but clearly I’d slowed down.  Hit 4k.  At this point, I was weaving into the flags lining the course.  My eyes would not stay open.  I was racing literally blind.

Hit another hill.  Weaved my way up it, doubled over.  Hit the finishing straight, and with 300 meters to go, I tunnel-visioned on the blue finish line mat, struggled down the home straight, and collapsed the second I reached the line.

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Me, hobby-jogging my way to the finish line.

I finished around 100th place in 19:43, which means it took me almost 8 minutes to crawl from 2 miles to the finish.  Awkward.

I felt okay, just weak and nauseous, for about 45 minutes after finishing, and my coach instructed me to walk around in the shade for a bit instead of going on the cool-down.  Tried to take in Gatorade and water, but the nausea just got worse.  Things took a turn for the worse about 45 minutes after finishing, and I could barely keep standing.  Felt extremely nauseous, generally weak, and like I was going to pass out.  Food was not happening.  Half a banana made me dry heave into the trash can for 10 minutes.  I spent some time in the medical tent with an ice-cold towel draped over my shoulders, dazedly watching all the passed-out, vomiting men being unloaded onto the cots.

Finally, after my mom forced a hat onto my head and force-fed me Nuun, the electrolytes kicked in, and I was able to actually walk around, pack up my stuff, and partake in Chipotle on the way home.  Still felt “eh” for the majority of the day.  Since I hadn’t done a cool-down, my legs felt pretty bad, so I stopped at the trainer when we arrived back to campus, and then headed to the rec and did a light bike shakeout for 30 minutes.  Took the long run extremely easy on Saturday morning, and it felt decent.

The good news is, yesterday we had a tough hill workout, and I actually felt very strong!  This was our third time this season doing this particular hill workout, and I hit my fastest splits and felt particularly strong on the longer circuits.  Afterwards, we had a lower body lift in the weight room that has left my legs very dead today 😉

And for a random end note to this long post, here’s Rob Thomas’s “Hold On Forever”!

 

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