Huge Effort, Little reward

OMG, I Ran the “Gallop for the Gravy” This morning.

It was the worst run I have done in recent times.  Worse than any of my races in the past. Worse than all of my recent training runs…

I am a little unsure of how it all happened so poorly, but I am very aware of the event….

My time was 35 mins.  Whoa baby.  I think if I had walked, I could have done better than that!!!!

I should have known when I picked up my t-shirt and packet for the race that it was going to be a questionable race.

This is surely the most hideous turkey t shirt I have ever seen.

You can look at the design Here.  I was unable to download it as a photo…

As you can see, the Headless Poultry dominates the scene!!!

Other than the t-shirt, I have absoloutely no excuse.  It was a pretty nice course, well marked, on dirt and pavement.  People were in the spirit, showing up in Pilgrim and turkey outfits galore, as well as wearing “Indian feathers”.  Overall everyone was in a festive mood.  I felt ready to race.  In fact I was so sure I would beat my last PR, I was so ready to go!!!  I actually was looking about trying to gauge how many other women were in my age group….just in case.

I’m not really sure what happened, but I have gone over it a few times now in my head.

I started out a bit too fast. which was alright.  My first mile was  10:30 which wasn’t too fast, but when I look at my pace, i never maintained any pace.  I was running through the mile with times of 7:50, to 9:15 to 11:15 and back down to 7:50….I should have started at a pace I could maintain throughout. I was using my Garmin but with the pace smoothing effect, so I thought I was maintaining a fairly steady 10:40 pace. Nah.  I had no idea how fast I was actually going at any given time….this continued to be problematic throughout the race.  Mid Mile 2 I started to actually have some breathing issues.  I was coughing and having trouble with a small cramp in my right side.  I have Cold Induced Asthma and it felt like this, except that it was very warm today at 65-70 degrees at 8am.  Anyway, because of the breathing, I stopped and walked.  and ran and walked.  It really was a nice course, all around the UNCW campus which is deserted for the holiday.The problems with the breathing and cramping continued through the rest of the race along with my pacing issue. In fact, I am still coughing and having some problems…wierd.

Most humbling was huffing along the course and having the volunteers be so encouraging….I hated hearing this guy tell me…”Just100 more feet and you have it licked”  I was thinking, ahhh it’s licked me…The funniest moment was when a Mom and her two toddlers were cheering and directing and this little 5ish yr old boy took one look at me and shouted, “You better get going lady!!!!” His Mom  was jogging after me saying, sorry sorry, but… He was so right, I thought it was the most appropriate cheer I got all day!!!

Yes, I know it’s super that I got out and raced and amactive when so many people are couch surfers, but honestly this was a very disappointing race for me…..When I finished the woman was like, You did it, the whole 5K!  I wanted to chew off her cheery face, but I didn’t instead I mutterred something about being a little off pace.

I feel a  bit like a turkey.  Depending on the work schedule,  I may be running a “Ho Ho 5K” in December. Lets see if I am saying this…

After that race….


If anyone has any clues as to what the heck I did completely wrong,please feel free to suggest them to me.  And I can wholly say, I hate the 5K distance. Today I hate it with my whole heart….:(

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10 thoughts on “Huge Effort, Little reward

  1. I know you feel horrible but the way you wrote it up I couldn't help but laugh at the thought, like the kid saying, "You better get going lady!" and the Mom trying to apologize. That is a funny picture.
    My best races are starting out slowly then having a great kick at the end. The side stitch for me has been that I've outrun my breathing readiness. I try to really concentrate on steady easy breathing at the beginning and slowly increasing pace accordingly at beginning. I don't know about asthma so can't input anything about that. When I've gotten the side stitch what's helped me is to take a deep breath, hold, and then exhale forcefully and completely. Somehow that helps the diaphram (sp?) relax it's cramping. This has been my personal experience so may not apply to you nor help you any.
    Keep persevering and there's always the next race. Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

  2. It was supposed t be a little funny, because in reality the situation was absoloutely hysterical. I was so so shocked….I think everyone could tell when I saw the time clock…My eyes got soooo big.
    The breathing totally caught me off guard. I actually started having problems prior to the race, coughing and stuff, so…
    Yes, there is always another race, if I am brave enough to brave the back of the pack again!

  3. Perhaps you need to do a little bit more warmup before the race? Do you have an inhaler? I have asthma too, but at this point in my life don't take any medication. I do however take a puff off my albuterol before I head out for a run and that seems to help with any breathing problems.I've read that starting out a little fast at the beginning of a 5K is actually a good thing, but only a small amount above your usual race pace. Did you eat something different today than usual?You should still feel good about getting out there and giving it a go. Have a great Thanksgiving anyway! You're earned an extra piece of pie. 🙂

  4. Yes, If I had started at 10:30 or 10:40 I would have been on target. The side bonus to all this is that I learned that I can indeed sustain a 7:55 pace for at least a few minutes…who knew. SO that was interesting…
    Ahhh though the humility! I feel decidedly bad about giving it a go…I've done training times that were 3-4 minutes faster.
    It's just the day that stuffed my turkey…
    So we'll see about December….

  5. Sorry to hear you didn't hit your goals this time, but you learned a lot for next time. Since you asked, here are my observations:1) I'll get "shotgun" side cramps when I start out way too fast, i.e. faster than I've trained for recently. They feel like I just got shot!2) Going out fast in a 5K is definitely the way to go. When I go out slow, I settle into that slow pace and can't speed up later. When I go out fast I can sustain it easily for a mile, with difficulty for the next mile, and then for that last mile I just gut it out and do my best to not slow down knowing that I'll soon be done.Sounds like you did some speedwork during the race by hitting sub-8:00 paces for several minutes! I don't think your system was ready for that. One thing that helped me was doing 1/4 mile repeats; I'd run ~70 second laps (4:40 pace!) one at a time with either a slow jog or flat out rest in between laps. My 5K pace is about 7:00 so having my legs and lungs used to that speed made me capable of starting a 5K at a fast pace without shocking my system.Hope that helps! You'll have no trouble getting under 30:00.

  6. I'm sorry that your race didn't live up to your expectations. It sounds like you've learned a lot though that you can apply next month. Hopefully you'll figure out a training method that will work for you as well.

  7. Andrew…
    I feel like I did speed work today (the day after). I just went out waaay too fast, and then couldn't sustain it. I Often, I just run in the 5K at a speed that is comfortable and I thin kI had in mind that I should go out a little faster, but instead I ended up a lot faster. Oh the humiliation. Ah well. Back to the Half Marathon training.

  8. soo disappointing not to do as well as you hoped, I just learned that one myself… (have posted about my disastrous time) but you did it and that is definitely something to be proud of 🙂

  9. I absolutely love the running turkey! I can hear him now: "You're not gonna get me THIS year.. you're not gonna GET me! What? I'm already plucked and cooked? Awwww nuts."
    BTW.. you only need to run for you, and when you do that you always win. :O)

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