Marcia at Marcia's Healthy Slice did another Runfessions post for the Holidays. I "borrowed" her Runfessions idea once before, and am borrowing it again for Fun for Friday. I hope she doesn't mind ;-)
I thought I would do a Runfessions - Race Day edition since I finished another half marathon last week and it's still fresh on my mind, especially the mistakes I made that day. Funny how you can PR but also have a host of silly mistakes. But I have a few other confessions to make, so it's not all about mistakes.
Though, I did make several no-no race day mistakes. I broke the golden rule of never doing anything new the day of a race. Not only did I break that one once, I broke it twice. So, here it goes...
1. I tried a new gel on race day. I had been coveting my Salted Caramel GU packets for weeks. I was practically salivating at the mere thought of trying them out. My special treat to myself for the race. Now, the error had nothing to do with the flavor (thankfully), but a) it was a brand I don't typically use and b) it had caffeine. I've never tried caffeine during a race. I don't even have caffeine before my morning runs.
I took one GU 15 minutes before the start and then another at mile 6. Around mile 7-ish, I was getting dizzy and jittery. My tummy started to roll. That Yeti was my nemesis.
2. I didn't use the aid stations to my advantage. I skipped the first aid station. The next one I did stop at, literally stopped. I was breathing way too hard to try to drink and run. I can hardly do that anyway. My next stop was right after I had taken the GU. I knew I had to get in as much water as possible. I stopped again and down a cup. Wow nelly, sloshy tummy about to ensue along with the jittery feeling. Not a great combo.
The next aid station looked like an oasis in the dessert. I was desperate for water. Like, I wanted to cry I needed it so bad. To my right there was a lake, but the aid station was dry. Well, sort of. They only had gatorade. WHAT? WHY? I really thought I was going to lose it right then and there. I probably should have gone ahead and taken in the gatorade, but it sounded like a terrible plan to take in sugary electrolytes on top of the caffeinated electrolytes.
3. I wore different shoes. Ok, this turned out to not be a fail at least, but man it could have been another disaster. I've worn my Newton's for up to 12 miles. I decided I wanted to race in them. New shoes - well, totally different style of shoe I should say - could have spelled major disaster even injury.
4. I was disappointed in the "prize." Yep, I'll admit it. I was so proud of my time, my place in the race. I mean me as the 4th female to cross the line? 19th person to cross the line AND I took 1st place in my age group. I mean, wow. Never never never could I have imagined. Thank goodness for a small race! My prize ... was a visor.
Don't get me wrong, I actually really need a visor. And this was a good one. Only it's one size fits all and I am never a one size fits all girl. Jason is very pleased with his new visor though! And I realize whole-heartedly that the race was about raising money for a women's shelter. That was the most important thing about the race, not a medal, not a trophy.
5. I was beat by a 61-year old man. Tried as I might, and I did try hard, I couldn't overtake that man at the end. I saw him ahead, I ended up next to him. He spotted me and started picking up the pace. I stuck with him. I tried. My lungs were about to explode. I knew I had just shy of a mile to go though. And we were steadily getting faster. I looked down at my watch - 7:09.
In my heart of hearts I knew I couldn't maintain that for a mile. It wasn't giving in, it wasn't doubting myself, this was flat out reality. I sighed to myself and let him move ahead. And you know what, I admire that man. Goes to show you that age is just a number. Heck, I beat a 20-year old who I didn't realize was behind me until near the end ;-)
There you have it, my Runfessions. Do you have any to share?