i ran a race on sunday. and i had decided on two goals before the race (which i spoke about last post) 1) negative splits and 2) spectacular recovery, mainly focusing on mental recovery (i.e. not being an insane woman towards the boy). so i focused on my pre-race minutia. the sleeping in, the delicious and nutritious food, the mindless tv that keeps me resting, the beginning of a new project in the studio. all of these things kept me off of my feet and kept my brain at ease. and probably for the first time ever, i wasn’t nervous. i took an amazing bubble bath.
i melted. and went to bed at the perfect moment. my alarm was set early (read 3:50 am) and i got up and melted again. i ate. i had my food ready and packed it all. i felt fantastic. i drove down to newport. and did what i always do. i sat in my car. i breathed. i relaxed. and then as time went by i met up with the gals. i had a pretty good plan in my head and felt good about it.
then the race started. it wasn’t a huge race. there wasn’t a crazy amount of “stuff” happening. it was nice. the course was gorgeous. it was actually the same route as part of the marathon (my first marathon was in newport). except knowing that i only had to run 10 miles and knowing it was in the most beautiful part of newport kept my brain happy. i decided to start out slower than i would like – in order to be able to go faster than i normally can at the end. i tried and actually succeeded in not getting pulled into the beginning crowd speed. that’s normally where i fail. sunshine stayed with me and we just ran side by side for a few miles. then about mile 3 we started talking. we talked about our pasts and some of our hopes. it was nice. at mile 6, she told me to go on. i had stuck with my plan and had kept a small eye on my watch. at mile 6 i knew it was time to turn it on – not all on, but sort of. i had fueled well and felt great. the day was gorgeous. there wasn’t much that wasn’t going right. then about mile 8.5, my brain started. you know what i mean…the brain. the part of the brain that even though you feel great and the sun is shining and you’re fueling properly, it says, you should slow down, this is hard. that brain. i tried to silence it through deep breathing, through channeling walter. that worked for a moment or two. and then i looked up. and it was this high school. now for most people running by, this was just a high school located in newport. but for me – it was the high school my mom went to – rogers high school. and i felt her. i heard her voice. no my mom isn’t dead. she’s very much alive. but i don’t get to see her as often as i would like to. i could hear her telling me about doing gymnastics there, about playing tennis, about her prom date. and i knew i could keep running. i could keep this pace and pick it up. i knew that she was proud of me. and i did. i ran through to the end.
and here it is, here’s the results:
11:19 mile 1, 10:45 mile 2, 10:43 mile 3, 10:31 mile 4, 10:25 mile 5, 10:15 mile 6, 9:36 mile 7, 9:50 mile 8, 9:26 mile 9, 7:46 mile 10 with a total of 1:40.40 with a 10:15 pace.
now…you’re thinking, wow lizzie how did you get a 7:46 mile at the end? well…the course wasn’t a full 10 miles based on my garmin. so i’ll take it.
i was pleased with the race. but that wasn’t the only goal. after the race the focus immediately became recovery. and it was cold and windy. i knew i needed to get warm. so i waited for the gals to come in and then i found some water and food. then got to my car. i took my time at the car. i put on my ice pants and compression socks. i ate my recovery cereal and recovery drink. then i started driving. i drank a smoothie on the way as well. about an hour down the road i stopped and went to the bathroom and stretched. i was already feeling great. i ate my fun snack (not sharing that one, it’s my secret) and drank some water. finally got home and ate some more food. i felt great at that point.
i laid down and decided to watch tv. i felt that was a perfect choice. that way i would stay off my legs and recover fully. everyone was happy to rest around here.
i knew that just because i felt great mentally and physically on sunday didn’t necessarily mean i had reached my goal of fabulous recovery. i knew that i had to continue this trend through the week. i had great lunches and dinners planned. i was feeling good about the week ahead.
and to be honest, it’s now friday. my mental recovery was great. i can definitely say that. i also know that there are some other things that have crept in and have created some other stress. i managed to get my 3:40 ride in yesterday and am preparing for a 4 hour ride tomorrow (had to rearrange my weekend due to some other plans). loads of good food and some serious relaxing on tap for this evening.
after tomorrow’s ride, i feel like i will be pretty confident in this race. i am almost completely ok with this distance. it’s still scary as hell. but it’s not making me want to vomit every time i think about it. it’s going to be a hard day. and it’s going to be amazing.