This "doing another race the week after a half Ironman with a giant hangover" thing is starting to be a pretty cool trend, I think. Too bad I couldn't follow this one up with a week in paradise.
Last week this girl hit me up to join her at a Sunday-morning 8K as part of some crazy "race every single day" plan she has going on this month. This race actually lined up nicely with the "45 minutes easy run" I had on my schedule. After doing my first extremely creaky recovery run on Thursday morning, I decided that the very nice race tee-shirt was worth my very inexpensive race fee, but warned her that I would be rocking a pretty serious 10 minute-mile recovery pace and that if she ate all the finish line bagels before I got there, our friendship might be over.
This was also going to be my first 8K race. I have a problem with racing 8Ks because it's about 13 (or 45) seconds short of a 5 miler. Why can't we just race the full 5 miles? I live in Virginia, not Canada, and have been raging a quiet and very personal boycott of the 8K for my entire racing life. But "brunch after, with mimosas" was enough for me to change my life-long convictions, so I spent Saturday preparing for the race just like I would prepare for any race. Eating a correct balance of carbohydrates and protein....
Relaxing with friends and making sure to stay off my feet.
I slept like a rock on Saturday night but woke up Sunday morning to discover that someone had rudely inflated my brain to about four times its normal size. Sadly, my race buddy hurt her foot on Saturday and couldn't make it to the race, but it was pretty easy to convince Beth to join me for the ghost of our Sunday-morning-gossipy-recovery-run. I showed up at the race early enough to park, get my bib, and stop in the porta-potty on the way to the start line to let loose some of the 9 gallons of water I had slugged since I woke up. Huge fail. Who puts down the seat on a porta potty?
We lined up and went, noticing that everyone around us had dressed for an Arctic marathon instead of a sunny and chilly morning in Virginia. Tights and fleece? It was 60º out, or maybe my blood thickened by dehydration was keeping me warmer than everyone else. The race itself was nice, an out-and-back with only a slight hill on the way back that lent very well towards catching up on everything that had happened in the 36 hours since we last hung out. I felt creaky and headachey for the first 3 miles or so, but then my legs loosened up a bit just in time for my hangover to wake up. We made sure to negative-split the race by cranking out a 9:17 last mile - yeah, sick, I know, we were really flying - and as we rounded the corner to the finish, I saw a guy with a stroller sneak up on our left. In honor of the poet, who was out running his first 20-miler and HATES to get stroller'd in the last few feet of the race, I lunged around him and towards the finish line with all the grace of a stampeding elephant and he WENT WITH ME. Ughhh. I held my roughly 6-minute-mile pace for all of 15 seconds only to collapse on the other side of the finish line, pausing just briefly enough to remove my timing chip before staggering over towards the porta-potties (lid up this time).
I was pleased to note that I followed my race plan to a T: 50:04, and negative-split the back half by more than 5 seconds. Another item now filed in the "easiest PR to beat ever" column. How was your weekend?