Sunday, February 17, 2008

not the best idea...

saturday, against all good sense, i ran the USA XC Champs. on a good day, this would have been a tough tough race for me and i still would have finished near the back. yesterday (the day that it happened to be) was not close to a good day. i mentioned that i was sick in my last post, and that i was. so sick that james made me feel like a leper all week and i could barely get out of bed (although i did get out of bed becuase i am "aggro" as they tell me and just cannot let some commitments go). so, i probably infected all the kids i work with and my grad school classmates because i couldn't have the decency to stay home.

here were some exciting substitutions made in my training log this week:
2 full boxes of tissues,
3 boxes of theraflu (2 nighttime, 1 daytime),
5 varieties of cough/throat drops (i love that there are plentiful varieties now made sugar free or organic)
1 box of oscilloccinum (which is a box of homeopathic crap if you ask me $20 later)
various scattered doeses of nyquil and dayquil to change things up a bit.

okay, back to the race. woke up saturday and headed to the race site. it was a beautiful day and i met the other 3 girls on my team to warm up. the searing throat feeling and incessant coughing during warm up should have been a clue to pack my bags....but no, i lined right on up. right there along side (well, behind) the 90 fastest cross country runners in the US.
even on the start line i knew things were not quite right. after all, all the little girls (these were not the bodies of women, although they were of age) had on their bun huggers and cross country spikes (what the hell are those?). i didn't even have racing flats. just me and my training mizunos. i told my teammate afterwards that i felt like a freaking minivan lined up to race the grand prix. sweet. anyhow, i STILL thought it would be fun. i was totally prepared to just run my best and have fun. gun goes off..
mile 1 (6:34): pain, but held on to an okay pace...why do i feel asthmatic?
mile 2 (6:58): can't breathe, throat feels closed, not to mention a sudden digestive issues. 1st time i contemplated walking off the course
mile 3 (7:18): all things mentioned in mile 2 getting worse. i keep eyeing the bathroom. times #2-40 i contemplate DNF. the bathroom looks sooooo close! then i realize- i don't even know if there is some kind of DNF protocol and i don't want to get yelled at or embarrassed in this type of serious race situation and told that i didn't DNF properly (note to anyone reading this- are you supposed to do anything if you DNF or just walk away?)...hmmmm...thought about this until...
mile 4 (7:31): ssssssllllllllloooooowwwwing. i'm actually passing 1 or 2 people so i'm glad i'm not dead last, but also hear someone yell, "you're a winner just for being out there!" OUCH! don't care much because....throat ON FIRE!!!!....need to get to the bathroom.....BAD! ugh. terrible terrible pain.
mile 5 (7:29)...finally lapped by shalane flanagan (who was the female winner clocking 25:26), actually, that must be mile 4 because my finishing time for the 8k was 35:42..yeah, 7:10 pace average

sweet. over 40 seconds slower per mile than the 4-miler i did the weekend before and 20 seconds slower than half marathon a month ago....still, i wasn't last (74 of 81, 92 started)

so let's say i learned a lot in this race:
1) racing sick=not smart for me in this case. my new rule is never race if you are less than 90%.
2) consider dropping out if it's that painful/physiologically uncomfortable. i wouldn't have considered it if i was just having a "bad day", but this was unbearable, and the potential damage i did running through it may not have been worth "not quitting".
3) smile, it will all be okay. and damn, it was kind of funny. i can laugh at myself.
4) this was my first "bad race" and i think its a good experience to realize that i will not always place, or even do remotely well, or come close to a goal i have set for the race. there may be more races where i finish in the back of the pack. and that's okay. it's good to know what the back of the pack feels like, i'll cheer people on even harder next time....

after my debaucle, i got out the camera and watched the men tear it up...
ryan hall (5th in men's race)

dathan ritzenheim (men's overall winner)nice legs

so after the race, i went home and rested.
today (sunday), i went on an easy, beautiful 50 mile ride along the coast and inland with a fun group from the san diego triathlon club. it was nice to chill and go at an easier pace and especially nice afterwards when bethany and i stopped and got some big frozen yogurts......delicious recovery...i feel much better and overall recovered from the flu nonsense. back to some real training next week and i'm excited! with two "rest" weeks behind me (one intentional, one not), i'm ready to go! I'm actually thinking of adding a third masters session this week only for a little swim kick in the butt....thinking is the key word here, we'll see.


GZ said...

Beth - way to stick your nose in it and run. Sorry to hear you were sick. Cool to see you learned alot. I find I learn more from things that don't go well; at least more than when things go grreat.

Still - you raced in the National Championships. That is pretty cool.

Jessi said...

Yeah, I just had a race like that today. I came in 20 min slower than planned in my half-mary. It was my first "bad day" too. Sucks, but I guess if you race it's bound to happen, and I'm glad it happened on a B-race!

Paul said...

A for Effort! Gotta be careful racing sick though. Possible to do long term damage to yourself. And the theory behind oscilloccinum is completely bogus. Rest up now and tear it up later!

TRI-ROB said...

Bah ha HA! Why do people think its helpful to tell you that you're a winner for showing up?! GEESH... society today!

Yeah... next time... listen to your body you big dork! Rest good... racing while sick, bad. Although... there's something that gets me pumped to read about people pushing through things like that! You shouldn't be TOO disappointed in your results considering!


GZ said...

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


barndog said...

I admire your courage...but

you felt that bad then did a 50 mile ride the next day?....beth, take a day off, its okay! (it must be said, sorry) Get well!

Benson said...

You kwazy.
But is sounds like that race (and maybe the ride too) was what you needed to kick that sicko thing.
Glad you feel better and can start up again.

emkruse said...

Way to put it all in perspective. Gotta have the sour to appreciate the sweet. It wasn't my pancake recipe that made you sick, was it?

brian said...

Sorry the race didn't turn out like you hoped. Re: DNF protocol, there really isn't any except get out of the way of anyone behind you. The last thing you want to do is add insult to injury by stopping and getting run over.