Of-course, despite it being a race I look forward to, I was filled with all sorts of worry.
After the issues at Ragnar and the calf pain I've been experiencing lately, I have to admit I was nervous. On top of the issues, I didn't feel as trained as I would like to have been. I knew I wouldn't come anywhere close to PR'ing but deep down I prayed, "just let me finish." "Just let me have a race I don't hate and get to the finish line."
At the start of the race I felt good and as ready as I'd ever be. I concentrated on hydrating as well as I could (considering I flew in the day before) and I finally remembered to wear compression socks on the flight to help.
|Cute LogHeads t-shirt: shamelessly plugging the new show
I'm producing for DIY network! ;-)
I also rolled the dice and made a deliberate, usually, "no-no" game day decision. I decided to try something new. I found SaltStick at the expo and bought some. SaltStick is a product that combines sodium, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamin D to help you replace electrolytes - you can take it every 20 to 30 mins when you are sweating or exerting yourself - it has gotten a lot of great reviews from athletes saying it's helped reduce cramping. Since sports drinks usually upset my delicate tummy (it's always something with me! Right?) I have been using coconut water - but it just hasn't been quite enough.
So when I saw them at the expo, I remembered that people had recommended them to me along the way but kept forgetting to check them out. When I saw them, I figured I would give them a shot - even tho I was rolling the dice with my tummy I thought the risk would be worth the reward.
During the race, I felt good. I worked at keeping my spirits up. I remembered the people who can't run when I felt doubt creeping in. I kept my pace comfortable. I usually ran somewhere between 11:20 - 12:00. I just didn't want to hate the last few miles so kept it conservative. I slowed thru water stops to hydrate (it was warm) and would walk for a second or two but did very little real walking, which made me happy. Although for the last 4 or 5 miles I did have to stop several times for a minute here and there to keep stretching my legs - they were getting tight, though didn't cramp! (HURRAH!)
Right around the 7 mile mark, I saw a familiar face! Caroline! I can't believe I saw her - I was barely glancing that way and it was such a great moment. I shouted her name and she saw me - we stopped and hugged quickly. It was an awesome pick-me-up and it really put a smile on my face for the next mile. Finally we met!! :-)
So between the water stop strolling, the stopping to stretch and a potty break - I ran this race a full 20 minutes slower than last year! Last year my average pace was a 10:59 and this year - 12:30 - (tag time - actual running time if I don't count all the stops and stuff was 11:45 or something - Garmin automatically pauses.)
And I'm sooooo OK with that.
Not for one second did I hate this race. I had fun. I enjoyed the day.
I think the SaltStick worked - which I took every 30 mins more or less... (I also took 2 1/2 gels - 1 every 45 minutes - the last was a half) - nutrition overkill? Probably but whatever keeps those god awful cramps away!
I think that with better training (more medium length runs and long runs), yoga, stretching, foam rolling - combined with a little more experimentation with nutrition and hydration and I'll be back in a place of aiming for better pace, eventually. But for right now. I'm happy that I had a good run.
|foam rolling with a friend the day after Surf city...
And in other news…
We premiered our first documentary film yesterday at the GRAMMY® museum at downtown LA yesterday. It was a red carpet premiere and very exciting! It's GRAMMY® week so it's pretty exciting. The film is called "Happy on the Ground: 8 Days at GRAMMY® Camp" and you can now rent or own it at iTunes and Amazon! Too cool. Click on either link to check out the trailer.
|On the red carpet with my producing partners, Dan - Me - Angela