I haven’t written about my failed performance last week at the Chicago Rock n Roll half marathon. I’ve been swamped at work and too tired to write anything when I get home at night. Ok, ok and I was none to eager to describe the horrible-ness that was my race last week. The good news is that I did not injure myself. Other than my pride.
The only reason I’m smirking in the above photo is because the race is over. My buddy Ed (above) beat my time in only his third half marathon. Way to go Ed. I think the disaster in the making started the day before. I worked the Brooks expo booth on Saturday morning. I took the train in but only had a banana for breakfast. The expo was a blast as I worked the ticket booth for their Cavalcade of Curiosities. I met a lot of runners that day and had some laughs. Brooks was awarding free shoes, gear and the grand prize was a trip for two to any Rock n Roll event. Hell, a chance at free shoes would have been enough for me. Some runners were leery thinking we were selling ’em something. But I was standing in place on concrete for four hours. The family met me down there and we headed off to lunch.
Buy the time we sat down it was already 2:30 and I wolfed down my fish tacos and rice. I got hungry again around 8PM and had some leftover pasta. So this bad pre-race fueling might have contributed to my bad day. I don’t think the food was bad because I kept telling my wife that these were the best grilled fish tacos I ever had. Ed picked me up a little before 5AM the next day and we headed downtown. Pre-race I was ok but it was a little humid. I was sipping Gatorade, hit the porta-a-potties early and did a few pre-race strides.
My ultimate goal was a time of 1:36 to get me into the B Corral at Chicago in October. The announcements before the race were of who’s who of reality TV. Even the Today’s show Al Roker was running.
The race started and I tried to hang with the 1:35 pacer. I was successful through 5K and hit it at 22:38 (7:17 pace). Then it began to fall apart. Mile 4 I decided I was working way too hard this early in the race. So I decided to back off the pace. By Mile 6 I was through at 45:47 and a much more manageable 7:37 pace. Then almost without warning I had the urge to throw up. I went off to the side and dry heaved for a minute or so. Nothing happened so I continued to run. About 1/2 mile later, it hit me again. I got off the street and grabbed a lamp post. More dry heaving. Let me just say that I NEVER have stomach problems so it made it even more upsetting. Almost had a “reversal of fortune” as they call it in the competitive eating world. Still nothing. I began to run again and never fully recovered. Several short walk breaks after that because I felt just out of breath. The humidity was also playing a factor. Even the race’s eventual winner, Mike Rizzo was quoted “The humidity was big shocker today.” I struggled home with a disappointing time of 1:46:19.
This is 40 seconds worse than my June half time. I have increased my weekly mileage from 36 to 50 since then. The only thing you can do is learn from it and forget it. At least I beat Al Roker. I would have given up the sport if he beat me. Eight weeks of training remain.
Back into training this week as I hit 50 miles again. On Tuesday I ran 12. On Wednesday I ran 11 at an 8:32 pace. Yesterday I did my first 20 miler and averaged an 8:58 pace. The last mile of the 20 was at an 8:35 pace. This week has shown that last Sunday was a hiccup. A very messy hiccup but now it’s behind me.
Pfitz calls for a 43 mile cutback week with a speed session thrown in. I need to see where my I land. Eight weeks will go by quickly.