Going into the race, I thought I should be able to swing a finish somewhere between 2:05-2:10. Most of October was full of slow, frustrating runs. After 5 miles my legs would just feel like garbage. I chalked it up to “still in Ironman recovery” About 10 days before the race I noticed that my running was finally starting to improve, which means back in the 9s for me. The Saturday before the race John and I did a hilly 9.5 mile run at a 9:20 pace. Surely, I could swing that for 13.1?
Nope, 2:12. Which isn’t awful, but I thought I could do better. Darn it. Shucks.
Of course I have some hypotheses as to what happened
- After 5 miles I lost my mojo, maybe I’m STILL in Ironman Recovery?
- I might still have Ironman run-mentality. “Better walk and conserve some energy”
- I started out too fast, first four splits: 8:50, 9:16, 9:13, 9:30.
- After mile 4 I got stuck behind a group of runners that I couldn’t get around on the narrow path. They were going at a 10 minute mile. Once I finally got around them I never got my pace back down in the 9s.
- I didn’t know the course at all. I knew it was hilly, but I didn’t know when or where the hills would be coming from. I think I’m mentally better when I know the course.
- I over-dressed, I was warm.
So that’s what I think. I don’t know. I’ll never know. Running is constantly an experiment.
I get to do this experiment all over again on Saturday at the Tyranena Beer run. Earlier in October I was not looking forward to it. When I saw my pace improving I got excited about it again. And now after the Haunted Hustle I’m uncertain.
But there will be beer, cake, friends, a race medal, and good times. Whether I run a 10 minute mile or a 9 minute mile, I’m happy I can participate in these things. Running is fun!