|Actually given the running conditions, |
this was probably a decent photo
Last weekend I ran a 10K road race. Nothing special in that really – except for the really cool TUTU I was wearing.
The race itself was a flat route along the Vancouver Seawall in an out and back. The weather was typically ‘Vancouver winter’ – Ice rain with gale force winds. The second stretch of the race actually wasn’t that pleasant.
I didn’t go into the race with any goals or expectations. I was just going to run and see how I felt as I ran.
In the end, I ended up racing it. I think it was partly due to the fact that the weather was so miserable; I really wanted to get back to somewhere warm and dry. I ended up pushing myself a little and by about 7K I was beginning to feel it.
The run wasn’t un-fun. I managed to make lots of people smile. I managed to thank all of the volunteers. I wasn’t really able to talk to the other runners – the race was so small that after a few minutes we were all stretched out, so essentially I was running alone. I enjoyed the scenery for what I could see of it. It was a shame it was such rotten weather because I would have loved to take photo’s. I did a little pirouette at the turning point and I tried to make the run as fun as I could.
|Yes I placed, but was it worth it?|
I did manage to pick up a 3rd place in my AG, which was more due to the small field and nothing to do with how quick I was. All wearing a TUTU ;)
The fact that I was actually running at my half marathon pace (and still dying), just goes to show how much I have lost in conditioning in the last couple of years. It hurt a little towards the end.
Regardless, of all those particulars, the race ended up being an experiment. I have mentioned I have been playing around with low-heart rate training. It hasn’t been going too well. Whenever I seemed to meet my optimal zone, I was really only doing a brisk walk and I could never seem to go faster than a snail. Whenever I seemed to push myself, my heart rate would shoot up to something stupid, regardless of the fact that I seemed to be okay in myself.
So during the race, I was pushing what turned out to be a 9 min mile pace (Slow I know). Looking at the stats after I got home (because I don’t check them during the run), my heart rate was really high. We are talking about – apparently – 103%/200bpm+ max in some places and I never went lower than about 175bpm/90+% for the entire race. I wasn’t overly concerned as such, just mildly curious.
What was interesting was what happened afterwards.
After about 4 hours after the race finished, my throat started to swell, I started to feel sick and I felt rough. I was tired and achy, but not in a good way.
During that evening, I felt like I had a temperature. I was going between shivering and sweating. I went to bed early and slept for 13 hours.
The next day I still felt rough. I was tired and my head throbbed. I wasn’t sure if I was coming down with a cold and my body hadn’t decided to give in.
Forty-eight hours later I felt better.
It has brought to my attention, that maybe a little bit of heart-rate training may be something I shouldn’t discount. Perhaps I should seriously consider giving it another go.
I am not saying I should run at a pace that is so slow I am essentially walking. But taking the pace down a couple of minutes may not be a bad thing.
I have 4 months training during the half-marathon clinic – another experiment. (I am pretending to be like David Attenbourgh and check out the running herd in their natural habitat). I won’t get very far if I end up being sick every week. I am not worried about injuring myself as such, but just that I will end up feeling rotten all the time.
I think back to those years I was running a lot more and a lot quicker. I remember the grumpiness and the tiredness. I remember the long sleeps after a 9 mile run. That’s not how it should be.
So, I have decided. I am going to hang back with the lower pace groups (they are more fun anyway). I am going to take the clinics as a social event. Okay, that was my aim anyway, but I am going to make a more of an effort to relax. I am going to slowly jog and use the extra time to talk about women in bikini’s playing soccer, or different types of beer. Yep, they are a fun group to hang with.
I am going to see, how FAR I can actually run if I just slow down a little. I have realized that just because I CAN run as quick as I have been, doesn’t mean I should.
I am going to learn to chill. Even though I was paying attention to my surroundings as I ran, I am going to use this as an excuse to really see where I am running. I am going to concentrate more on my form and my attitude. I may have lost that smiley spirit somewhere. I am going to really concentrate on the fun.
I am going to learn to chill.