I have been thinking most of the past week about what to say in this post reviewing my performance at the Goofy Challenge 2014. Lots of my thoughts and reactions currently are a bit negative but I have been fighting a flu since Monday and that always takes me a bit towards the Dark Side of things.
So now that I am starting to come through the other side of the flu and have been able to do a couple short runs I wanted to kind of look at what I did do and see where the positives are.
What I am going to do is look at a couple of the things that disappointed me and break those down to remind myself that there were positives there.
The Donald Half – 3:08:25 Net Time
I ran my last half race in 1:47:14 at the WFPS Half Marathon in October and if I look at it solely from a numbers perspective that is a heck of a drop. The heat was pretty oppressive that day and I am not used to running someone else’s race so my mind plays tricks on me and my memory of that day is pretty dull and dark.
This is the first race I ever ran with my wife! Any of the gloom I feel about the run and the slow time goes away when I poke myself to remember this race wasn’t about me or my time. I look at the MarathonFoto pics and we were both smiling a lot – so my memory of it being dark and gloomy really just needs a slap upside the head.
Plus having done the race with my wife I was able to help her understand that considering the heat she had done quite well and that, yeah, the full was possible for her if she wanted it. If I hadn’t been there with her and observing she might not have trusted my opinion as much and missed out on completing her first full marathon.
The Mickey Full – 4:39:47 Net Time
The initial review looks disappointing with my full time being only 22 seconds faster than my Manitoba Marathon in June (4:39:47 versus 4:40:09). Many months of training for a 22 second gain? That’s it?
I went in looking to set a new PR (4:15:01) with the hope to beat it by up to 15 minutes…but instead I was 25 minutes slower.
I made the mistake of using on course fuel even though I know the risks it brings to my system.
Again looking at the time to finish alone is deceiving – I didn’t have gastro issues at the Manitoba Marathon making me run slow or lose a full 10 minute period in the porta-potties. My gastro issues started around mile 15 and I couldn’t run quickly or I would get gurgles but could run slower and still keep moving. Which is what I did and that slower pace was at least a minute per mile slower than I felt I could be doing. So I did that slower pace for about 11 miles – 11 x 1 min = 11 minutes + 10 minutes in the porta-potties = 21 minutes right there in the second half of the race that I lost.
I started slower than I wanted and couldn’t maintain a faster pace – I did more damage during the half marathon than I would have thought. The issue here was that we walked almost the full half marathon – walking works the legs a bit different than running and it beat the crap out of legs not running more. Basically it meant my steady pace had to be slower to deal with the unexpected damage – I felt strong to run faster everywhere else but the legs would have none of it. I think this probably cost me at least a mile distance in the first 2 hours of the race – so between 8.5 to 9 minutes. Add that with the time lost in the second half of the race and a new PR was definitely there.
This race also represented a 46 minute improvement over last year’s full.
I have now come to fully understand too that I cannot rely at all on on-course fuel except water. If I am going for a PR or to push myself as hard as I can then I have to bring my own fuel. Period. Time to break my Camelbak backpack out of storage.
I should look at how I felt after the race as well compared to the Manitoba in June. That race I was basically done at the end – I was strong and could walk but it took a bit to recover – I could walk fine the next day but stairs were harder than normal. This race? I had a snack and a beer and headed back out on course to meet up with my wife and shadow her to the finish. I did at least an extra 4.5 miles and maybe closer to 5 (Garmin died) and some of that was running before I got to even go have a shower. Then the next day we spent several hours in a water park swimming and climbing ladders to slides and tube rides and I felt no after effects at all.
I should then also look at how I felt mentally after the Manitoba in June versus now – with that race I was just done with running mentally for a little bit and had to do some pushing to get out of that funk. Today, with this race, I am chomping at the bit – if this flu had not occurred I probably would have done an hour run today with similar planned for tomorrow. As it is I am thinking about doing a daily running streak until we head out for our family vacation 2 weeks today.
So overall – even though I have some negative thoughts – I do feel good about what I have done and I want to keep going – there is no urge to just drop the marathons and do something else. This is good! With this in mind I am developing a plan that will most likely involve a half race in May followed by a full the next weekend and then followed by another full in June. This will lead me into the summer and all the pool fun I expect to have this year. Then in September I will do multi half races again leading into Goofy 2015. My thoughts and hopes for that race is that I will be in one of the early corrals again and I will run the races as a series of sprints between character spots for pictures and time will not matter.
Ahh good – got out of the funk. Come on 2014, lets run!