Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Lone Gull 10K 2016- USATF-NE GP #6

In case you skipped my last post, I will start off by saying this race was a disaster for me. The NH 10-Miler has been moved to my second worst race of the year, while Lone Gull now has the top honor of being the worst. (I'm actually hoping it stays that way, too! I don't want an even worse race than Lone Gull before the year is over!) I was definitely feeling beat going into it and didn't expect to run last year's time (38:27), but I still thought it would be well under 39. Yeah, no. Like I said in the previous post, this race would be a wake-up call. I wasn't really feeling bad or overly tired, but I just had a feeling this would not be my day. When it's not my day for a 10K, then you know it's going to be bad. The 10K seems to be my weakest distance. I've been running them since college, but I've just never been able to get the pace right. Last year at Lone Gull, it was hot and humid, and I managed to have a really good race. That 38:27 is my 10K PR. I was super psyched about it, but I still finished feeling like I had the potential to go under 38. This year, I can't break 39, and I'm pretty much giving up on 10Ks. Haha.

John and I drove down the morning of just like last year and arrived pretty early, just as planned. The weather was beautiful, the temps perfect. As soon as I stepped out of the car, I ran into my teammate, Jenn Brooks. We planned to meet up again shortly for a warmup. I checked in and noticed so many people arriving. This was going to be a good field... and I would not be part of that "good field". Haha. It was hard to walk the 100 yards from the tent to my car without finding someone to chat with, but Jenn and I managed to get out of there for an easy 3-mile warmup. I actually felt ok for this. My legs weren't hurting, but the pace was probably too easy to realize what was to come.

John decided to stay in the car with Phoenix instead of going to the finish line since it was pretty chilly and windy out. I didn't blame him. The sun was warming up the car nicely so that he was comfortable. Plus, the race was short, so he wouldn't be in there too long. I ran to the start and met up with my teammates. Looking around me, I knew I wouldn't stand a chance on a GOOD day of being in the top 30 women. It seemed like EVERYONE showed up for this one.

The start was once again comical. Last year, no one near us heard the starting horn. We were all standing around talking, and next thing we knew, people in front of us starting running. It was really funny. This year, we heard the starting horn, but it sounded like it was dying. I know I was laughing... but not for very long. This race starts off fast since it's a downhill, and last year, I went out like a crazy person. It worked for me, though...then. This time around, I couldn't go out fast even if I wanted to. I immediately felt super heavy legs. Like so heavy, they felt sore. I couldn't get any turnover. It felt like my heartrate was through the roof. I was dying. The hard effort I felt like I was putting in was SO slow. I was getting passed in droves. All I could think was, "This is bad, so bad," and of course, "What the fuck," my favorite phrase. Mile one was only 4 seconds off last year at a quick pace of 5:48, but I already felt like I was at mile 6. Last year, I felt great at this point and pushed on easily up the hill in mile 2. I even asked Regina last year, "Is the entire course this easy?" hahaha! If only I felt that way this time around. Amy Bernard passed me around the beginning of mile 2 and, being the awesome friend she is, tried to encourage me along by yelling, "Do it for the beer, Leslie!" Hahah. I think that was the only time I was able to laugh. I couldn't believe how slow I was moving. My quads hurt so bad, and I was seriously thinking of dropping before mile 2. I honestly didn't know if I could finish the race. It was that bad. I knew it wouldn't be a good race, but I really didn't expect to feel this awful. Christin Doneski passed me just before we started the loop part of the course. She was moving at easily talkable pace. Haha. I was moving at I'm about to die pace. Funny enough, though, mile 4 has the most climbing of the race, and last year I struggled on the first hill. For some reason, I didn't feel as bad this time around up the steep hill and only ran mile 4 two seconds slower than last year. I still felt awful, but mile 5 was the same split as last year. However, I do remember there being completely stagnant air and really hot last year for these two miles, so I think the similar pace really had to do more with that. At mile 5 we hit pretty much a similar STRONG headwind that we hit last year, and I just died some more. Kept getting passed. And funny, Maria Servin passed me in almost EXACTLY the same place as last year, along with my teammate, Layce Alves. Jenn Brooks had been ahead of me the whole way, but, just like New Bedford, she stayed the same distance ahead through 5. I think Jenn is who pulled me through this race. I just stared at her back the whole time hanging on for dear life. haha. Once Layce caught up to her, though, she gave Jenn a good push, and they both got farther ahead. Mile 6 seemed like the longest mile of my life. Huge headwind and one of those deceiving gradual uphills. I just needed this to end now. My split for mile 6 sucked balls. 6:33. 11 seconds slower than last year. I totally gave up for the .2 miles, and that giving up cost me a sub-39. Haha. I came through in 39:07 gun time, 39:03 chip time, 33rd woman, 5th female master (ouch!!). My shitty race also cost our women's masters team to come in 2nd by 39 seconds. Granted our third was 42:18, but I should have been able to run 39 seconds faster.

Even though I heard I didn't look good from multiple people, Scott Mason still managed to get a decent shot of me.
I walked through the finish line with my head down hoping to avoid eye contact with anyone. I needed water so badly. I was about to run away, but I had to stop and talk to Christin Doneski. She's so nice and totally gets it when you have a bad race. haha. I attempted to run away after that but got spotted by Dave Dunham, so I stopped and walked with him and another CMS guy back to the parking lot. I mentioned that I had a really horrible race and that I thought it was due to overtraining. Dave agreed. He's commented on my Strava runs recently indicating that I might be going to hard. And I have a few running friends who have subtly said the same thing. So sometimes, you have to accept other people's observations. Haha. As for my own, after seeing my resting heart rate so high on Wednesday, feeling awful during my run on Block Island, then this race with my heart rate through the roof, I was pretty much convinced I needed to back off if I wanted to run well at Hartford. This was going to mean at least two zero days and some very easy, low mileage runs for the next two weeks (except the Bretton Woods Fell Race the following weekend).

I actually got an (undeserved) award for 5th place master.
I finally made it back to my car to retrieve John and take him to the beach. The last time John was on Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester was when he was just over a year old. We "lived" here for almost a month, house/dog sitting. It was weird to be back out there 9.5 years later with him. He didn't even want to go out there at first, but as soon as he saw it, he commented on how awesome it was and immediately started chasing seagulls. Haha. Then he spent some time standing at the water's edge looking down. This kid loves the ocean.

Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Ma

Chasing seagulls

We stayed for the awards ceremony when we got back to the parking lot and then met Amy Bernard, Charlie Bemis and Heather Mahoney at Cape Ann Brewing. Scott Mason and Regina Loiacano joined us, too. This place has a pretty awesome beer selection. The Imperial Pumpkin Stout was by far my favorite. Their menu had some unique stuff on it, and since I like to try unique burgers, I ordered the Soft Shell Crab burger. Haha. Totally hilarious when it was served.

As usual, Scott, John and I were the last to leave, and then John and I headed right back to New Hampshire. I didn't want to make it too late of a day for John this week.

So it was a good day overall. Just the race part sucked. Haha. But that's how it goes, and it was actually a good thing it happened when it did because I might not have followed through on resting. I don't normally taper for marathons, but this time I would have to...despite still racing the Bretton Woods Fell Race. The back of my left leg was still killing me, as well, so I made an appointment with my massage therapist in hopes that would "cure" me. I really wasn't convinced it wasn't an injury, but I hoped it wasn't. (I don't think I even told anyone about it because that would be acknowledging its existence.) I needed to finally have a good marathon in 2016. Ugh. The following week would be nerve-racking due to this and then stressful due to the sicko from Worcester...but would end well and leave me in a better mental state for the last week until Hartford.

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