Have you ever miscalculated something during a race and regretted it? Sometimes what seems like an insignificant decision or change at the time can be a costly error on the course. Perhaps it wasn’t getting the body glide every place it should it have been, maybe you forgot to pack enough “fuel” for the course.
I recently ran the Space Coast Half Marathon in Cocoa, Florida and was excited that there were going to be pace groups out there. My husband and I run at different paces and are never together during a race….so a lot of time it’s a lonely road of sorts. Surrounded by other runners, but alone with your thoughts and your goals for the race…so I was happy for the opportunity to join a pace group for this run.
I joined up with the 2 hour, 10 minute group for the Half Marathon. This meant a pace of 9:55 per mile…one that was faster than what I had run before, but I figured I could at least start with this group and then drop back a bit if I needed to. I had run my last half marathon the month before in 2 hours 15 minutes, so I figured this was a great next goal. This was my first miscalculation of the day. As the race started I could feel that this was a faster pace than what I’m used to settling into, but I pressed on determined to keep up. As the miles added up, so did the feeling that I’d made a grave error in my reasoning. I was able to keep the group in sight until around mile 4 to 5 and then they pulled away and I was back to being on my own. And it wasn’t pleasant, I knew now, with a majority of the race still ahead of me, that I had gone out too fast. By the turn at mile 7.5 I was in trouble…I was sore and I was dehydrated. The second miscalculation…once you feel like this, it’s too late to “catch-up” on fluids. For the first time ever I experienced pain in my chest and arm from the dehydration. It was going to be an uphill battle, but I knew I could finish, even if I had to walk.
I watched a couple pace groups pass me, and when I saw the 2 hour 15 minute group pull away my heart really sank. I wasn’t going to even make my time from the last race, which had been a PR for me. Granted, you’re not going to run a PR every race, but it was hard to swallow that I wasn’t going to at least hit that time. I wanted to walk….I really did….my mind was trying to rationalize the need to walk to me…but at least I ignored that and kept going. The pace wasn’t fast and I’m pretty sure the form wasn’t pretty, but I kept jogging.
I ended up finishing that race at 2 hours 22 minutes….definitely off my best time, but I had done it. I’d also learned a valuable lesson….start slower and then try to push more at the end. It had seemed like such a good decision at the beginning, but it ended up costing me time at the end. In fact, it ended up with me using a heating pad later in the day because I could barely move my leg. Lesson learned and duly noted….I won’t be making that mistake again.
Guest Blogger – Carrie Bryniak
I am your friendly Travel Professional with Kingdom Magic Vacations and a runner as well. My first RunDisney Race was in 2010, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay…and since then I’ve been hooked on Disney races and others. Some of my favorites are the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, the Turtle Krawl 5K and the USA Beach Running Championships. If you’re a runner and you need help with travel plans for a race, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’m here to help you and support your efforts!