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A Hard Learned Lesson

Posted Feb 24 2013 10:07am
Ok this time I know where I went wrong. 

I ran a half marathon yesterday, one that I had registered for a while back - the JJ McDermott Long John Jaunt. I ran this race last year too. I wasn't expecting any PB's today since I really didn't train in any way for it - but I sure underestimated this race. 

Before the race

I have a confession. I kind of touched on this in a few recent posts, but I've had a really hard time getting motivated to run lately. I don't know if it's the cold snowy weather we've had lately, the inches of ice and slush all over the roads and sidewalks, boredom with the treadmill or just plain lack of motivation, but I've really struggled to get moving lately. I've forced myself to run a few times out of the past almost month - but I've run less than 5 times in over a month. And not once in 2 weeks. I also haven't done a long run in 5 weeks - and that was the one and only long run that I did before this race. 

So I don't know what I was thinking taking on a half marathon. I underestimated it and I didn't pay respect to the distance that a half marathon really is. I got cocky - I figured I've done a marathon now and 13 milers were my EASY days while I was marathon training - so I figured this would be a piece of cake. 

Boy was I wrong.

This note is stuck to my treadmill
Perhaps it would have sunk in if I had spent a little
more time on it!

And I can attest that a half marathon is a very long ways to run when you're not prepared for it. That whole race, from the 5k point onwards was pure misery. I'm not even going to bore you with the details of the trillion things I did wrong for this race - from my non-existent training, to not fueling during the run, to seriously overdressing, to the cupcakes I decided to eat for breakfast - suffice it to say that I did a whole lot of things wrong. 

I ran this race 20 minutes slower than the time I wanted to run. 

But there was good in this - it was a serious wake up call. I've really struggled with motivation lately, but there's nothing that motivates you better than performing way worse than you know you're capable of. It's a pretty crappy feeling!

Aside from my horrible experience running (which was my own fault), the race was very well organized, lots of support along the race course, lots of great door prizes and I loved the socks we got with our registration kits. 

And yay for vegetarian meals at the finish line!!

I know now that I have a lot of work if I want to be in good marathon shape in time for the Fredericton Marathon. I just got a fresh reminder of how not fun it is to run a race that your body is not prepared for. 

I got a head start when I got home from the race: I got on the treadmill and hammered out another 2 miles for a round 15 miles for the day. Go big or go home, right? I'm pretty stiff and sore today, but I'm resting up and getting ready to get back on track this week. Onward!

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep 
               - Robert Frost, from Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
What was your worst race you've ever done?

Ever do a race without training?

What you're favourite race swag you've gotten from a race?
- At the Johnny Miles Marathon ( I ran the half ), we got cute long sleeve tech shirts, tech running hats AND bags (in addition to pasta dinner the night before the race, breakfast race day and packed lunches after the run) - that was pretty impressive for $65!

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