September 6, 2008

Tupelo 14.2

Last Saturday morning, a dear friend and I drove to Tupelo, MS for the Tupelo 14.2 race. After checking into the hotel we decided to check out Elvis' birthplace. We ate dinner at Chili's and did a little shopping during our visit, too. The next morning came early (3:45) and Erin was such a trooper. I guess she owed me from the Ugly-Bridesmaid's Dress-Wearing, but she was still great. Since K didn't go, I was very fortunate to have someone there to support me! I wasn't expecting much from myself going into the race. Pfitz 70+ had been kicking my butt. I was so tired and worn down. The race started in the dark, something that makes it unique. In fact, it was dark pretty much the first hour. Two or three ladies were in front of me for most of the race, but I was not really running in a pack. It was so dark that I would light up my Garmin at the mile-markers, but didn't have a constant check on my pace. Basically, I just ran slow. My heart wasn't really in it for some reason. Even when I passed one lady and they told me that the others in front were doing the full, I still didn't try to push it too hard. I couldn't get past feeling so beat down.

Someone from the RWOL forums once said that the problem with the Pfitz 18/70+ is mental exhaustion and I truly understand that now. Back to the race. I did pick it up from miles 6 to 10, but then caught a major side cramp. I had to walk a bit to get rid of that. I crossed the 13.1 in 1:29:46, nothing NEAR where I need to be to break 3 hours. I ran in the last mile, taking overall female in 1:39:10. I decided to take a reflection on my training and running this week to see what I could do to improve at this point. Breaking 3 is a very important goal for me and has started to consume me recently. I think it has led me to signs of over training. In the back of my mind I think that the more I run, the better I will do. Taken from a smart forumite on RWOL, "Running SMART is better than running MORE." So, I have decided to scale back a bit and try to regain my energy. I am also trying to change my overall attitude in other areas of my life. Since I'm not really sure how many people from Brewton read this, I will just say that my job is really kicking my tail. It has not been too good of a school year, so far. I trying really hard to make it good and that is taking a LOT of energy. As of now, I have decided to only worry about things of which I have control over. I do not have control over my coworkers. Period. I do not have control over anyone else. Period. So, it's time to let go and quit wasting energy on things I can't do anything about!

Above is a pic taken by Erin after the race. She was joking with me about being so sweaty. She actually thought I had dumped water on my head. "No, dearie, that's SWEAT!" (Remember the Sweating Like a Man posts?) The other pic is the plate I won for overall female. After the race, I was able to talk to the winners of the marathon (male and female). Both are running Chicago and I was VERY inspired by the things they had to say. In my running club of 1, it is very special when I get to interact with other runners, especially ones of that caliber!

I already strayed from the 70+ plan a bit this week by cutting out a double. I will do a bit more of that in the upcoming weeks, but keeping the key workouts the same. On tap for today is 18 w/ 15 @ MP pace. Wowzers- good luck to me! Keep plugging along, everyone!


  1. Just wait until you get to Chicago and you feel dry, cool air for the first time in 6 months. You will feel great and have a great attitude and a great race.

    I'll reinforce the fact that the schedules that Pfitz and others don't take into account everyone's situation. Heat, humidity, work--tough work at that will change what you or anyone can handle. You are doing great and will do great (I realize I'm overusing that word) at Chicago.

  2. Way to go LA! Every time I read your blog I am in awe of your ability and dedication. I think your attitude of letting go of what you cannot control is VERY healthy!!! Remember - you work for your "kids" and everyone else doesn't matter. Make their day's as good as they can be and you mess them up too much. :)

  3. Hey LA, good job on winning the race! I'm glad you're figuring things out with your training and doing what you need to do to regain some of your energy and your SELF back. You sound a little down in your post and I wish I was there to hang with ya'! I hope things get better w/ the school year. In the meantime, stay true to you! You're being thought of out here on the west coast. :)

  4. I recently discovered your blog and find it to be completely inspirational. You are such a dedicated and committed runner and should be very proud of that fact. I also admire how reflective you are in your training. There seems to be such a fine line between overtraining and pushing oneself to the limit. I think you are learning where that line is for you and that will be enormously valuable. Best of luck at Chilcago and hang in there with the job, as well. Schools can be tough places to work!

  5. Hey LA--

    Great race! Hang in there w/work; as a former teacher I can relate: the post about the kids is so true-- they are your 'clients'. I am confident that you are dedicated in the classroom as you are in your running. Your students are lucky to have you.

    Good idea about taking a bit of a mental break. Keep on keepin' on!

  6. Wowzers - great job on the run. You're pretty darn fast. I've seen you on RWOL, so I thought I'd check out your blog. I really like that line, Running Smart is better than running more.

    And I can't think of when I saw the word Wowzers last. It made the post.

  7. LA,
    Congrats on the win.
    That 3 hour goal is a really high bar to set. I'm certainly not in that class, so I am impressed by your racing and training.
    This is the first year that I've really made a point to build up my milage, so I am thinking of my goal as a multi-year plan. If you don't get there in Chicago, just keep building on your progress. You'll get there.
    Good luck with the school year. I hope it gets better.