December 5, 2008

Are my eggs in the basket?

I sure hope all my eggs aren't in one basket. I waited a week to post about this because I really wanted to reflect. Let's go back to November 22, when I had planned to run the Creola Turkey 10 miler. Last year at this race I set the state record for 28 year olds in the 10 mile category. I was really hoping to set the 29 record this year. The 10 mile race is one of the easiest record-setters in the state, due to very few opportunities to race this distance. Life got in the way and I was unable to race on November 22, so I planned an alternate workout for Sunday morning, revolving around my LR. Here was the breakdown for the 20 miler on Nov. 23:

Miles 0-5: 7:58 pace
Miles 6-15.6: 7:36 pace
Miles 15.7-20: 6:30 pace

This workout was GREAT. I felt a little tired afterwards, but nothing too hard to recover from. Since I didn't get to race the 10 miler, I thought about racing a new half marathon, the Kaiser Half Marathon, in Orange Beach. By Wednesday (day before Thanksgiving), it was decided that life would be in the way of the half marathon, too. So... on a whim, I signed up for the Montclair Turkey Trot in Birmingham. I was going to be visiting my best friend there the day before and could easily make it to the race. Also, I would have the opportunity to see some running friends from my former hometown.

Going into it, I knew it would not a be PR. A running friend of mine that races down here some, told me his previous year's times, so I used that as a guide of course slowness. I'll go ahead and give you the ugly splits now:

mile 1: VERY DECEIVING downhill mile 6:10. I tried to be conservative, but obviously that didn't work for me. What race has a first downhill mile? Uggghh.
mile 2: steady and okay 6:27. I knew at this point it was going to be bad. I was familiar with the area and the mountains we were about to run up.
mile 3: 6:32 I saw someone holding a sign with my name. Too bad I didn't know them.
mile 4: 6:42 After the turn around, a big group of guys passed me. I tried to hold on, but no luck. I was sort of in no-man-lands right here; just me and the mountains.
mile 5: 7:07 I think I ran over the highest point in Alabama. Seriously, this was like so super steep. I wanted to get hit by a car. Then I would have an excuse for my slowness. I did catch 2 stragglers from the pack that passed earlier. I held with them until the 6 mile marker.
mile 6.2: 8:37 (The 0.2 was in here, too.) What was crazy about the finish is that it was up the steepest part of the whole course. After you made it to the top, you had to turn right and run UP into the finish chute. HOLY COW- I sucked it up.

Final time: 41:37 Personal Worst in about 3 years

The usual me would've had a meltdown right then and there. I wanted to cry, but felt too numb. In fact, at the time I felt so run down (figuratively), that I couldn't even put together thoughts about the race. I finished as 5th female, but didn't win a single thing, not even an AG award. In a few weeks I will be out of the tough 25-29 AG. In Birmingham, that is the most competitive one for females.

The scariest part of my performance was that most of my failure comes from not being trained to run hills. All the stadiums in the world can not prepare you for real hills. Charlotte is going to be full of them, placing the fear of failure in the front of my mind.

After encouragement from virtual friends on, I've decided to really try to relax these last few days before Charlotte. I've become very stressed and almost depressed lately. Part of me just wants to get this marathon over and be able to start fresh. Is starting fresh a possibility? I sure hope so.


  1. I have been following your discussion on runnersworld about this and wanted to give you a link to a blog I read:

    She has been training with a coach for the past 6+ months I think and she told me he was VERY affordable. He ran in the Olympic Trials last year. Just thought I would let you know in case you were still interested.

  2. Hey, that's me! :)
    Nate is a great coach--does it all via email--though his plan has a lot of mileage (sometimes 2 long runs per week and 5 20 milers in a marathon season). I highly recommend him if you're looking to get faster, however.
    A season of coaching is $75 (no joke), which includes his fee and $25 to his running club in Lowell, MA. You don't have to do anything with the club; it's just part of the fee.
    His email is nateruns [at]

  3. Good Luck Rebecca,

    Have a great race this weekend.


  4. I hope starting fresh is a possibility too because otherwise, I'm screwed! ;)

    Relax, focus, visualize how smooth you're going to run, imagine what you'll do when you come upon those rough spots, and when you hit 'em just run right past them and say, "We'll talk later, after the finish line. I've got better things to do right now."

    Rebecca, I KNOW you can do this. YOU just have to know YOU can do this. That's all. You're training is there, you're physically ready. Now it's just relaxing your mind that's the trick. Believe in yourself. WE all believe in you!

  5. Rebecca -

    I'll be thinking about you on Sunday! Lots of positive vibes coming your way from CO! The Power of Positive Thinking!!!