Sham Rocked VIII
About an hour after I finished my 8th Shamrock Half Marathon in 9 years, I said out loud: "Maybe I need to take a break from this race."
That sums up how my day went. It was so awful that I briefly considered not doing my favorite event next year.
For the past 12 hours I've gone through the events in my mind to try and connect dots on what went so wrong. It wasn't mental. I had virtually no negative thoughts other than being confused.
I did run a little before hand as I showed up a little later to the start line than I like, but that couldn't have been it.
I did have to travel to the beach last night instead of Friday, but less than 2 hours in the car isn't going to cause my legs to stop working like they should.
I was hot at the start, but I delayered by mile 4 and was comfortable the rest of the race.
My eating wasn't different this week. I felt well hydrated. My stomach had no issues.
This evening I've been thinking about the past couple of years where I've had some struggles at Shamrock and there is a common area on the course that's affected me.
It was around that same point today that I started to struggle. And at that point there is a change in the hardness of pavement ... but is that really it?
I've trained on a variety of roads, sidewalks and snow/ice in the past couple of months. That shouldn't impact me severely in a race, at least not on the scale it did today.
I knew going in that a PR was unrealistic, so I never even set a time goal. That should impact me mentally because I've had those issues before, but it didn't today. I was going to be content with a solid training run no matter what my time.
Today wasn't even fun as a training run. My legs just gave up on me. That hasn't happened in a long time. It reminded me of what I experienced at the Richmond Marathon in 2012.
I tried pressing the gas, but nothing happened.
Today's Shamrock was my worst in many ways. It ranks near the top of worst race experiences, right there with the 2012 marathon. Besides running the 2010 Richmond Marathon injured, I can't even think of a 4th really bad race experience. Most bad experiences have a lot of opportunities to learn something -- I don't know what I learned today.
I usually find something to celebrate after any race. Today I just don't have it in me. Sure the medal and swag are nice and I did more than people did on their couches and all the other cliches you can think of, but that's not enough for me to even be the least bit satisfied.
My ultimate goal with running and racing is to be happy and have fun. I'll get back to that point soon. Just not today.