Well the good news is that last week I upped my mileage to 50. The bad news is that I'm running out of training time for the Santa Barbara Marathon, now less than a month away. In fact, I generally plan to have all of my long, hard training done 3 weeks prior to the marathon, so as to taper off the mileage gradually over the final 3 weeks. I won't be needing much of a taper this time around.
While I didn't get around (yet again) to doing a long run, I did make it to the Calabasas Classic 10K on Sunday. I highly recommend this well run local event. It is HUGE with over 1,900 runners in various events and well organized. The goodie bags have a really nice "technical" shirt made out of a breathable material. This is the only event I can think of that offers up such a nice non-cotton shirt.
As has been the case on a recurring basis over the last 6 months of training, I encountered some challenges this weekend. For the umpteenth time, I caught yet another scratchy throat and cold from my little guy on Saturday. So in my haste I decided to down about 10 chewable 500 mg vitamin C tablets on Saturday. Big mistake I'll later find out.
I get to bed at 11 pm and am awakened by something around 1 am but I can't remember what. Playing to my favor was the recent time change, which provided an extra hour of sleep and helped me wake up feeling more refreshed. But my throat felt nasty and I would have loved to continue sleeping.
But I got up and out, grabbing a large coffee from 7 Eleven (I hate Starbucks because they don't offer the flavored cream that I like) and a blueberry muffin. Breakfast of champions.
My goal was to get some mileage in by warming up for a few miles, running the 5K at 8 am at a moderate pace, running the 10K at 9 am a solid pace, then cooling down. I succeeded in my goal.
The normal pre-race routine consists of the following: park, get race number, get timer chip (for larger races like this), get goodie bag, bring stuff back to car, pin number to race shirt, tie timer chip to shoelaces, drink, eat, visit the porta-potty, warm-up, change shoes, change shirt, chat with fellow runners, then get to the start of the race. This all pretty much worked out for me.
But after jogging the 5K in about 21 minutes, the 5,000 mg of vitamin C combined with jumbo cup of coffee worked a number on me. Seems I had a bit too much acid in my innards. So with about 5 minutes to spare before the start of the 10K, I would have liked to head right into the head. But even with 15 beautiful, sky-blue porta-johns sparkling in the sunlight of the Calabasas City Hall parking lot this fine morning, there were 30 other people with the same goal in mind.
Lucky for me there were mostly guys in line. Yes, that sounds bad, but guys take half the time as gals in the bathroom (based on my vast experience). So the line moved and I found myself quickly entombed in a porta-john, where within seconds my internal combustion vaporized into the scary blue liquid seas below.
But something still didn't feel right, and it wasn't my scratchy throat. It felt like someone had kicked me in the %^&* and their boot was still lodged in there.
In any case (and without further elaboration), I did make it to the start of the race, felt fine, and actually ran a respectable 38:50, good for 1st place in my age division, and nearly a minute faster than my last 10K time.
The final 2 miles of the race I was running neck and neck with a young kid who I later found out was 17. He ended up beating me by like 9 seconds. Just couldn't seem to reel him in. But when I saw the race results, somehow a 15 year old girl showed up 3 seconds ahead of me (and right behind the boy).***
Just wait a sec!? There was no 15 year old girl*** ahead of me! How the heck did that happen? I contacted the people who did the timing, who reviewed the video and said they did see a female in front of me, though she didn't look 15 and she did not look like someone who could run a sub-39 minute 10K.
This was a double loop 10K. While we were finishing the race, we were passing many of the walkers and slower joggers. What I suspect happened is that she decided to cross the finish line at the end of lap 1. I asked the timers what her 5K "split" was, but they said they weren't tracking splits.
So I KNOW she didn't beat me, THEY know it and I know the other runners in the 10K know it, but anyone else who checks the race results will think this 15 year old girl beat me out*** for 12th place overall in the Calabasas Classic. At least for now. Darn it!
I'll get over it I guess.
All that said, I feel really good about my performance and more importantly, how I feel. At this particular moment (Tuesday night 9:30 p.m), I feel GOOD! And that's what's important :>
*** A post mortem 11/12. Upon further review the race timers determined this young lady, who provided me fuel for the title of this blog posting, was actually in the 5K and was moved from 12th place overall in the 10K to DEAD LAST in the 5K in 1 hour, 38 minutes. I kid you not! Well I feel kind of sorry for her now but at the same time, I feel vindicated!!