Monday, July 9, 2012

Boilermaker 15K race report.

Ah, the Boilermaker.

What can I say? I definitely don't want to be a Debbie Downer about this race but, honestly, that's kinda how I feel. It wasn't my day. I ran into some bad luck. But, as always, I learned a thing or two.

The day started out early. Sheila and Bridget met me at my house at 4:45 and then we took off to pick up Amanda at 5. Then we were off to Utica! The ride was fine and soon enough -- around 6:40 -- we were parking the car and getting ready to meet our friend, Karen, who had our race bibs.

Bridget, Sheila, Amanda and me -- before the race.
We met up with Karen and a bunch of others and then we hit the porta-potties. I stood in a ridiculously long line that took so long that everyone had to leave to go to the start. Except Sheila. She kindly stayed behind to wait for me. Thanks, Sheila!

We lined up in our corral and about two minutes after the starting cannon, we crossed the start line.

It was jam-packed at the start and didn't start to thin out at all for miles. I didn't mind -- that's to be expected at a race of 12,000 people! The crowd makes for slow running in the first few miles, which is actually good for me since I tend to go too fast early on.

For some reason, I couldn't get a good rhythm going with my breathing until almost half-way through the race. I don't know if it was the humidity, my nerves, or what. But, whatever it was, I didn't like it. And it didn't matter because I had bigger problems.

In mile 4, just after the 5K mark, I started to feel burning at the bottom of my foot. Now, for the past 10 months or so I have had weird numbness/tingling/burning in my feet. It is likely nerve damage, possibly from my bout of Lyme disease, possibly from something else. I'm living with it (although, I am seeing an orthopedist today -- yay!). My point is that I thought that what I was feeling might have been just regular crummy feet stuff.

So, I took brief walk break. I started up again, slowly, and felt OK. Quickly, my foot started feeling really weird again so I thought a walk at the next water stop would be a good break. And it was. When I started running, it was with renewed vigor. I had no problem running strong up the infamous golf course hill -- in fact, I felt good running up that hill and I thanked all of hilly runs for that. Then, it was a long downhill and I just let my legs go. I rode the momentum and kept pushing, ignoring my foot as much as I could.

But I paid the price for pushing it. Once I passed the 10K mark, I knew it was a blister on the bottom of my right foot -- I could feel searing pain at the base of my big toe, between it and the next toe. The pain had started to affect my gait because I was running on the outside of my foot. I took a long walk break in that mile and then another.

I came close to walking off the course.

Instead, I told myself that I did not wake up at 4 in the morning just to quit. I told myself that "dead last is better than did-not-finish." I told myself to Just. Keep. Going.

I kept going. I walked. I ran. I pushed on. And then I finished. Net time: 1:20:25.

Here's what my miles looked like:

Mile 1: 8:26
Mile 2: 8:15
Mile 3: 7:58
Mile 4: 9:53 (two walk breaks and the big hill)
Mile 5: 7:12 (yay for downhill!)
Mile 6: 8:21 (still pushing it)
Mile 7: 9:41 (walking)
Mile 8: 8:04 (pushing again)
Mile 9: 9:24 (more walking)
last .3: 7:51 pace

I'm disappointed. Not so much in my time, although, that time is almost 7 minutes slower than I ran last year. I'm disappointed that I had a crummy experience in a race I had been really looking forward to. I was so very excited to run the Boilermaker again! And to have my performance hurt by a blister? Well, that stinks. But, I guess it just means I need to head back next time to redeem myself!

Today, my body feels rotten. My left leg feels incredibly sore, which I imagine is because I was running with such a funky gait. Poor left leg! And my blister is still there, still bothering me a little, although not as much as it did yesterday. I'm pretty sure I got the blister because my foot got wet when running through the wet water stops. Don't know for sure, but that's my theory!

Well, that was my race.

Here are my stats:

Net time: 1:20:25
Overall place: 2762 out of 11360
Gender place (F): 642 out of 5381
Age group place (F 40-44): 64 out of 635
Overall pace: 8:38

Debbie Downer signing out!


Melissa said...

I'm sorry you had such a rough day although I'm glad it was only a blister that held you back and not something more serious. You will rock this race next year! Great to see so many SRM's there!

Kara T said...

Well, that just stinks. I know how much you were looking forward to this race! Remind me to tell you all about my blister story next time :).

Marlene said...

OUCH that sounds horribly painful. Sp sorry that the race did not go as planned. It's never fun to be hurting like that and even worse when it's a special event. Wishing you a speedy recovery and redemption soon!

Quix said...

Awwwww! That sucks! I'm sorry you had a bummer race. They can't all be PRs, but wouldn't it be nice if they could? :)

I just recovered from what I called an "inception" blister (a blister within a blister within a blister within a blister), and finally after the 4th new one in the same spot, and a particularly horrific 10k trail run building the 4th one, I had to take almost a week off running to let it recover.

Jen Feeny said...

Ugh, I'm sorry it wasn't your day girl! And that numb feeling in your foot is crazy, I'm glad you're getting it checked out!

J said...

Well that is a bummer - sorry to hear that it didn't go so well. It sure was hot out there and humid even with the cloud cover for the start. Hope that foot heals up quickly!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry! Blisters are crazy painful too. I ran this race for the first time this year and it was a ton of fun. Hope you heal up soon!

Cindy said...

totally not a downer! sometimes races are good and sometimes bad...and you hung in there and finished and didn't quit. that's a victory in itself. hope the foot heals quickly!

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