Here I am scratching my head trying to figure out what happened at Tecumseh this past weekend. I entered this race fairly confident that I could improve on my slow time of last year (that I blamed on snow & ice), but I ended up struggling to finish this year. I wish I could say I had something to happen during the race to blame, but I can't. I felt good at the start with the cool temps & I had the leg turnover (that had abandoned me at the start of Pinhoti). My shoulder & back were never issues -- the shoulder had finally healed (95%) and my back was acting OK -- some chronic lower back pain, but nothing unusual.
So, obviously it has to be in my training & preparation . . . . . other than not getting in enough miles, the one thing that glares at me has been my weight gain (Thanksgiving didn't help). Moving back to the "obese" category from "overweight" means I've gained back all the weight (15 lbs) since my hard fought diet during the summer of '08. Although after the diet I started to eat healthier foods, the biggest problem has been "quantity" -- I love to eat (who doesn't?). It's depressing to think about, so I need to get away from this (since it only makes me want to eat!) & move forward. Another diet is forthcoming, once I work myself up to it!
The weather on race day was great! I recognized a dozen or so names from the entry list (700 runners!) but met only a few before the race start -- Brian K & Brian H, Barry, Jeffrey. Course conditions were much better this year with only a few slick spots where the mud was frozen. The streams were up a little more than usual, so having wet feet was a little different.
I settled into a comfortable pace for the first couple miles on the double track trail/road. Entering the single track, I figured I would be running in a "train" of runners -- I just wanted to get into a group going my pace. I didn't expect all the stopping at the stream crossings though -- at one place where the trail switched back several times, I could see at least 30 runners ahead who were just standing & waiting to cross a stream! By the next stream crossing though, runners were crossing 5 wide thru the water & off trail rather than wait in line.
Approaching the halfway point, I could feel my legs starting to tire (what gives?) even though I didn't feel like I was pushing it. I could also see that my split time was going to be the slowest ever for this event & slower than any training run that I've done on this section! So what had been a fun & most enjoyable run turned into a jog/walkfest & struggle the remainder of the way. End result -- my slowest time in the 7 years running this event, including 2007 when I entered the race half sick: 5:29:56.
I didn't realize it until getting a cramp in my leg when I got in my car that I had completely forgotten to take any Succeed tablets with me on the run -- don't think that was an issue though as I had taken gels -- supposedly fortified with extra electrolytes.
I left a large stack of Louisville's Lovin' the Hills applications at the packet pickup, but it had disappeared by the time I finished -- I did not see many people taking one while I was there in the morning, so I'm wondering what happened to them???
With Otter Creek Trail Marathon this weekend canceled, my marathon "double" that I've done the last 5 years will come to an end. It has really puzzled me that the city of Louisville will not entertain the prospect of earning $$ for granting a permit for running of the race at the park this year.
My future race plans? Diet plans? Got to get some motivation going here . . . . . . and soon!