A couple weeks ago, I ran in my favorite race, Louisville's Lovin' The Hills (LLTH) 50k. As I predicted, I did better previously in my "solo race" (7:21) over the same course than on the actual race day (7:41). Percentage wise, that's less than 5% slower -- is that the difference between a good race & a bad one? Not really, but those 20 minutes extra were very, very tough, plus I felt terrible afterwards -- no comparison whatsoever between the two races. What did I do wrong? Again, I blame the usual -- get caught up in all the hoopla & excitement & start out too fast. Will I ever learn? Don't think so -- I may go a race, sometimes 2 after a disaster like this, but I always revert. All my ultra PR's have been where my top priority has been to start out "slower than slow". So the cycle continues . . .
Feb 9, 2013 race day: Dec 18, 2012 "solo race"
At LLTH this year, I let someone use my camera to take some video of the race. I've seen many pictures of myself during a race, but I had never seen a video. Several things were revealed to me & a couple that I won't ever get out of my mind:
1. I thought I started near the back of the pack, but the video revealed I actually started near the middle. With the record number of runners this year, I clearly misjudged this & messed up big time here.
2. There was also video taken at about the 5 mile point & I watched as the lead runners flew past the camera. The main pack passes 10 minutes later. Ten more minutes & some of the runners are walking up the slight grade. Several minutes later, here I come, dragging along. I was really more like "scooting" along. Starting too fast? - in my mind only! Didn't realize that my running style is truly a shuffle too.
3. Also, there's one sight which others shouldn't have to endure: seeing someone wearing very tight compression shorts who's also shirtless on a sub-freezing day & letting his beer gut hang a couple inches out & over at the waistline. AWFUL! No wonder other runners don't like being passed by someone looking so overweight and do their best to pass back! I can be a great motivator though as some runners I pass really do come right back & pass me & I never see them again.
Yep, I've been on a diet since the race. It took a video to renew my diet training which has always been the hardest type training to me of all. Unfortunately, once your gut gets distorted to such an extent for so long, it will never go away no matter the weight reduction -- so people are just going to have to turn their head (quicker) if they don't want to see it.
Now that I've learned not to sleep on my right side, I've not had any more severe pain (knock on wood) and this has helped me more than anything else these past 2+ years. One of the culprits could be temporary blockage or a physical restriction/dislodging of the intestines (my Dr. calls it an "anatomical issue") or a malfunctioning bowel. The medicines I take, including those for acid reduction, could actually be contributing to the problem. Still trying new meds though & the latest one I took was a combo for anti-cramping (muscle relaxer)/anxiety (benzodiazepine). It was yet another med to help me sleep, but it too gave me such a buzz I had to discontinue it.
Next up is Land Between the Lakes 50 miler. If there's one place where early pace has been a continual problem for me it's been at LBL. I've had only one evenly paced race in 7 attempts. It doesn't help that there's a fairly tight cutoff at 36 miles (must maintain a 13 minute/mile avg pace). The urgency to make that cutoff disrupts my usual running scheme from the word go. I would do better if there wasn't a cutoff, but I can't just forget it's there either.