Monday, May 17, 2010

Healthy Kidney Race Report and Post Mortem

In an old race report, I related that my pre-race music included "Yellow Ledbetter", a Pearl Jam song.  About the only discernible lyrics in that song are "I don't know if I am the boxer or the bag." After that race, I felt great and felt like the boxer.  I will end the suspense now: I was the bag on Saturday; it was a disappointing race.

First the good things: it was a good workout.  I got a free technical Tshirt.  It counted as one of the 9 races I need for 2011 NY Marathon entry.  My pseudo-stress fracture did not make a guest appearance.  And that is about it.

Now, the bad.  My time was 51:08, for average pace of 8:02, finish 2500 out of 7800.  Very disappointing.  But, even putting the numbers aside, I felt terrible.  When I picked up my number, NYRR had me in the second corral, with a number in the 1200's.  That is somewhat of a demotion, but this was a big race, so I am not insulted.  And I would have started back there anyway.  I then strapped my HR monitor on, and it showed my resting HR at about 100. Hmmm.  That is weird.  In waiting in the corral for the NY marathon to start I had my resting HR below 60.  And then the gun went off, and just like that bang -- we are off.  And my HR flew to about 97% of max.  And I couldn't get it down.  I slowed down, with only a modest decrease.  And I felt like I was running in quicksand.  First two miles were 7:06 and 7:20.  By the middle of mile 3, I knew I was not going to be able to run up the Harlem Hill.  And jeez, I just felt bad.  So, deciding to just throw in the towel and finish the race without a concern for time, I had no shame in taking a walk break here and there.  I ended up finishing right at 8 minute miles, which was OK, I guess, given how hard the last four miles felt.  It was the hardest race I have run in years, and the last couple miles were the worst I have felt in a race in the park since I can remember.

Lessons learned?  Well, my month or so of no running and gorging myself took more out of me than I thought.  And the high resting heart rate should have been a clue I overtrained too much during the week.  In fact Friday night, (the night before the race), I went to the gym and rowed on the rowing machine for 45 minutes.  That is a really tough workout, but easy on the knees and feet.  But killer on the legs, upper body and still has cardio in it.  Maybe that wasn't a good idea.

And the new shoes were a disaster.  Post race, I have 4 new blisters: one under the ball of each foot; one on the left little toe that has puffed up and doubled the size of that little piggie; and a nice heel blister on my right foot.  And my feet felt all beat up after the race.  Puffy almost, and just bad.  So the shoes made for the "whippet like runners" turned out not to be a match for me.  At least not my current incarnation -- maybe this fall.  Back to the padded shoes.

So, I guess I am going to have to modify my goals and count on a slower path back.  I am in no real hurry other than a self imposed deadline of July 4 to take stock of myself (and that is when marathon training starts more or less).

Other than that, a gorgeous NY weekend -- sun, mild weather and just really great to be alive.  Hope yours was as nice.


  1. Sorry to hear about the race, but I try to tell myself that the good wouldn't be so good if there weren't some not-so-good ones thrown in there as well.

    And you're right about the weather this weekend- stellar!

  2. It is so amazing to me how fast your "bad" race was! I think you did a great job, and having your heart rate high that quick probably made life a bit more difficult. I'm glad you were able to finish and without pain from the pseudo stress fracture.

    OUCH! Blisters. Ouch.

  3. :o(

    2 things: yeah, that HR thing...whenever mine is higher than normal before a long run etc., i know its not going to be a good day and just readjust mentally. Ive never worn one before a race; mostly because i only monitor it in the extreme summer here in Texas.

    2nd: you should not have gone to the gym the night before.

    chin up friend!!


  4. No surprise here and nothing to be concerned about.

    When I'm off after an injury my first runs are far too fast and I blow up after a couple of miles. After doing that three times or so, albeit with each one a bit farther than the prior -- I have 2 and 3 mile loops for these runs so I don't have to walk far when I crash -- and then I relax and find a better (slower) pace and am back in a rhythm.

    You had one of those. Hence the high HR. Unfortunately, you had 6.2 miles to cover instead of 2 or 3.

  5. I'm sorry that things didn't go as planned for you. From my standpoint, you absolutely rocked it! Be proud of yourself. So many of us can't even run that fast in our dreams!! WTG!!!

  6. Nice job on your 10K! I think you did fantastic:)

  7. Sorry to hear that, but I can tell you from experience that fighting your way back can sometimes be a slow road. I've heard docs say that for every month laid off running, double the time back. How's that for encouragement? (sorry)

  8. Aw sorry about the disappointing race. But it was a beautiful day in the city! And such good news that it wasn't the stress fracture. I will be doing the women's 10k next month, my first Central Park race. I am excited but keep hearing all about these hills...

  9. Sorry about the tough race - but good that your injury didn't make an appearance!

  10. Sorry it was tough (especially on your feet) - but that is speedy to me :)
    I'd also say that no guest appearance from the pseudo-stress fracture is huge!

  11. So the planets didn't align for you: the rowing, the whippet shoes etc. Live, learn and put it behind you. Glad to hear the maybe sfx played no role in the day though.
    How utterly cool (to me) that you have the opportunity to do NYRR races!

  12. I think you did great! It takes time to get back after an injury!

  13. A month off really takes its toll. Not really being fair to yourself to expect a perfect performance in a race situation.
    But you'll get back soon enough...

  14. like it. great to be alive. and despite not the best time for you on the run, you did it. nice!

  15. It's good that you were able to find some good in your race and learn. It reminded me so much of my first marathon when I overtrained and my heart rate was over 170 by mile 3. I knew I was in trouble. The best thing, though, is that your stress fracture didn't bother you and you still turned in a great time. You are on your way back very nicely!


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