Moab Half Marathon 2002
Race day was overcast with some headwind – exactly like the meteorolgist said it would be. I warmed up for about 4 miles, knowing the early and steep downhill would force me to go faster then I wanted to, and I wanted to be ready.
My left calf was l sightly sore and maybe I was over stretching it, I’m not sure. I hit the first mile going very easy at 6:12 but really, if this were a flat course it would have been about 7:00 mile effort pace. I hit mile two around 12:50 and mile three at 19:40 (6:33 pace). I was now starting to pick up the pace but the group ahead of me stayed about one hundred yards ahead. There were some hills and some head wind, both of which were annoying. No matter how hard I pushed I seemed to be slowing down. The weird thing was that the group in front of me was staying the same distance ahead of me. So maybe it was just the wind and hills that were slowing me down. I kept an even effort through eight miles but decided that I wanted to try to make one solid push at the group in front of me after nine miles (bottom of a decent hill). Even though I knew unless I felt like Superman in the last few miles, there was no way I was going to break 1:25, never mind 1:23, but I was going to make a fight for it. I was pushing as hard as I could yet I couldn’t go any faster. I knew the training had finally caught up with me. 2 long runs, a hill workout and 2 speed workouts in eight days days had me beat. Not really a big deal – I wanted to see what I could handle without a taper for this race. I found out!
Back to the race: The whole race I was trying to stay in the midddle of the road in order to not let my left calf get strained on the shape of the road. Whenever I ventured over to the left side of the road I would feel it tighten up slightly. When I passed mile eight it was on a curve to the left and really I had no choice but to run on the left side of the road. As I passed mile nine at 1:00.43 (6:45 pace) I felt it tighten and then it got so bad I couldn’t run on it. I walked over the side of the road to stretch it, but it was still knotted up. I decided to run easy for one mile then see what I could do. I ran easy but it didn’t seem to help much, so I had to jog it in. I hit the tape at 1:38:05. I stopped a few more times to stretch in the last few miles. I had this inkling in the beginning of the race when I didn’t have any get up and go that I was probably over trained. It was a good lesson to learn – and the race will be there next year for me to give it another go. For right now I’ll get this calf healed up. One really good thing that came out of the race was that my hip didn’t bother me one bit. The day after a race I am usually pretty sore but this time I wasn’t. I think that my body was protecting me from hurting myself even further. It was as if I couldn’t go fast enough to be sore or really injure my calf. So, in that sense I’m grateful that I can still train on the bike and swim this week. I’ll give my calf a few days off before I start running again. The race this past weekend makes me wonder if I’ll really be able to push Boston too hard. I may just have to go into the race without any expectations and race it for fun.
Till next time -