And pretty much, a disasterous 20-miler for me. What happened? Well, when you’re pace leading a 9:30 group, and those 9:15-ish types insist on pushing the pace and not listening to you or your fellow pace leaders when you yell to slow down, well you will die in the last few miles.
(Oh, and to add insult to injury, how about also chatting with a very nice, cute guy for the first 13 miles and having fun doing so-until he mentions a wife. Gentlemen, if you’re married, please please please wear your wedding rings. I’m begging you. Have some mercy on poor deluded single women like myself.)
Well, it didn’t start off so bad. After a lot of rain predictions, it looked like it was actually gonna hold off for us. Me and one of my friends who was also going to lead the 9:30s resolved to stick together this time (last time, she had wound up in a group that was pushing the pace and struggled at the end.) So the two of us and 2 others were the leaders at the front of the first 9:30 group. All the plans sorta fell apart in the first mile…as the pace was a little too fast, and the first mile marker was short, so we couldn’t really gauge too well how we were doing. I kept yelling to pull it back, but the next couple of miles were still in the 9:15ish range. I just dropped back, otherwise I knew I was going to wind up dying, but the damage had already been done…
(what I think was going on here…is that for example, there is a pace group for 9:00, and one for 9:30. But where do those types in-between go? In this case, into the 9:30 group and they have a “pulling” effect on the group. I suggested that in the future, maybe the groups should be, for example, “between 9 and 9:30” and “between 9:30 and 10” and divide into 15 second subgroups. 15 seconds makes more of a difference than you would think…that’s 6 1/2 minutes in a marathon!)
Unlike the very nice group I had back in August, this group just seemed to be kind of disobedient. The 7:00 pace group had passed us on the second loop, and I yelled for our group to get in the rec lane, as there were others coming through, and to share the park, but nope, once again, no one would listen. (Actually, the only one who listened to me and stuck with me and didn’t push the pace was said cute married guy. OK, so I got through to someone!!)
The 3rd loop was miserable. JD and DL passed by with the 7:30 group and JD said I was “looking good” and I just shouted back “No I’m not.” By that time, I was still maintaining 9:30s (give or take,) but falling way behind, to the point where I wasn’t even leading a group any more. And I was really feeling crappy (no pun intended,) to the point where I had to make a port-o-potty stop around Cat Hill. Felt better afterwards, but completely lost my group. I remarked when I saw Jon pass by with his 8:00 group (and he looked waaaaay too happy for having run almost 20 miles) that “I didn’t even know what I was leading anymore.”
On the transverse after that loop, I saw my friend who was supposed to stick with me…well she looked as unhappy as I felt, and her story sounded a lot like mine. We stuck it out together through the final 4 miles…we didn’t even think we could maintain 9:30s at this point, we’re just like “get the job done.” (I had taken off my pace leader singlet for that loop-partially because it had really warmed up, but partially because I was embarassed by how much I had fallen off the pace.) I was just dragging through that loop, plus even though I had taken 3 gels during the midst of this run (and I know I had eaten enough beforehand and the day/night before,) I was still feeling like nothing would fill me up and give me any energy. Finally, we made it to the end…was never so glad to be done with a training run in my life. I got my stuff from the baggage area, chatted a little bit with my teammate who helped coordinate the logistics for the pace leaders for this run (and thanked her for doing a great job-believe me, I know it is not an easy job.)
Unfortunately, this run knocked me out for the remainder of the day. Despite my intention to get some work done, it didn’t happen, as my body decided it had enough, between this long run and just not getting enough sleep this week. (Not that I ever get enough sleep, so why should this week be any different than any other?) I don’t know. Maybe, in hindsight, I should have dropped back a pace group this time around. But I still think I would have been fine had it not been for those fast few miles in the beginning. However, what’s frustrating is that once again, at this point in the season, I should be feeling stronger and faster and I’m just not. (and to top it all off, getting on my co-worker’s scale the day before and seeing the numbers being at least 10 pounds, if not more, over what I wanted to see…man, I really can’t win here.) I mean, if a few 9:15-ish miles screw up a long run, then how am I ever going to run a sub-4 marathon?
Man, I just feel these days, like there’s a dark cloud over me that doesn’t look to be getting lighter or brighter any time soon. I think BrunetteChicagoGal called the reasoning for it right in her comment to me the other day. The work stress is spilling into all other areas of my life. The next 2 weeks are going to be heavier on the weekday mileage, little less on the weekend mileage, and I don’t know how I’m going to get it all in without falling apart. (I’ve already established that social/personal life will have to be put on hold for awhile…) I’m just not a happy person right now, and unfortunately, I do not see things changing anytime soon…