My Race Sucked - The Rock n Roll Story

My.  Race.  Sucked.  There's no denying it.  It was down-right bad.  I can reason it out and make excuses, but the bottom-line is: the race beat me.  I "quit" about half-way through.  Even though I ultimately crossed the finish line, it was after quite a few "poor me" walk breaks and self-acknowledgement that I would not be giving the remainder of the race "my all".

The day before race-day , the whole family came to Denver with me to get checked into our hotel and pick up my packet at the Colorado Convention Center.  I was so excited to stay at the Sheraton, about a quarter mile from the start/finish.  I vowed to get a full night's sleep and casually walk over a few minutes before the race so as to avoid the cold/anxiety - shivers.  Ha-ha-ha-ha!!!  Nice idea, but absolutely no reflection of the reality that was about to reveal itself.

We arrived at the Sheraton parking garage, greeted by a sign that read "Daily Rate: $8.  Hotel Guests: $24."  Excuse me???  I stayed at the hotel for the privilege of paying MORE for parking??? 

Once we were checked in, I was lucky enough to make it to packet pick-up 15 minutes before closing time.  Gee, I guess if I had read my final instructions, I would have seen the place was going to close at 5pm.  I was so relieved to actually get a packet, while displeased that they had run out of not just Smalls, but Medium race shirts as well.  Grrr...  You gave MY race shirt to someone else?  Hmph!

Packet pickup was followed by a not-so carb-loadey dinner at Bubba Gumps.  We broke from tradition, since Magianno's (the most amazingly-yummy Italian place in the word) was booked.  Tortlette 3 had her heart set on the "Bucket of Trash", so she and I shared a pile of fried seafood.  To my surprise, the child was starving and ate almost the whole thing.  I was left to console myself with a Yetti beer, the most heavenly, thick, sweet stout I have ever tasted.  I could have had a few of those, but alas, I had a race the next day.

I was in bed by 9:30 that night.  Only I didn't sleep.  There was absolutely no logical reason for it, but I tossed and turned all night long.  I looked at the clock at least every hour, wondering if I would EVER get to sleep.  The answer was a resounding "NO!"  Looking back now, it's obvious I was hungry - beer and a couple fried clams for dinner - not the best fuel!  But, nerves got the best of me and I just wasn't thinking straight.

By the time I got to the starting line, I had some serious acid stomach.  For some reason I did not give in to the temptation to throw up in the hotel bathroom.  Flash walked me over to my corral and took my shell from me before I squeezed in.  It was actually the first fall or spring race I've done when I haven't frozen my buns off at the starting line, thanks to Flash.  I never did find that 2:10 pace group I signed up for.  We were cooped up like chickens and there was no moving forward or backward until the race started.  Oh, well, the corral was supposed to be for 2:10-2:20 finishers, so I figured it was no biggie.

When my corral took off, we were going at a surprisingly slow 10:30 to 11 minute pace.  I had actually planned to warm up during the first mile, so I stayed with the group, planning to speed up later.  The views throughout the race are absolutley stunning.  You descend into Lodo and have a view of the snow-capped Rockies.  Then you climb up toward the city center and then through several city parks. 

The first several miles of the race actually felt fantastic despite the lack of sleep.  The temperatures were perfect, and the sun was shining.  I had it in my head there would be Gu about mile 6, though.  When that didn't appear, I started to get concerned.  A few empty Gu packets I saw on the ground made me wish I had brought something along myself. 

Sometime during mile 6, it hit - some angry beast began clawing and gnashing at my lower abdomen.  Oh, no.  Bubba Gump's revenge.  I actually stood in line for a porta-potty at mile 7 - something I NEVER do.  Unfortunately, the stop provided no reprieve from my pain.  I pushed through for the next couple of miles, but the pain continued.  My calves started to turn to lead.  Still no Gu in sight.  I knew by mile 8 this wasn't going to be the PR I had trained for.  I gave up.

 The second half of the race consisted of as much walking as running.  The Gu finally made an appearance at mile 10 - Why didn't I read that race map more closely?  But hey, the best part of the Denver Rock n Roll is that the last couple of miles are down-hill.  My saving grace!

As I approached the finish line, Flash snapped my picture:

Hey, look, my first cute race pic!  Ok, maybe this race was great after all.  I will not be sharing my time...


Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

For every bad race, we learn how to make the next race better. Congrats on finishing, and even if it wasn't the PR you wanted, now you have a PR looming out there to grab in the future :-)

Tortoise said...

Thanks, Lisa! That is so true. I will for sure fuel better next time, have a protein bar before bed and pop a melatonin. I will PR again!

Lou said...

How Cute Are YOU?


Like your design, btw.

Tortoise said...

Thanks, Lou! Keepin' my priorities straight... Cute pic > good race time. :)Have a good one!

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