I won’t lie – I had a pity party for myself, but tried to keep it contained. After crossing the finish line, I went behind the building and let myself cry. Sob really, because I’m a loser like that. But like the walk breaks I’ve begun to allow myself to take, I limited it to 1 minute. In that minute I let it all loose. Then I counted down and dried it up in the last 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.
Lack of training – November was my 3rd lowest mileage month (behind May & June). Between my last half marathon (October 13th) and yesterday, I only had 1 occurrence of mileage above 20 for a week. Not sure that counts, since it happened the week ofRagnar – where I had 19 miles in 2 days.
Lack of mental preparation – I’m mentally weak. I too frequently (and early as in the case of this race) decide that I suck and give up. Also, I had no real race strategy. Of course there was talk of the benefits of negative splits, but having never really tried I have no confidence in my ability to achieve them. Which led to…
Going out too fast – Seems to contradict the above, but I thought I had a sub 2 hour race in me. My 2 training runs in the week prior were both great paces with little effort on my part. I thought I was faster, and when my first 3 miles were in the 8:5X-9:10 range, I felt strong and thought I would be able to keep them up or get faster. I thought wrong.
Not doing my homework – In my head, this was a flat course. I remembered the double loop from racing it 3 years ago and didn’t bother to review the terrain and elevation gain. Turns out, I was remembering the wrong double loop course. The Haunted Half in Kingsport really is flat. While Secret City is flat, relative to Knoxville, it does have some gradual inclines that psyched me out.
The weather – My body isn’t adjusted to breathing cold air yet. My lungs hate fog. The temperature was a good 10 degrees colder than predicted. While these aren’t things I could have changed, I should have adjusted for them.
*I should have adjusted my pacing expectations with the fog, rather than attempting to push through.
*Morning of, I should have rechecked the weather and added layers (my thighs get cold easily then decide not to work properly).
More realistic goals– If I don’t have the opportunity to play with paces in training, I shouldn’t guesstimate a fast pace come race day.
Cross training – 2013 has been the year of the neglect when it comes to doing other things. I opted out of triathlon training this summer, something I want to add back in next year. Life got complicated; I got burnt out, and gave up on weight training.
Secret City Half Marathon finishing time: 2:11:55