Yes, literally. I've got myself propped up on the sofa with an ice pack on each hip, a couple packs resting on my knees and ibuprofen in my system. Yesterday's 500 Festival Training Series 15k was rough. In the past 3 weeks, I had run fewer than 9.3 miles total (darn lingering sinus infection), and I covered that distance in less than 2 hours yesterday morning.
I look funny when I walk.
And I'm sitting on ice.
I ended up walking a good portion of the race, and the majority of the last couple miles. To this point in my training I've been doing well at conserving my energy, starting off slow and runing through the end, even picking up pace in the last mile. But aside from the shorter BigTen 5k last month, this was my first long distance race and I definitely learned a few things for next month's half marathon.
(Any other new runners? I would definitely recommend doing a training series or 1-2 shorter organized races before your goal race. It's much different than running along city streets or recreation trail.)
1 - I won't be carrying a personal water/gatorade bottle. During my longer training runs I have. It's never bothered me and I've been glad to have it. But the 15k aid stations were so well-spaced that I really didn't need it. Plus I found it annoying and heavy.
2 - S.L.O.W. Down. I was definitely anxious on Saturday morning. I had no idea what to expect as my last long run had gone well, but my training lately hadn't been. My adrenaline took over and I did my first 2 miles in 20 minutes. Much faster than my 11-11:15 training pace. I never recovered and finished with an average 12:30 pace.
3 - Drink more water all week. In general I know I don't drink enough water. I keep a sport bottle with me almost all of the time, in my purse while running errands or between meetings and on my desk all day. I'm conscious of the fact I need to drink more, and half the time I still don't finish it by evening. But with training I need to be drinking even more, and not just on Friday when the "Crap, I'm running a 15k tomorrow" thought kicks in. Cramps plagued me all morning, starting around mile 2. With 7.3 miles still to go...
4 - Good or bad day, I will cross the finish line. I will also likely spend the next couple days icing down my body.
Finally, thoughts and prayers for the man in the final couple miles of the race. As I approached, I saw a couple of people huddled at the curb ahead. I figured someone was ill, but as I got closer I saw they were frantic and performing CPR on a man lying on the ground. An ambulance was right behind me. Thankfully that part of the race route is very near a hospital. I haven't seen anything reported, but I pray he's now recovering.