Race Report: Flying Pig Relay

Posted: 05/09/2012 in Other length, Race Recaps
Tags: ,

Fail. Blatant crap-ass failure.

That pretty much sums up my race experience for the Pig. It was like everything I know about running – and more specifically, about ME running – went right the straight fuck out of my head. In case you were ever wondering, it is possible to be both incredibly overconfident and abysmally sloppy at the same time. Give me the gold star for figuring that out.

Things I know about me running:

  • Where I seed myself is incredibly important. I tend to pace my opening to move with the crowd.
  • I tend towards starting out too fast when I am not paying close attention to NOT doing that – which is why I need to seed myself properly. I use the crowd to keep me tamed until I’m ready to speed up.
  • If I go out too fast, I crash equally fast. My body has a run warm-up process that will not be rushed. So says it and it will be obeyed.
  • If I run with music, I’m not good at listening to my biofeedback or working my mantras. In the background at the gym – AWESOME! – in my ear directly during a run, it’s a huge distraction. I literally can’t hear myself think. For a training run where I can ignore the Garmin, no big deal but I am not mature enough at my speedwork to have music directly in my ear for a race.
  • I usually have a better quality run when I take a few moments to be quiet and focus my intention right before the run. Set an intention. Think over the route one last time. Asses how I feel and take a deep breath.
  • Humidity is evil. It is my Moriarity. Sometimes aggressive, sometimes sneaky – but always, always trying to do me in when it has opportunity. Humidity is as evil as the word ‘moist’. *shudder*

These are the things I knew before I got into the Pig Corral. What did I do when I showed up to the Race?

  • Spent my time before the race & even standing in the corral socializing instead of focusing. Quiet time, schmiet time.
  • Programmed my iPod with some really fast music – and then put it in my ears & hit play. Insert overconfidence here. Somehow I had convinced myself that running with music was going to be really enjoyable – and it would have been had I been focused at all and been running my own race. But I wasn’t.
  • KNEW I’d been signed into the wrong corral & was going to be starting with a group WAY OUT OF MY LEAGUE. I even told my friend who was there (& runs a full 2+ mins/mile pace faster than me) that I was in the wrong place and needed to let them go as soon as we started moving. I put myself as far back in that corral as I could get. My intentions to let them go were good.
  • But then I didn’t let them go. Mind you, I wasn’t pacing them 100%, but I was moving with the crowd. The way-too-fast crowd. Apparently the really fast people are super-skerred of zombies, because I was running like I was running from zombies. Which is excellent considering I’ve been focusing on speedwork and working hard at improving my 5k pace. Not excellent when you’re doubling that distance, plus some. Oh – and it was 60 degrees at 4am (when I got up for this race) with 90% humidity that had me sweating before I even got dressed. I better hope the zombies can’t run further than a 5k or I’m toast.
  • I ignored Moriarty. Really fucking dumb. Change that – REALLY FUCKING DUMB.
  • I did not ignore my Garmin. In fact I found myself looking at it in disbelief way more than I should have saying ‘WTF? Slow down!’ – followed by ‘WTF? Why aren’t you slowing down?’ Some day – that will be good – where I will be running like the wind and all will be well. Pig Day was not that day. Pig Day was the day I saw my run becoming a train wreck I couldn’t look away from and seemed powerless to stop. And my Garmin just had me freaking out even more. Instead of using it to make good decisions about my run, I let it and the heat send me straight into panic mode.

I ran really hard until about 2.5 miles in and then crashed just as hard. We made a turn, went up a small incline, and then into what should’ve been a nice flat 1/2 mile draw before the serious hill started The turn was also into the rising sun – what felt like my personal rising sun sent straight from hell to turn the pavement into a giant oven just to bake me. I couldn’t look up for it being in my eyes, and it seemed like there was a halo around the entire crowd. Considering that the halo could be a sign I was dying, I dropped into a walk/run interval and from that point it was all over. I never got any kind of running mojo – and if the garmin is to be believed, I never held a steady pace from there on out for longer than 30-45 seconds – I yoyo’d all over the place with my pace control right up until the hand-off point.

6.84 miles of really hot failure. I swear I had a plan going into this race. I even visualized how this run would go and how it would feel while I was doing it. But it all just went straight out of my mind when I got moving. *sigh* Rookie mistakes. Lessons hopefully learned.

Things that were good:

  • The husband was super supportive for the whole run. The man rode around the course on his bike to meet me at the handoff and then back at the finish, stuck with me through HOURS of cheering on running buddies he’s never met, talked over me saying I sucked to tell me how wonderful I am, let me bankrupt his iTunes account to load up my playlist, and got up at 4am to paint this on me:   This later became extremely ironic as people were patting me on the back to say ‘thanks’ and ‘dig deep’ as they passed when my deep felt like a shallow grave – also, props to ‘that pink girl’ for the inspiration on the warpainted calves. I totally stole her idea. I can’t find the post, but trust me, I’m a thief. If I ever get the chance to run with that chick, I totally am – she seems like my brand of crazy.
  • I got to know 3 people at my boxing gym a bit better through the relay team – one of whom I didn’t even know until the day before the run. I had to hand off to her. She stayed & hung out with me while I cheered on other people – so I made a new friend.
  • I got to scream my fool head off when my friend Jene not only PR’d her marathon, but beat her former record into the ground with a sledgehammer. Peeps – she shaved 9+ minutes off and became a sub-4 hour marathoner. I was there. I saw it.
  • My boxing trainer (the gym sponsored our relay teams) was on his bike taking pics of the teams and the crowd. He managed to snap some decent photos of me – which we all know how hard it is to come by decent running photos.
  • And finally,This horrible event gave me some fresh perspective on how I want to train for some Summer runs I have coming up – ones where I do want to PR and conditions may be less than desireable. “Remember the Pig!” just became a cautionary mantra for running in the heat.
  • Oh, and yeah, I got to add another one of these to the pile:

On to the next one….

  1. Walking away from a “disaster” with some lessons is not a bad thing. You’re next race will be way better for this!


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