Well that was a surprise! How about all that rain!!! I have never run in Utah when the rain has been so consistently heavy for so long. Whew, soaked!
OK, on to the report. There were some good things and some dumb moments during this race. So yes, I’m human and “born to make mistakes”. My plan was to keep my heart rate down significantly and see what extra energy I would have at the end of the run.
I started the run by taking an easy 2 mile run to the start line so I actually ran 15 miles that day. By the time I arrived all the festivities were over and since the timer doesn’t start until I actually cross the timer/chip line, I stopped for a second, looked out over the valley and enjoyed the view. “OK, let’s do this”, I said. Of course at this moment there was just a slight mist in the air. The downhill first 4 miles are always pretty easy and not a good gauge of effort. Things were looking good even though it started raining heavier. My heart rate was right where I wanted it to be.
At mile 6 to 7, my heart rate started to rise and by mile 8 I began to cramp in my right thigh. This was strange because I never have that problem. It didn’t hit me until the race finished that I didn’t hydrate at all. Dumb, dumb, dumb! Lesson learned.
Miles 7-11 were a struggle with the rain and cramping. I did my best and pushed through even though I was hurting. Finally I told myself I had enough left over to push through and ran a really good final 1.5 miles.
I was happy with my mental tenacity and it’s always good to get another challenging race over with and deal with the adversity. In my opinion racing is always about learning who you are and what you’re made of so in that sense it was an awesome day.
Take home points:
· Hydrate even when it’s pouring rain. I just literally forgot as I had my head down the final 5 miles. I believe this is what caused my cramping and held me back at the end.
· Be prepared to make a choice in the middle of the race. When my cramping started and my form dropped, I considered abandoning the race. I went through a few thoughts comparing how good it would feel to stop versus how I would feel the next week knowing I hadn’t completed the race. My final decision was based on the fact that I needed a completed distance event to mentally prepare for the 70.3 Ironman in St. George. I couldn’t go into that race without the confidence of having this race finished. Your decisions may differ of course and remember it’s always best to have this conversation prior to the race.
· Even though my time was 20 minutes slower than last year, I’m ok with it. But I do admit it was difficult knowing I might have finished top 5 in my age group if I ran it with my usual effort (instead of finishing 62nd.)
My next recap will be following the 70.3 St. George race. Have fun and race strong.
Dr. Michael Cerami owns Utah Sports and Wellness and has been a competitive triathlete for over 18 years. He is available for a no charge consultation one Saturday per month at The Salt Lake Running Company (700 East store) by appointment. He can be reached at 801-486-1818 or online at newsite.utahsportsandwellness.com