Saturday, April 16, 2011

I Sabotaged Myself

I did myself in. I undermined my training and sabotaged myself when I ran in last week's Go! St. Louis Half Marathon.

Make no mistake. I did post a PR, shaving nearly two minutes off my time. And I'm very pleased about that.

Yet, I know I could have done better, and I know it's my fault I didn't.

Like my previous half marathon, my family came along with me. And why wouldn't they? They are my support team, and I need them.

Jayson & Haylee on Hamster Wheel at the City Museum
And much like my last half, we made a mini-vacation out of the trip. When I ran in the Nationwide Better Health Columbus Half Marathon, we spent a couple days at Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor water park resort. It was great, and while I played with the family, I was able to get plenty of rest and stay loose leading up to the race.

This time around, we explored St. Louis.

I was the only one of the four of us who had been to the Gateway City, but that was 16 years ago. So, we had to see the sites as best we could.

Me in the Cardinals' dugout.
On Friday, we ventured to the City Museum, a very interactive place to explore. Not sure how I can accurately describe it, but the City Museum is a giant jungle gym for kids and adults alike. There's an indoor cave city to explore, a 10-story slide to hike up to and then zoom down, a monstrous outdoor steel city to navigate through, and much, much more. We spent over 3.5 hours there and walked the 1.5-mile trek to and from the museum. (By the way, if you ever visit St. Louis, the City Museum is a MUST.)

The next day, my son and I being the baseball freaks we are, toured the new Busch Stadium. We took the shuttle to the stadium, but following our 1.5-hour tour, we walked the mile or so back to the hotel. Then, we met up with my bride and daughter and headed to the ZOO!!!

I mean, how can you pass up going to the zoo, especially when admission is FREE!!! (Yes, the St. Louis Zoo is free, and it's one the best zoos I have been to.) Had a great time at the zoo, but we walked a ton. Easily covered 4 or 5 miles during our time there.

And all this was doing in hot, humid St. Louis.

We got back to the hotel a little after 5 p.m., and I did my best to rest and relax the rest of the evening. Honestly, I felt good. The activities hadn't seem to bother me much at all.

On race day, I felt good. In fact, I felt good through the first 3 miles or so as I was on my goal pace, clicking off the miles at a 10-minute-per-mile clip. At the 6-mile mark, I was still going well as I hit the marker in under 65 minutes.

But during the last half of the race, life got rough on me.

The temps were raising. It was 70 at the start at the race at 7 a.m., and quickly climbing to the 80s. Add the fact the winds were really whipping - so much so I thought it was going to rip my bib off my shirt, the last half of the race was a challenge. The course had rolling hills. Nothing real steep, but long and gradual.

It was during these long jaunts uphill the previous two days' activities began to catch up with me.

My calves were tightening up and screaming. I was hurting.

My paced slowed considerably. And as each mile passed more slowly than the previous one, I was getting discouraged. I wanted to do so much better than I did. I wanted to hit my goal time of 2 hours, 15 minutes.

Not going to lie, I was upset with myself.

If I wasn't so tired, I would've been kicking myself.

I was so upset and frustrated at myself that I could not enjoy the fact I PR'ed. It took me a couple days - and my wonderful running family on Twitter, to help me realize what I had done. I posted my best time ever in a half marathon.

Did I struggle? Sure, but I PR'ed. Let me repeat: I PR'ed!

I might have sabotaged myself in putting forth my best overall effort, but I embrace my time of 2:31:01 and now relish in the fact I PR'ed. Besides, I had a great time exploring St. Louis with my family.

So, in spite of my momentary frustration, it was a win-win race weekend.

P.S. My PR is going DOWN come October at my next half marathon. Just saying.


  1. Congrats on your PR! It sounds like you had a really fun vacation, even if you dragged a little during your race. Lesson learned and all that. Congrats again!

  2. Thanks! Like I mentioned in the post, I was a little bummed about how I dragged in the race, but I PR'ed and had a blast with my family. So it's a win-win.