Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dead Possum Says What? 2009 Possum Trot Race Report

It says: Girl, you are better off playing possum than racing with possum legs.


Will I ever learn?

There is always that tiny optimistic part of me that thinks it could happen. . .

Whatever, I'm playing my girl card: rational thinking is not my strong suit.

So, yeah, I had a bad race.

Hey, and here comes, you know--the silver lining; gotta have the bad races to have the GREAT races!

So, you see, it is all strategy on my part. I am racking up--of course intentionally-- all these crappy 10k's so that I will be sure to have a GREAT one pretty soon. It is all part of Nat's 10k PR Master Plan. . .

Okay, maybe there was a little self sabotage at work before Saturday's Possum Trot. My sister in law graciously had my kids over for a cousin sleepover. This meant I had an adult evening with my husband. Never ones to pass up an adult evening we enjoyed ourselves with a dinner out at a restaurant where people don't bring their kids. We even had dinner at the bar. And by dinner I mean I had a Blue Goose martini and a glass of wine. Oh and that beer I had blogging the previous blog post. Then we ate ourselves silly and that is all you get to know and probably care to know about my adult evening with my husband.

I got up at 5:30 am fairly rested and went about my race morning routine. I headed out and got to the river with 30 minutes to start time. I parked a mile away and jogged to the start area. My legs? Playing possum. Uh oh.

By this point I have pretty much figured out that based on how my legs feel in the pre race warm up I can pretty much know how I am going to race. They weren't awful--not as bad as they have felt after a 70 mile week-- but they were definitely not in race mode and definitely far from a "we're running a pr baby!" mode.

Still, that tiny part of me hoped. Yeah, that tiny stupid part. Okay, huge taking up my entire frontal lobe part. But what was I to do? I was there, I had my number, and while it was 90% humidity it was still in the 60's-- so not totally unbearable.

So I went and found my secret potty at the Nature Center. I have to admit that I was worried when I passed the long lines at the porto potties and the one in the staging area that perhaps my secret potty would be closed or maybe it was no longer there as it has been 3 years since I ran a race on this course.

But no, my secret potty is still there: clean, well stocked and best of all: no lines. And no I will not reveal the location of the secret potty on my blog but if you ask me in person I will tell you so long as you promise not to tell your friends as I don't want to have wait in a long line. Not only am I not a rational person; I am also not a patient person.

I headed down to the start and ran into a few acquaintances and lined up. I wasn't terribly happy with my line up. I wanted to be on the other side of the road (classic possum and chicken dilemma) but decided it really didn't matter (maybe it does matter.)

So we were off and I ran for a few seconds and when I went to turn on my ipod it would not come on. At first I did not panic and was just puzzled since I had just been listening to it and knew it was charged. I tried to calm myself down: One, I was freaking out because I could hear myself and everyone else breathe--which I totally hate. Two, I was freaking out because I have had my ipod for over 3 years now. I don't think I have ever even had a cell phone for that long. I destroy all electronics and fragile things (WARNING:do not lend me your stuff. I will break it. I won't mean to but I will break it.)

So I am running along the road completely upset that I am hearing breathing but more so because my ipod might be broken. I give myself a pep talk that: One, it will be okay. I have actually run several PR's in shorter races with no ipod. And two, Ryan's ipod will now be my ipod--I just need to get through this race.

Oh, but then, my ankles are feeling kinda crunchy. Dang it. I hate it when my feet and ankles hurt when I run. It isn't like it is your hip or you shitband or you quad or your hammie or you have headache--those things I can ignore. Ankles, feet and calves--I can't ignore. Best I can hope for is that it goes away.

So hit the one mile in 6:40. And then I am walking. And then I am annoyed because I am rope hanger. But I do take the opportunity to fix my ipod. Back in business I start running again. But then at the 2 mile marker--which comes in around 15 minutes and change I am walking again. Legs are just not cooperating. And of course it is bugging me that everyone and their grandma is whizzing past me.

Holy crap I hate a 10k.

I see Doug on his bike--out for his Roswell 60 mile, scanning the crowd, probably looking for a familiar face. He doesn't see me even though I could almost knock him off his bike he is so close. I don't call out and he passes me and I start running. Then I am walking again. Not really sure why. I am just kind of tired, my legs are super heavy, my ankles crunchy, weak. Pass the 5k point in 24 minutes. Wow, that is really crappy.

Irritated and rolling my eyes so hard at myself I can see my stupid non functioning frontal lobe: I give it the finger. I am so mad at myself for wimping out but I am also laughing at how terrible I am doing.

It occurs to me that this is going to be embarrassing if I keep this crap up; so I start running again. I totally suck it up. Not suck it up in that some sort of magical thing happens and I sprout new legs and am now churning out 6:30's. But I am running 7:20-7:40's. But boy does it completely suck and it is super hard to maintain. I am having to fight to hold it. To make my legs do it. Really, that pace should not feel hard for me--it usually doesn't--well at least not until after 16 or so miles. It is my super secret(well not now) marathon pace that I practice on the treadmill. 7:30's usually feel pretty good to me. Yesterday they felt like hell. It was like I was a possum who had just had my back side hit by a car and I was trying to drag my half dead carcass down the road to safety where I could crawl into the woods and die my slow, ugly and agonizing death.

Despite my death crawl I did try to remember my "run happy" attitude and yelled out to the winners as I saw them heading towards the finish. I did console myself that everyone else looked pretty miserable too. Dead possums love company.

Finally, after a small eternity it was my turn to cross the finish line: 47:32.

Shrug. I know plenty of people who would be happy with that time. And at one time I was one of those people. So I don't want to diminish anyone else's achievements but that time is a huge step back from where my 10k time has been for the past 2 years. I would rather see myself stuck in the 44's rather than see myself already fading back to where I was several years ago.

Well, I am not going to let it get me down. I just have lots of work to do. I hope this is just a case of my body not being fully recovered from the marathon. I do tend to lose some speed but I feel like I have lost both speed and endurance. I'll give it a bit more time before I completely freak out. For now I will run how my body allows and make nice again with the swim and the bike.

Today I enjoyed a very nice bike--44 miles in Roswell with my good friends Steph and Jamie. Oddly and telling enough the roads were littered today with possum, squirrel, and turtle carnage. (oh and I almost destroyed my cell phone but apparently the electronic God must be smiling or having a joke on me this weekend because it was miraculously spared.)

I know, there I go again reading metaphor where there is probably none, but things are just kinda stinking lately-- and I am not just talking about the road kill.

Trying to stay positive though so I will end with: tomorrow is another day and there will be other races.

Again, thanks for putting up with my belly aching.

PS. Sorry there are no pictures. Camera is lost and I don't have a new one.


  1. Well, good job toughing it out, but sorry it wasn't your day. You'll get it back. Still a great report!

    Us folks at SweetH2O were thinking about you and wishing you had run with us just so we could read your report. :)

  2. Sorry to hear about your legs not cooperating. Still, that is great time!

  3. You actually had a very good result considering you're just coming off a tough, hilly, trail marathon. You ran this race without a peaking period and on tired legs and still posted a very good time. You are Superwoman!!

  4. Y'all are so nice!
    David I heard Sweetwater was great this year. I'll have to think about that one. I hear you have to get your feet wet. I don't like wet shoes.

  5. I think you should run obviously have not clocked enough miles this month to get through a mere 10k..... :)

    All kidding aside, it sucks when your body won't do what you want it to do, when you want it to do it doesn't it? (hehe how do you like that run-on sentence?)

  6. Sorry you had a bad race! I bet you just need some more recovery.

  7. Damn, you are crazy!

    I miss you! Kiss Stick for me...

  8. I understand your feelings, but you still ran a respectable race, especially after an "adult evening" with a martini, wine and beer. You're a stud!

  9. I think the problem was with your drinking the night before the race. The solution is that you always drink the wine FIRST and then the martini and beer. You mixed it all up and your body called you out on the blunder!!

    At least now you'll know for next time.

  10. Way to tough it out. I find that often my legs fail to cooperate with my race plan.