Sunday, October 02, 2005

Not Boston Bound :(

Hi there,

Below is a copy of my race report to my ultra running group. I didn't do it today. I did not have what it took to qualify. I'm ok with that (like I have a choice in the matter-well, I suppose I could be pissed, I'm not)as I gave it all that I had today. I could not hold the pace. Man it was hard!!

Thanks for all of your encouragement and support while I was training for this buggar! I appreciate that so much.

Sometimes days just go like this and we have to learn from them :)

I'll post some pics in a bit.

TCM was tough tough tough for me.

Last June I pr'd at Grandmas in 3:59:58 and this surprised me greatly. I had never broken the 4 hour barrier.

I then hatched the great idea of trying to qualify for Boston at TCM by running a 3:50.

I trained hard these past few months. I began to run at the track, running Yasso 800's in 3:40-3:45. I started with 3 and worked my way up to a dozen. I began to run tempo workouts as well, these are two workouts that I've never incorporated into my training before because, well, running faster than what I was used to, hurt. Plain and simple.

The speed workouts and losing some weight helped to quicken my ultra distances. I began to PR at the 50K and 50 mile distances.

I thought I could run a 350 today, maybe even a 345.


I drove over to Ann's this morning. I was so lucky to again be able to ride with Ann, her hubby Fred and son Kyle. Kyle entertained me all the way there .. and back. He's a funny little energetic 7 (I think) year old that reminds me of how my boys were at his age.

After we were dropped off at the Dome we stood around in lines, met up with friends and then I was ready to find my pacing group.

I thought I had plenty of time to find them. Wrong again. 20 minutes prior to start and the chutes were already crammed and full. I pushed my way up to the 445's and stopped dead. Oh well, I figured I'd catch them soon enough. Wrong again.

We were off and running. I crossed the start and tried to find my group. I spoke with Val from Voyageur, whom I and Jeffrey ran with at V for quite some time, it was awesome to see her again.

1 mile down and I still hadn't caught the 350 pace group. 1 mile: 7:34. Not good, way too fast. Mile 2 and I still hadn't caught them! Not good again: 7:56. Mile 3 and finally caught them. Mile 3: 8:00. This was bad. Way too fast for me. In retrospect I SHOULD have just run my miles off of my pace band but at the time I was hell bent on catching the group. (another lesson learned) I was out of breath, hot and dry.

I realized that I should have been carrying my ultra pack with the 2 24 oz bottles. Heck, I always train with this and I always drink 24 oz an hour. That's what my body is used to. Why didn't I have it? (another lesson learned). I was having trouble sustaining on the 3-5oz cups of water, even though I was trying to chug as many as I could.

At mile 10 I was at 3:45 pace. I was pretty excited about that, but not excited about the way my quads were cramping. I've never had cramping in my muscles. Never.

I was doing electrolyte caps, did a gel, more water at the aid station..then guess what. Another first and bad move. I missed an aid station! I thought there was only one table that I passed, I guess I must have passed a few more because all of sudden I realized the water tables were gone and I hadn't had anything to drink. (another lesson learned)

Mile 13 and holding onto the 345 pace but fading fast. I could feel it fading.

Mile 16 and holding to the 350 group..then I had to make a pit stop. Yeah. Of course.

Mile 19 and I fell. Yeah, fell during a marathon on asphalt. No roots, no rocks! I was running along and didn't notice (wasn't looking I guess..duh) the guy with the rake in front of me, raking out the cups and runner debris. My toe hooked the rake and BAM. Face plant. Scratched my sunglasses, the hat flew off but I was OK. I caused a collision in back of me. It was the pits. My iPod shot out of its case on my arm and slid a ways. I probably would have laughed it I wasn't feeling so lousy and hot and dry and crampy in my quads.

Mile 20 and I'm falling off of 350 pace. Mile 21 took me 10 minutes. I just want this over with.

Then I changed my attitude. I was going to finish and I was going to have fun. I couldn't qualify for Boston today but I could at least enjoy the marathon, enjoy the spectators and enjoy the other runners. There was no way I could keep the 350 pace. That was real fast and real tough for me to hold. I was going to finish the race in 10 minute miles, around 4 hours and enjoy the surroundings. I could not go any faster.

I enjoyed the spectators. I saw members of my Big Lake run club: Kevin and Ken were loud and encouraging! I saw Jo, Don and Chris and the girls; I kept seeing Marie's Tom over and over again! It was so much fun finding spectators that I recognized.

My legs were heavy and tired. Man they were tired. I was running as FAST as I could and I could not break a 930 mile this last section. I'm sure I didn't.

I was running my best, doing what I could do today and it was not good enough for a Boston qualifier. It was just not good enough. It was the best I could do today. The best I could, that's all I could give and I'm happy with that.

My watch time was 4:02, I think the race clock said 4:08. A TCM pr for me.

At the finish line I was able to watch Ann run in, it was fun to see her finish! A PR for Ann. Woohoo!! We hobbled to the changing tents and who was there but Leslie from Voyaguer! A gal I and Jeffrey ran with for a while. I never did see Val from V again.

Leslie left behind a container full of wet wipes. Ahh, how good it felt to wipe the salt from our face! The little things in life!!

Kyle entertained me all the way back to Ann's. All in all, it was a great day!

There were many of the MN-DRS out there, don't let me be the only one to talk about the day:)

Julie Berg
Big Lake


Jen said...

Julie, This is what makes running so hard. There are good days and bad, although a PR is never a bad day. I think you were right to realize that today wasn't the day and relax and enjoy it. There will be other races. You did learn some very valuable lessons today and all of them will help you on that magical day. I hope you don't feel too discouraged but energized to try again. You were ready...It just wasn't your day for a qualifying time. Jenna

Nancy Toby said...

Hey, a course record is great! PRs are always to be hoped for, but one only gets them not just after the work has been done, but also when the stars align. Every race is just training for the next one! And there's plenty of time to qualify for Boston still if you take a few weeks to recuperate, and try again on another day!

Anonymous said...

Julie you have a fantastic attitude!

You had a great race and learned some lessons about yourself. I'm sorry you missed the BQ time, you'll get it next time :)

TC is a tough course, Nice job!
I'll do Grandmas before doing this one again...

:) said...

Julie, I like that you are not beating yourself up. You still had a great time and a great race. You can qualify for Boston anytime. It just wasn't time for you this race... I am so glad that you took stock and just decided to enjoy it. You knew the BQ wasn't going to happen and look at the fun you had! Great job and great report!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you didn't make your big goal Julie. I suppose this is like those gymnasts in the olympics who fall down. Everyone can have a bad day. Of course I wish that I was as fit and fast as you are on an off day. Sounds like a great run overall. Congrats on your personal best for that course even if it wasn't quite what you were hoping for.

Chad said...

Julie, after reading about your first 3 miles I thought I'd be reading about a DNF. But you kept battling and still ran 4:02 on a TOUGH day. Way to go.

Tracy said...

I know that you were after Boston, but that final time is NOTHING to gag on! I know, though, at this point that kind of stuff is kind of just cushy talk.

Everything happens for a reason, and your race is coming ;)

brent said...

i admit i haven't followed along with your whole training story but you did the best you could out there on sunday and that's all you can do. i think finishing in 4 is so impressive. wow, i just can't imagine going that fast. thats too bad about the rake!! i almost got tripped up in one too.