Do you realize how much stress can affect running performance? Well let me tell you! It seems the older I get, the more outside stress (independent of running and racing) affects my mental attitude and running capability. Age? Oh yeah! Each year I DO get one year older but no, I will not allow that to be one of my many excuses for running, in my mind, sub-par.
The week leading up to the 39th running of the Boilermaker 15K my thoughts were consumed by this race. I kept asking myself “What are you worried about?”. There were no answers that were justifiable. My worries went from race day to traveling the week after to family disagreements. Let me explain a little about me: I’m very empathetic, sensitive, a perfectionist, somewhat obsessive, and, I hate to admit it but self focused. My sister says if I had ever had kids, that would resolve that self focus issue but I digress.
Pre race day, I decided to visit the expo and support SpecialK for which I’m am ambassador.
I brought samples to the Utica Road Runner table for hand outs.
It wasn’t a big expo but even so, the URR table ran out of goodies by 1 pm. The main event at the time I went was the kids run. That was fun and entertaining. Unfortunately as the day went on, I got deeper into my self pity mode worrying from one thing to another.Why?! Why?! Why?! Why?! I looked for answers in a book I’m currently reading called “Boston Bound” by Elizabeth Clor. Great book so far! It seems as if I’m reading about myself although unlike Elizabeth, I’ve been very lucky, blessed, fortunate, call it what you will, to qualify for Boston which, by the way, doesn’t make running any other race easier. I still put undue pressure on myself. Back to the Boilermaker…
Race day morning, after sleeping well, I took the dogs out for my 2 to 3 mile warm up. It was raining so a race outfit change was in order. I still wore the wet underarmour red sneakers but changed tops. My stomach was upset. I made no less than 8 trips to the bathroom before leaving for the start line at 7:05 am. Ted dropped me off to find the Utica Road Runners for a race day photo op. Fun!
I decided to skip the porto potties but then when I got into my corral 25 minutes early, the urge hit. There were 2 portos near the corral. While standing in line, another gal named Valerie was discussing the desire to head for the bushes like all those men. After waiting 10 minutes I said “I’ll cover for you if you cover for me.” Val. said “Lets go”. I shared a piece of tissue and we figured if we didn’t look up to see anyone, they couldn’t see us. RIGHT!!!! Invisibility cloak!
The start of the Boilermaker began and I started running. My legs didn’t feel good. Those first 2 miles all I could think of was how to cut off course to the left and go home. One of the draw backs living so close to a race course. I kept going knowing my pace was not what I wanted.
As usual, spectators were OUTSTANDING. Water stations seemed to pop up every 1/2 mile. There is SO MUCH RACE SUPPORT FOR THIS RACE, it’s beyond words. I had a gel at the 4 mile water stop. *At 5:30 am I ate a Clif Bar and at 6 am I had a 5 hour energy. Along with water there was ice offered along the course and at least 3 sprinkler sections. The temperature was about 68 degrees at the start, a little bit of a breeze and it rained for about 3 minutes while we ran along the Parkway, 2 mile marker.
I crossed the finish line with a NET TIME 1:14:56. Garmin read:
Considering how much I stressed myself out and other outside issues affecting me mentally, I’m not disappointed even though it is one of my slower Boilermaker times.
Place 1622 out of some 11,000 runners.
#302 Female. 16/368 age group. NET: 1:14:56 for 8.30 pace. Age graded 72.28%.
Met Ted, family and friends at Nail Creek.
One other plus for the day was that as a SpecialK Ambassador, I met fellow Ambassador Linda She is a friendly gal whom I sincerely thank for reaching out to me. Great to meet you!
Had a great time AFTER the race meeting new friends, old friends, family, handing out SpecialK bars and finishing another Boilermaker 15k.