A chance to think it all over.
Pushing outside my comfort zone. I ran a distance I’ve never completed before, on a course I’ve never seen, in a town I’ve never been to, on less than ideal training. And a terrible night’s sleep and a slight relapse of my cold and a terrible attitude. It was a big confidence booster to know I can execute a race well without covering every inch of the course.
Resting when I needed to. I took 16 days off from running when I was sick. That’s about 1/6 of my total training, and it sucked to do it, but it was the right thing. I needed the rest. I didn’t wait til I was completely better (obviously), and when I had a little relapse, I did keep running through it, but I felt I rested enough. Running indoors more helped prevent me from getting chilled and fatigued.
Staying aerobic during training. I may have cheated a few times, but overall I was strict about staying under that 143 bpm HR. I will be doing another MAF test in a few weeks to see how things are progressing, with the warm weather and the cold entirely gone (which it had better be!) I wish I’d had a better way to gauge how I’ve progressed, but the illness in the middle threw everything off.
Memorizing key facts about the course. I knew where the climbs were, and how many there were. I also knew approximately the distance between aid stations. That was really all I needed to know about the course, and it really helped me plan as well as power through mentally. Knowing I was done with the big climbs when I was about 10 miles in helped me push a bit harder on the back end of the race.
Not warming up. I keep saying this and then I just end up farting around pre-race. Just doing SOMETHING would have been a good way to shake off my crappy attitude and my nerves.
Abandoning strength training. I keep saying this, too. I wouldn’t have so much hip pain if I did the lower body exercises I had planned on doing.
Avoiding the doctor when I was clearly ill. I kept thinking, oh, there’s nothing that they can do for me. But first of all, I don’t really know that, and second of all, it was worth a shot considering how long this stupid illness has lasted.
Planning pace based on my watch. The GPS added over a mile of distance to my race. What I should have done is planned out times of day for reaching each aid station in order to make my goal, and gauged my progress that way.
My gear wasn’t very maneuverable. I was wearing gloves, which were clumsy; I could have used some fingerless gloves to regain some dexterity. I also found the protein bars were very difficult to get out of my handheld pockets. I need easier access to my food and other supplies.
Sitting around on Saturday post-race. I should have gone for a walk or something, just to keep the legs moving, especially since I had a long drive on Sunday. Instead I lazed around in the hotel room.
I had better not have ANY of the bad things on my post-mortem report in 6 weeks, after Superior. I’m documenting these lessons, and still not learning them, which is pretty lame.