Adaptivity. I went into this race knowing I was undertrained, not even sure if I was going to be able to make it to the start line due to my cold. I had so many opportunities to back out, and I didn’t. I watched as all my goals slipped out of reach, but I didn’t let that frustrate me, I just kept pushing to the finish. I figured out some good in-race strategies (like walking the muddy sections rather than attempting to run them) and I managed to execute the most important part of the race (making the cutoff) perfectly. I mean, relatively speaking.
Planning. I’m trying to cut down on the amount of stuff I bring to races and the amount of stuff I carry with me, because I have been going overboard, mostly out of fear. I used almost everything I brought with me, with the exception of a towel, a pair of pants, and a book, a pair of socks, and all 3 of those things had logical, probable purposes. I didn’t bring a ton of extra food (just a few extraneous cans of pop), clothes, or “emergency” items (I didn’t even bring Pepto, which was unintentional, but I survived without it). It was SO much easier to pack and organize without a bunch of extra stuff.
Training. This training cycle sucked. There’s just no other way to put it. It started out great, I was getting in 50 mile weeks, but things started to slide once I closed on my house and the move was imminent. That’s life. I don’t regret sacrificing my training to enjoy UMD’s journey to their second national championship in men’s ice hockey, but it did obviously take a toll. And yet again, I sucked at strength training, but as my personal training journal and my whiny posts on here attest, I was in a terrible mental funk for a couple months. I did what I could mentally handle, but it wasn’t ideal training. I only had a few long runs, with the longest being 16 miles. I definitely needed to pack in a lot more of those, considering this training cycle was 19 weeks long (my count was off by one, whoops).
Nutrition. I started off okay, but I definitely needed to eat more along the way. I think two more gels would have been sufficient, if eaten at the right time. I carry gels and end up not eating them, in favor of solid food, but what I probably need to do is eat the same amount of food, and then add in a couple more gels. I was clearly bonking/running out of gas at the end of the race, and making stupid decisions as a result (specifically, the stupid decision to not eat more).