TCM Race report

2:51.26, chip time

1st Minnesota Woman, 20th Woman overall

Gee… where do I even start with this?

Guess I’ll start with the new diet plan, which started the Monday. Per Jerry, I decided to try the 3 day no-carb, 3 day all-carb diet. I’ve tried the 3 day all-carb diet before, and felt like that made a big differnce.

So, for M-Wed, I ate only salad, chix breast, egg whites, peanuts and celery w/ peanut butter. Yuck. I watched my weight and didn’t lose anything (on purpose — not easy to get all of the calories you need through protein/fat alone). By Tuesday, I felt sort of sick after my easy run. I wondered if it was because I had eaten a hot dog (no bun) and celery for supper. Not anything I typically eat, and not remotely healthy, but I was in a hurry & didn’t have anything else quick to eat. By Wed, though, on a healthier diet day, I felt TERRIBLE. It was a 3×1200 m at tempo pace (6:05-6:15) workout. I think I wrote a blog after that… I felt awful. My head was fuzzy, my breathing was heavy, and my legs felt like they had run a marathon.

Day Thur-Sat: All carbs. LOVED this stage. I looked forward to the next time I could eat a bagel with either jam or cinamon and sugar or fruit or oatmeal. I didn’t miss the protein or fat at all.

Fast forward to race day. Nate drops me off around 7 am for an 8:00 finish. I head to the elite staging area (a church), and proceed with all of the normal stuff: bathroom, stretching, little bit of warm up.

The gun goes off. I look at my watch at .5 miles. 6:15 pace. Really? This feels absolutely effortless. I know that’s the way MP is supposed to feel on race day, but I have a few doubts. I find out 1/3 mile later that those doubts are real… I pass the mile course mile in 6:5x. “WHAT?!?!?”, I exclaimed to the guy next to me. This can’t be right. It’s probably off & they’ll correct the mile markers by mile 2.

So, I paced myself (per the watch) to a 6:40 next mile. My rationale: 6:15 1st mile, 6:40 next = an average less than 6:30, which was the goal.

Problem is that the first mile market WAS right.

After I realized this 2 miles in, I had a really hard time feeling 6:30 pace. The 3rd mile I really struggled.

After 3, though, I was set. I owned 6:28s-6:29s. I know I’ve said it before, but I am SO blessed to be such a good pacer. Seriously, without effort, I’d look down. 6:29? Cool!

Problem is, when you’re a minute behind the 8-ball from the start… when should you start to make it up? I decided not to worry about it for now, and to try to make up the difference in the last 10k or so.

So I cruised. 6:30s or below for the next 18-20 miles. I took gels at exactly the right time (5 during the race, 1 before), and drank more water than I usually do. The combination kept the dizziness away, and kept me feeling sharp and strong. Note for next time: take gels earlier, and more often than you think necessary.

Then came the 10k to go mark. At this point I honestly was looking forward to a nap. Is this normal? Honestly, I get sleepy at this point in a marathon, and I have no idea why (or if this is anything anyone else feels?). Has the caffeine in my gels worn off? I shake if off, and charge ahead. This is the part of the race I OWN. I’m usally a really, really strong finisher.

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