Categories: Lactate Threshold, Race Report, Turkey Trot
With no speedwork to speak of since July, I went into this race about as untrained as I’ve
ever been in a long time.
Coming off the hip injury, my goal for this race was to run a strong(ish) tempo pace and use that to calculate training paces for Carlsbad. Um, you’d be correct if you guessed training had not yet commenced for that.
Things got off to a rocky start when we were encouraged via email to pickup our packets before race day. Apparently everyone obliged because the line at packet pickup stretched 2 blocks: out of the restaurant patio, through the parking lot and onto the road. I scrammed and made pickup attempt #2 a couple of hours later. Line was half as long this time and I waited 45 minutes. I’ve never seen anything remotely close to the cluster that occurred here.
Fast forward to race day: Warned the race had sold out and there’d be nowhere to park, I got there early and holed up in my car.
Not terribly cold, but a raw wind made me keep my jacket on (pansy), which I new would be the wrong choice but I did it anyway.
The race went off and there was an immediate bottleneck at the timing mats. That bottleneck lasted most of the first mile. The course was relatively flat but with lots of twists and turns and lots of people who lined up very badly. Walkers up front, people stopping dead, weaving, you know the drill. But it’s a turkey trot, not the Olympic trials, and Lord knows I’m in no shape for any kind of performance so I went with it. What choice did I have?
By mile 2 I was roasting, my arms felt like molten lava and I cursed my pansyish decision to wear a jacket.
I did not look at my Garmin a single time the whole race and there were no timing clocks. I wanted to run by feel, comfortably hard and that’s what I did. I felt strong but had no real clue what pace I was feeling strong at. It is what it is.
I watched the leaders loop around and then the 8k’ers split off. Soon we were on a small trail to the finish. All I had left was get to the end of the trail, turn the corner, run under the covered bridge and finish.
I felt like I was maintaining a decently strong pace but I was not poring it on or attempting to pass anybody. Halfway thru the trail though, it happened. Again. I felt my stomach convulse. This can’t be happening again. It can’t. But it was. Dry heaves, one after another. Even when I walked they kept coming. WTF??
I am so freaking close, yet I can’t finish this thing?
I had to pull over and stop completely to get the heaves to subside.
Finally I cautiously resumed walking, turned the corner, gingerly plodded under the covered bridge. Crowds were heavy here and I was beyond embarrassed because I was retching again. Just before the timing mat I finally barfed sports drink up in my mouth, while I covered it with my jacket sleeve. I kept retching well past the finish line. I was so embarrassed I walked straight to the car and got the hell out of dodge.
I learned later, despite the horrific finish I still managed 3rd in the old hag age group. Totally missed out on the bling though.
I have never thrown up in a race and suddenly this year, I’ve done it TWICE? Apparently I’ve got some lactate threshold work ahead of me. Pray I don’t toss my cookies at tomorrow’s half marathon. That is one triple crown I do not covet.