You would have thought it was my first day.
Now, I’m no expert, but I’ve run a mile or two and I should really know better than to try and cram for a race.
I SHOULD. But evidently — I don’t.
After I diligently prepared for back-to-back half marathons in December, I let my legs rest a bit through the holidays. They were sore, understandably, and we were traveling and it was Christmas (and it was COLD outside) so I didn’t run nearly as regularly as I had been during half marathon training.
But then I went and registered for a New Year’s Day race and had to kick it into gear so I’d be ready for the Twenty 12K. 12K is about 7.5 miles so I knew I could handle it after doing so many long runs in November. But my preparation became a big, painful lesson in what NOT to do.
How NOT to prepare for a New Year’s Day 2012K
- Overdo it a little with two half marathons in two weekends.
- Kinda sorta run a few times the rest of December.
- Remember you registered for a New Year’s Day race and have a slight freakout.
- Instead of resting your legs before the race, run three days in a row. Rest is for suckers!
- Go to a New Year’s Eve dinner party the night before and have two (three?) glasses of wine. Don’t drink any water.
- Instead of getting rest, stay up until midnight watching some lunatic jump a snowmobile 400 feet over San Diego Bay.
Let’s recap. No hydrating, no resting, no conditioning.
Check, check, and check! Ready to go!
Sarah, Greg, Jennifer: pre-race at Clubhaus Fitness on Dickson Street.
I decided to rock the au naturel, Fraggle Rock hair for a change. Jeff said the floppy, blonde craziness made me really easy to spot. Glad I could help!
It was cold and windy, but not terrible – nice enough to wear shorts. Gotta love Arkansas – it could just as easily been 6 degrees out there on the first of January! The race organizers were merciful and didn’t have the race start until 10am so at least that let me sleep in a bit, and Jennifer had agreed to suffer through with me so at least I’d have a partner in crime for my first race of 2012.
I didn’t know a lot about the course beforehand, but I’d heard someone say it was “mostly on the trail system” which sounded fine to me. Familiar territory.
The first few miles were through town though and we did a little loop before running back down Dickson and meeting up with the trail.
In addition to this being a great picture of the floppy hairdo, there’s a funny story here. We’re running down Dickson Street in front of a bar named Brewski’s.
Here we are on New Year’s Eve 2006, INSIDE that bar.
I couldn’t find a picture of us together, but that’s me on the left with Jeff, Don and Keith — and Jennifer with her husband Luke on the right. Wow, right? If you had told me that night what would be happening right outside those doors five years later…
Shortly after this point is where it all started to fall apart. You remember all that “preparation” I did for this race? Yeah – it all came crashing down. My legs kepts getting heavier and heavier, and I had ZERO energy. We had to walk a few hills, then we had to walk a few stretches of perfectly flat trail just to keep moving, and thank goodness Jennifer was running with a bottle of water or I’d really have been in trouble. It was a small race and there weren’t many volunteers so… not many water stops.
LESSON LEARNED: You cannot cram for a race. If you try you will be very, very sorry.
I kept glancing at my watch to see our pace getting slower and slower, and I knew Jeff was probably at the finish line wondering what the heck had happened to us. But eventually we turned the last corner and spotted the finish chute.
Yay! Finish line! After the most miserable 7.46 miles of my life!
I love the picture below. We had just enough steam at the end that when I half-jokingly said, “I’ll race you.” we both took off like crazy people and sprinted it out to the finish.
The looks on our faces are ridiculous, and I love that you can see Jeff in the background.
I am NOT having as much fun as these pictures would lead you to believe. I am just THAT glad to be THAT close to the finish line.
No need to do the math on that. It’s sloooooooow. But a slow 12K is just as far as a fast 12K — and it was a great way to start 2012.
Also! I have to show off my new favorite thing! I asked my Dad (Santa’s Little Helper) to build me something I could use to display my racing bibs and medals, and he delivered – as always.
Tell me that thing isn’t fabulous!