Sunday, February 05, 2012

SF Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon

So today I was up bright and early to run the San Francisco Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon -- a nice run through Golden Gate Park and then out and back on Hwy 1 along the beach for the last 6 miles.

The end result, a nice 40 second PR for a finish of 1.56.16.  As I mentioned to XL, I'm the kind of runner who inches her way to PR's -- you will never get a big blasting PR out of me, that's for sure.  In this case, I didn't even set out to get one because of where I am in marathon training and as I sit here in bed at 6:00 with a bum hip and achy knee, I'm a little sorry I did.

But alas -- it was a beautiful day and a freakishly hard run.  But it shouldn't have been a hard run at all:

There is absolutely nothing about that elevation that indicates hard -- even the down hill really is only 300 ft over about two miles -- certainly not quad busting at all.  That little incline at the end is just plain mean but if everything was going well this should have been a breeze.

Two things I had reinforced today:

1.  13.1 miles has the power to kick your ass no matter how many times you do it.
2.  Other life stress really does matter and impacts performance

Because everything else was perfect -- weather (52 and sunny at start), easy run, well organized race, etc.

Bear with me while I fuss a bit -- hate to do it because I did PR but there's a couple things I just need to work out.  I spent the hour drive home thinking blog posts complaining about how I couldn't get my act together at all during the run -- I never found my groove, was out of whack, couldn't hold pace to save my life, too many people around and I wasn't slowing name it.  Then I got home and downloaded my splits and this is what I saw:

And I thought, well dang, I ran a pretty good race....yeah, a little fast up front resulting in a little slow at the end.  But overall this is not bad at all.  I'm proud of this -- this, for me, is very good.

But this did not look one little bit like the race I felt I ran.  And by feel, I mean the fact while I was running I was having trouble holding any kind of a pace.  It seemed I was always a bit faster than I wanted to be up front and couldn't pull back for whatever reason.  I couldn't settle in and get comfortable at all.  And then at the end my body was just plain not happy.  After finishing the Half at Christmas so strong, it was such a let down to be in pain for the last 4 miles today.


So anyway, I stared at the above, kind of perplexed at how what I perceived was so different from what was presented and then I happened to glance to the right on my garmin page.  Aha, now here is the race that I ran:

Now I know these are usually all over the place like this but usually I do a better job than what I did here.  I FINALLY pulled it together from miles 10.5 to 12.5 -- but lord, I just couldn't settle in.  My groove went missing today that is for sure.  

I went into this race a little worried -- I'd had a crazy January.  Started off the month sick, missing about a week of running, then had some crazy social obligations which were tons of fun and I'd planned my training schedule around them but they also wore me down a bit and required some recovery time.  Then work took a turn for the stressful resulting in well, stress and the related non sleep that seems to happen to me.  Work stress is going away and social business is waning but I knew as of Friday, today might not go well.  In fact, if I was feeling as I did on Friday, I would have had a DNS.  But I did get a great night sleep on Friday night and things were looking up so I said what the heck.  

The thing is -- I'm more exhausted from this today than I have been over any of the last several half marathons I've run. This one seems to have taken me down -- I had a mile walk to my car and was limping by the time I got there.  The drive home was excruciating - - my entire body hurt and I kind of wanted to cry.  My lovely piriformis has decided to make my rear numb and send little throbbing pains down my right leg.  And my right knee -- I never have knee pain and suddenly I know my right knee is there.  Even when I'm not moving it.  

I will be SO mad at myself is this isn't more than a couple day thing.  I didn't have to do this race and certainly not at the expense of screwing up marathon training.  So I sit here in resting -- and changing my training week to postpone the speed work until later in the week and hoping that this will all be fixed by a good nights sleep.  

Apologies for fussing on a PR race.  I'm just a little anxious, nervous and mad.  And only me to blame.  

But lets leave on a happy note -- who says I don't live in paradise?

Yes, it was that blue.  


Kathy said...

SO beautiful! Seriously consider what a tough day you had (and some races are just that way) yet you still pulled the PR!!!
Sorry you're feeling it and I'm hoping you bounce back soon!

XL said...

Get thee to a PT! Go get seen right away...don't wait. It will make a huge difference. You ran a solid race even though it felt so weird. Mine looks similarly solid even though I felt similarly weird...for a much shorter distance :P It was so awesome to see you. Seeing you and A was the highlight of the race for me :)

Katie @ Will Race for Carbs said...

Congrats on your PR! Sorry it didn't feel like a good race but is there a more beautiful backdrop for a race? Our KP race is seriously on the most ghetto road in Denver where I seriously was high fived by a homeless dude.

I hope you start feeling better soon!!

Paul said...

Garmin pace graphs useless.
Splits pretty even!
Maybe it felt tough but u kicked it in.. enjoy that!

Congrats on a PR!

RoseRunner said...

PR! PR! I think that looks like incredibly even splits -- not too fast at the beginning, not too slow at the end. My starting mile can be more than 30 seconds faster than my last, and I'm still ok with that!

Great job!

Terzah said...

Oh, I understand how you were feeling completely! Especially since your last race felt so good. Just think...if you can PR feeling so off, what's ahead on the next day you are on?

Big congrats!

Raina said...

Well, on paper it looks like a fantastic race! Great pacing, even if you had to keep checking,etc. And downhill is tough, especially if you are unused to it.
Hoping your piriformis starts behaving for you. Rest up! You deserve it.