New Bedford 1/2 Marathon.
I have run this race 6 times before and enjoyed some decent times (a couple very decent.) The very decent ones came as I was preparing for Boston, but was not fixated on the marathon, in the sense that NB occupied an as-important place on the calendar, meaning the 2 weeks leading up to it were delicately balanced in order to maximize my chances at the race. It worked out well and I had two good runs (my best was the year that I was sick the week before and rested for it.) These good ones were a 1:10:26, a 1:10:58 and a 1:11:48 (which came last year when I was putting more emphasis on Boston.)
This year, I ran my two biggest weeks ever prior to race week and finished the last one with the hardest, longest 2-day stretch I've ever done that left me tired for days afterwards.
Still, I went into this naively thinking that somehow, the endurance would just "be there" and that my biggest problem would be turnover and each of these turned out to be true to a degree I'd underestimated, because what I didn't realize was just how tired and beat down my legs were. This became evident immediately, as I was unable to get much under 5:40 for the first 3 miles and found myself way back by 4. Even in the fast middle part (with a tailwind, no less) I was only able to get down into the 5:23-5:28 range. I still hoped to hold onto some 5:31's as we came up on 9 and I did for a couple, until we turned back into the wind and the last 3 miles became an utter deathmarch, where I clocked 2 5:57's and a 6:02. In the end, it all added up to a 1:14:38. Ouch. I just had nothing and by the end, I didn't know what to think, as I was tired and my legs just didn't work. Nothing was injured, nothing was too battered, I just had nothing today and it showed in every way.
I was embarrassed and sorry for my showing, but as I get a little distance from the race, I am at least aware of why it went as it did. I am still slightly dimmed on my overall racing ability at the moment, but I do know that I am fit, though as I decrease volume and up intensity over the next few weeks, I hope to find that I am more fit than I am self-assessed as at the moment.
Regardless, I've done a lot of work and I'm still not hurt, so there's that. I just need to get a little away from this race and the false but still temporarily palpable feeling like my running world hasn't gone to hell and quick.
T- 15 (8/7)
W- 16 (10/6)
week- 73.5 miles