Monday, August 11, 2008

History In The Making?

History is written by the winners. You don’t often hear about guys who issued a challenge and then failed to live up to it, but that just makes this post unique. What I’m trying to tell you here is that I’m not the winner. I’m the loser. While I did set a new PR this past weekend at the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon, I failed to best Viper’s time of 1:54:49. It was the most disappointing PR I’ve ever set.

I needed to average an 8:46 pace to beat Viper’s PR and what’s really frustrating is that I was on pace to do it for a while. Here’s a fun little game that you can all play at home: I’ve listed my splits below, see if you can figure out when my quads decided to lock up tighter than Fort Knox.

Mile 1 - 8:52
Mile 2 - 8:43
Mile 3 - 8:31
Mile 4 - 8:22
Mile 5 - 8:45
Mile 6 - 8:23
Mile 7 - 8:33
Mile 8 - 8:54
Mile 9 - 8:53
Mile 10 - 8:50
Mile 11 - 9:34
Mile 12 - 9:33
Mile 13 - 9:30

If you said mile 11, you win! Give yourself a pat on the back. At the end of mile 10 I was starting to slow a little but was still averaging an 8:41 overall pace and feeling like I’d be able to push myself in the final miles. Shortly after the water stop at mile 10 my quads just ceased up. I tried pushing through it, I tried changing my stride, I even stopped and tried to stretch for a few seconds. Nothing worked. My pace dropped to 9:30 in the final 3 miles and I couldn’t find speed anywhere within myself. I crossed the finish line in 1:56:45 (8:55 pace), a PR by over 3 minutes. Not nearly enough of an improvement considering that it’s been almost a year since my last half marathon.

I offer no excuses for my suckitude, and I’ll gladly take my lumps in the comments. I opened the trash talking last week and came up short, I guess I know how the French 4x100m Freestyle Relay Team feels.

Congrats to Viper who smashed my 10K PR with a blistering 50:48. I’m actually glad that he beat me because if we’d have both failed it would have just been pathetic. Despite my vows in the final 3 miles to give up running forever, I find myself resolving to train faster and longer in the upcoming months in that never-ending quest for self improvement - it’s one of the reasons that I really hate running. Running, I wish I could quit you.


  1. Hey, at least you didn't sit on the lane letting your competitor draft the entire way only to pass you at the last moment (like the French)! There's no disgrace in fighting through pain and STILL achieving a PB! Great work!

  2. When you said how downhill this race was, I gave myself a fist bump. Sorry about the quads. You still ran a great race. Three minutes is nothing to sneeze at. I'm sure you just thought I needed an ego boost.

  3. Hold on is that Viper being nice again?

    It is a bit disappointing you didn't beat his PR. I was really looking forward to the trash talk.

    Sorry to hear about the quads though. And still setting a PR rocks.

  4. That's one hell of a respectable PR you have there Mr Vanilla! Great job and I hope you're feelin' groovy by now!

  5. Once the cramps start, there's nothing that can be done is there? At least you were able to keep moving at a decent pace. A downhill descent might have helped flare up the quads anyhow - instead of helping you - as they get worked harder than normal.

    A quick trip to McMillan's calculator tells me you marathon time would be in the 4:06 range sans quad locking, which would obliterate Viper's PR at that distance. Game on?

    Congratulations. That is still a very solid time. A PR! Nice job.

  6. What tha?!?!? Where is my sleazy trash talk. Gaaaahhhhhhh :P

    Awesome job Vanilla! You've been smokin lately ;-)

  7. Perhaps not the result you were looking for, but you do get the sympathy from your commenters. Psychotic attention whore that I am, I always prefer sympathy to actually doing well.
    Enjoy that PR--3 minutes is massive, if you ask me. Nice job.

  8. You ran an awesome race even though you didn't best Viper. But that's the beauty of always lingering behind someone in a challenge -- you have other opportunities to sneak up on his PR and then smash it.

  9. 1:56:45? that's really weird as that was my time (new PR) for the half marathon I ran in May.

    This has been an entertaining battle. I can't wait for the next installment.

  10. The PR is great - 3 minutes is a lot for a half! But I totally agree with Nitmos that you need to go for a full. Pick a state I haven't done and we'll meet up so I can chick you!

  11. A PR is always something to be proud of, regardless of besting Viper or not. Great job and remember, running will never let you quit it.

  12. A PR is always something to be proud of, regardless of besting Viper or not. Great job and remember, running will never let you quit it.

  13. Forget this one.. Let's see another episode here! Just kidding. GREAT job you pull on this one. You did GREAT and you should pat on your shoulder for it. There will always be another opportunity for the Big Showdown II. WTG !!!

  14. I'm digging the Brokeback Mountain allusion. Though it's perhaps a bit odd in a post all about you and Viper. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    I would be THRILLED beyond belief with any half-marathon time below 2:00. Good job! You'll blow that time away in the next one.

  15. Yikes, those splits tell a painful story. Good for you for deciding to go all Howard Zinn and tell it like it was, instead of disguising the pain and suffering you inflicted upon yourself in order to make the race seem more glorious.

  16. Congrats on the PR.

    3 minutes is nothing to sneeze at.

  17. Congratulations, that was a really great time, and a PR is a PR, no matter what!

  18. WTG!
    Now start training for the next one.

    We love you Vanilla!

  19. Great job and an awsome PR! Cool way to tell it like it was as well. Keep up the great work and trash talk the next race!

  20. I also hate running. But only when I'm actually doing it.

    Great job on the PR!

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  22. I was totally going to compare you to the French and then you went and threw it in at the end.

    I have no snappy comeback except to say, quit crying and train harder. :)

  23. I know you're disappointed, but there can truly be no real suckitude when you've both finished AND PRd.
    Add some more speed work to your training, and soon you'll make Viper your beyatch, I'm sure of it.

  24. Even though you are not happy with your PR, you were still smokin'! Sorry to hear about the quads!

  25. Sorry to hear of your quads... sounds like a good excuse and you have data to back it up... not bad! not a bad gig at all.

    Sure I am uber jealous I wish I could run that fast!


  26. Merde!
    Mais... c'est la vie.

    Pardon my French. Here, have some champagne.

  27. The good thing about sore quads is that they are usually just that: sore. You'll get over your D.O.M.S. and live to scorch him another day.

  28. I had a similar improvement year to year with quite a bit of added mileage. I was expecting better, but I dug the PR. Enjoy it man. Well done.

  29. It's just time for a payback challenge with Viper. Great time on that trisko, regardless.

  30. I think you did a great job.

    about my kid----it was cool, but I'm a little selfish & I won't go into that.

    sorry about the quad......I was sure you were gonna beat his PR.

    I can't believe how much I sucked......I mean, I"m passed sad, onto mad & almost to OMFG how funny I did so bad. People at work approched me with this statement "hey, congrats in Chicago. At least you finished." now none of them run but that's what they were told from my DH (he said, "she didn't do as good as she wanted, but at least she finished").

    So My self esteem is back to where it was when I left the race, too low to find. But with humor not saddness now. lol :O)

  31. damn you and your sub 2:00:00 HM!

  32. nicely done, by the way. I'm envious!

  33. Thanks for proving me half wrong. I predicted you would start out strong and falter, but I was positive you would recover toward the end.

    No disappointment is necessary. The Running Gods were not on your side for this race, but conditions could be perfect next time around. This my friend is what running is all about.

  34. "I’m actually glad that he beat me..."

    Er... Reeeeallly?

    But wow, given the conditions a PR by 3 minutes seems like really something to be proud of.

  35. I've had the experience of achieving a pr but not meeting my actual goal. It definitely sucks.

    But as others have said, a 3 minute improvement is quite remarkable, especially when you were battling pain. Way to go!


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