Exeter 10K Trail race- Lessons in humility

This weekend I participated in Acidotic racings 10k Exeter trail race.  Originally it was going to be a few of us but due to injuries and schedules Katie and I are were the only two going.  At some point on Saturday I decided I was going to actually race and see how well I could do among the crazy elite runners that were going to be there.   It was about this point everything went downhill.  I guess I made the mental decision to go fast but I did NOTHING and I mean NOTHING to prepare to go fast.  I did everything wrong and I know better.  I was pretty upset with myself after the race, but I need to chalk it up to making that one mistake..not taking it serious.

At first it’s easy for me to dismiss this as a mistake but having chewed on it I need to own up to what it could represent which is self sabotaging my attempt at the longer distances.  I know better , and I know me too well.  To be honest it’s not like my time was bad or I was slow, it was the execution of the event and my thought process during it that was all wrong. I did the opposite of everything I preach.  I’m disappointed in myself and know I have to make up for it.  I want to know that when I say I am going to do my best , that I truly do exactly that.  I don’t want to look in the mirror and know inside that I could have done better.

Now for the details…if anyone cares feel free to read on.  Some of it may not seem like a big deal but to me some of this is.

1.  Pre-pack- have my shoes and socks picked out, I don’t want to be scrambling in the morning.   (Grade  F)  I didn’t pack shit.

2.  Know what I am going to carry for food/drink and have a plan.  (Grade  D)  I knew I was going to carry tailwind but no idea how much

3. Get plenty of sleep. Get up early.  Eat a good breakfast – get fuel in me.  (Grade C)  got sleep, had my shake but didn’t eat more which I should have.

4. Get to race early -r register  (Grade A)  Thanks to Heather I am now one of those eager beavers

5. Pee even if its close to start…(Grade F)  I held it..sucked…had to stop and put on a show

6. Start up front with faster racers  (Grade FFFF—–) I was almost last person into the woods…bottleneck…walked first half mile because we were so bunched together.  Then had to try and pass on really skinny trails and just took way too much effort.

7. Tech mistakes – wore my hr monitor…forgot to shut off the audible HR zone alert.  My hr spiked to 169 and kept bouncing so every time I passed someone I sounded like an ambulance WWEEEEWOOOWEEWOO.  I kept apologizing saying it was my watch telling me I was about to have a heart attack.

8. Keep up fast pace, pass when you catch people.  (grade C)  I kept pacing people..worrying I wouldn’t be able to keep a pace to pull away.  Every time I glanced at my watch I saw I was running too slow.  I think my problem was I kept listening to my watch telling me my heart rate was too high but IT WAS A RACE, that alarm is for training…GAH  Stupid…

I ended up ripping my hear rate monitor off 3/4 of the way through..I caught up with a local runner I knew and paced her for awhile..the trail got super technical and I had nothing left..mentally I had fried myself.  Jen let me pass with about 1 mile left and I put the hammer down and finished the last mile with a really fast pace, passed 5 more people and then went to the corner to sulk.

I knew I could have done a better job at race management..how much better I would have placed…no idea..wouldn’t have made much difference in the scheme of things.  The top racer finished the 10 miles in 64 min.  That’s insane for the crazy rocky terrain so I have know I am not in the running for any prizes.  It’s the personal failure that I’m trying to wrap my head around.

Next event is the start of a local trail series but I am not going to run the first few too fast.  I want to get a feel for the people and atmosphere.  My next race that I want to walk away from knowing I put it all out there is the Loon Mountain race.  5.7 miles up.  I have this stupid idea that I can run upper walking boss (40%) grade but regardless I just want to put forth 100% of me.  July 7th.


Here is my training peaks summary for the race.

Race Summary

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