Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (Route 66 Recap)

Center of the Universe
The Route 66 Half Marathon is in the bag.

Did I run the time I wanted?  No, not even close.

Was it a great race experience?  Absolutely!





The Good

First and foremost, my youngest son and I had a wonderful visit with my sister. One of our highlights was visiting a glass factory to make our own hand blown Christmas ornaments.  We also visited the zoo and the Center of the Universe, among other things.  It was a whirlwind long weekend.


This race is very well done and the expo does not disappoint.  There were many vendors but the venue is large enough that it doesn't get too crowded. I picked up a really cool item that I'll be giving away in December.  Be sure to check back on the 1st.

Tulsa truly supports their race and the spectating is greater than any I've seen.  I lost count of the trios, bands, combos, drummers, soloists, or other musical entertainers.  Some people were just blasting music through their stereo speakers.  There were so many folks outside...in the yard around fires, lounging on sofas pulled out to the curb, at the street handing out Jello shots, ringing cowbells, holding signs, or just shouting words of encouragement. I even saw one lady showing off her lassoing skills. {Was she a cowgirl from days gone by?}  Thinking back, I did not have to weave around one single parked car either. Thank you city officials!

Glass Making
The Bad

I have mitral valve prolapse.  I've known about it almost 20 years now. Typically it's a none issue and not even worth a mention.  I've learned over the years how to manage it.  It very rarely bothers me, but occasionally it shows itself...like it did about mile 4.  My heart rate was bouncing all over.  So, I slowed considerably and even walk a bit to get it under control.  At this point, I knew there would be no sub 2:00 and shifted focus.  Maybe I could still make it in under 2:05.  Just a little hiccup in the race, right?




The Ugly

I was soon feeling better and started increasing my speed. {Good, OK-I'm feeling strong.}  At some point in mile 6, I realized both of my feet were on fire.  Holy moly, the balls of my feet are blistering. Really?  The Feetures socks I've trained in, with no problems whatsoever, are failing me.  Really? Me--who is not a half newbie (this was #26) and obsessively tests every piece of clothing, especially socks.  Really?  I briefly considered taking them off, but felt it was too little too late.  Without socks, my feet would just blister in other places anyway.   I also knew stopping for Band-Aids would be useless.  So, out came the mantras and the "It's a Dig Deep Day" attitude.  I ran with the hand I was dealt.  For 6 plus miles I ran on blistered feet. Yep, one is quarter sized, the other more like a half dollar.  I'll spare you the pictures.  And yet, somehow, some of the last miles were the fastest of the day.

I'm not making excuses.  Not at all.  It is what it is.  It was what it was.  And I loved every stinking painful minute of this race.  It flew by quicker than any other I've run.  One thing I've learned is that you run with whatever circumstances you get on that particular day.  It's part of why I love it so much.  It's never the same.  If they were all easy what would be the point?  I have no doubt I would lose interest. 

It's what you do with the bad and how you handle the ugly that makes a good race experience.  I ended with a hard-earned, scratching-and-clawing-for-every-step 2:08 plus change.  You move forward.  You finish. You learn. You do it again.

Here I come Run for the Redfish...only I'll be wearing different socks!

Has anyone else had an epic sock failure?  Does anybody run with MVP?  I'd love to hear your comments.
 

17 comments:

  1. I still think you had a good finish time even though it wasn't what you wanted. Yes, I had the blisters but I think I've narrowed done the problem to my insoles not my shoes or socks. At least you had a fun weekend.

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    1. Thanks very much! We always have fun together.

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  2. Awww you did great despite the 'uglies'! Crazy that your tried and true socks failed you. At NYCM I had an epic shoe fail resulting in a blood blister that's still healing. Way to make the best of it and push through!

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    1. Thanks. You never know what will happen. It's part of the "fun".

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  3. It's so weird when unexpected things happen during a race..or a run...you think you've been there, done it all and stuff happens. Bottom line, you pulled it out and finished strong. That's what experience does. Good job!

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    1. Thank you. Those out of the blue things are just part of it. You learn to deal with whatever.

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  4. I've never had an epic sock failure on race day and am so surprised that a sock that you have used during training would cause such difficulty on race day. Congrats on finishing and with a good time too with what you had going on with your feet. Every race day presents new challenges.

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    1. I was surprised too. The only thing I can come up with is that is was cool and damp with 100% humidity. I had been training in much drier air.

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  5. sock failure has not happened yet! I usually have some other problem way before that LOL. Congrats on finishing a tough race :)

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    1. Thanks. Seems like it's always something. Some somethings are much worse than others. LOL

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  6. Congrats on finishing your 26th--awesome!!! Good for you for gutting it out and putting in a good race despite the blisters. I just ran a bad 5k and was prett bummed, but this post and your perspective makes me feel better about it. Thanks!

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    1. Oh, thanks! You should feel good about your 5k. Every race teaches us something. Process it and do it again!

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  7. Congrats on finishing even with blistered feet! That's a lot of races - congrats on finishing #26!

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    1. Thank you! I'm either obsessed or dedicated. The jury is still out.

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  8. That stinks you started not feeling good, but you still managed a really great finish! I have had sock issues like that on a run, I have certain sock and shoes combos that just don't work...luckily i have never made a mismatch on race day though, that is really frustrating. Love your attitude about the whole thing, you know a great run is coming, they can't all be perfect.

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    1. My next half is Saturday. I'm going with no expectations and different socks.

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  9. I wish I could make my own ornaments. The closest I ever came were Sunday school clay ornaments.

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