Sunday, July 20, 2008

Valerie and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Race

If you think Xander is up to no good in this picture, you're right!
This looks like a cute picture right? Xander is hugging Mia right after he clobbered her.

The title of this blog comes from a children's book by Judith Viorst. The title of her book is "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". It's about a boy who has just had a bad day where things just don't go his way.

Well, that is how I felt about my first big race. Things just didn't go my way. I couldn't find a race during the time period that I wanted and one that wasn't held on a Sunday. I hesitated about signing up for this particular race because #1 I didn't want to do my first race by myself #2 It was a trail run and my training had not been geared towards that #3 I wanted to be able to finish the race and I didn't know how hard it was going to be compared to a regular half marathon. I waited to the last possible moment to sign up when I was feeling burnt out and needed some extra motivation.

All my biggest fears came to life, the 2,000 feet change in elevation killed me. During training, I tried to run on the gravel vs. the paved part of the trail I run on, but that did not prepare me for this race. It was basically trying to run on something you would normally call a hike. There were several parts in the race, where even the trained trail runner had to walk up.

Normally, when I run, around the 6th mile I get my second breath and actually feel better than when I started. During this race, I had no such feeling. My breaks were walking up the steep hills which left me wiped out that when the trail leveled out it made running even more exhausting.

I told Ben to come 2 hours after the race started. I thought I would be finished shortly after that. That was not the case. I barely made the 3 hour time limit! Ben was almost about to leave to take CJ to a birthday party when he saw me coming. Thank goodness! I would have been so sad to not have anyone there for me on my first race.


Will I do another trail run? Absolutely not! Will I hike on a trail? Absolutely. Will I try a another half marathon? Probably. There was a lot of good that came out of all of this. I lost 10 lbs, I feel better about myself and have welcomed back my massive muscular calves (see picture for illustration). I bet you didn't know that in highschool, my basketball team voted me "Best Legs"!

In Judith Viorst's book, after something bad happens to Alexander, he always replies, "I think I'll move to Australia." At the end of the book his mom tells him, "Everybody has bad days, even in Australia." So I guess everybody has a bad race, even in Australia.


Dave, Liz, and Jonah said...

well, I am glad you got through it ok though. At least you are not hurt... That is the good part... Good for you loosing 10 pounds. I have lost two pounds. But, it is nothing like 10.. Soon thoug!

hanndallfam said...

Good for you! You are tough! I can't imagine running a race like that. I'm glad Ben was still there when you made it depressing to not have had a cherring section! Also, thanks so much for the birthday card. You are so on top of it! Love you guys!

TheOrderofthePorters said...

Wow!! I wish you could have come with us to the Bryce Canyon one. We had a 2,000 elevation difference, but it's much easier when you are going down hill on a paved road. I do not envy that run!!! You are amazing for finishing it! Just look on the bright side...when you run a regular half marathon you'll easily improve your time and that will feel really good.
Great job!!!

Zaehringers said...

To start off, you really do have great calves!

There is such a feeling of accomplishment when you finish a race like that. Who cares about the time. The fact is, you did it!