Your worst race. Not necessarily your worst race photo, but a photo or representation of your worst race to date. It can be a photo of you before, during or after the race, or if you don’t have one, something that represents the race (maybe your bib, shirt, medal). And an explanation of why it was your worst race.
Eight words: The 2011 Magellan Development Chicago Spring Half Marathon. (Try saying that five times fast.)
|Phyllis the Penguin wearing my race medal.|
It was hard to get Phyllis to stay upright long enough to model this picture.
She kept toppling forward from the weight of the medal.
It's not a coincidence that my medal from that race is being modeled by a giant penguin. The weather conditions on May 15, 2011, were suited more towards penguins. The winds were brutal, coming at us at 30-40 MPH. Unfortunately, the course was right on the lakefront so there was nothing to blunt the force of those winds. The temperatures were the 30s and it was raining/sleeting sideways. It stung my eyes so much that I was literally trying to run hunched over 90 degrees. It was hard just to walk, let alone run.
|Hunching over 90 degrees while on a bike = aerodynamic.|
Hunching over 90 degrees while running = FAIL.
At the time I didn't know much about fueling during races. I'd never really heard of GU or Shotbloks or any of that stuff. I ran the entire half marathon just on water and a cup or two of Gatorade. Needless to say, I wasn't feeling very good during the latter half of the race.
Add to these brutal conditions that my left knee had been bothering me for several weeks leading up to the race. I had gone in to get an injury screening a few days in advance to assess whether or not I was healthy enough even to run. I did get clearance, but was told to be cautious and to stop or slow down if it hurt. However, as it turned out, I was so cold and wet during the race that my legs were too numb to feel any pain. In retrospect, this was probably not a good thing because afterwards I was sidelined for almost four months rehabbing my knee.
They say that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? In short, the aftermath of this race in combination with my knee injury taught me a heck of a lot about my body's limitations. It taught me the importance of proper fueling, stretching, and working on ironing out those muscle imbalances. Most importantly, it taught me that I am not a machine and shouldn't train like one.
Although, this is pretty cool:
Um yes! That race takes the cake as the worst one! I ran it last year and never experienced anything like it. The wind the rain the cold left me with some hypothermia. Love the penguin modeling the medal- so fitting! :)ReplyDelete
Wasn't it horrible last year? I heard a ton of folks dropped from the half marathon to the 10K that day. I was happy to hear that the weather conditions were so much better this time around - congratulations again for your great race this year!!! REDEMPTION!!! =DDelete
I am glad you liked Phyllis's modeling skills, too - thank you! =D
A friend of mine who is a seasoned runner and has run many, many races said that race was run in the worst conditions he'd ever seen. The penguin is totally appropriate for modeling that medal!ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing - it really does makes me feel better that so many people consistently agree on this! I am glad you liked Phyllis's modeling skills, too - thank you! =DDelete
PHYLLIS!!!!!! Whoever gave you Phyllis must be a wonderful person!ReplyDelete
The person who brought Phyllis into my life is indeed an AMAZING person! My life hasn't been the same ever since! =DDelete
Those wind speeds plus precipitation sound brutal! I'm really impressed that actually ran and didn't DNS instead. The nice thing about crappy races like that is that it's a badge of honor (minus the injury - that's no good) that you showed up and participated. That's how I feel about a rainy half that I walked with my mom in December. We like to talk about how badass we are now that we did that.*ReplyDelete
Thank you! It was just like what you'd said before about how after you've trained so long for a race, you are committed to running that race pretty much no matter what. And definitely - it is a huge badge of honor to finish those crappy-weather races, not to mention the great stories you can live to tell about ever after!!!!!Delete
You have to read Britt's race report from this one! She ended up in the medical tent right after. Ugh. What an awful awful race! BUT! You can totally learn from these races, like you did! It seems that quite a few of us learned things about our knees from our "awful" races!ReplyDelete
I read Britt's race report, and YIKES! But how amazing that she still did so amazingly well and placed in that race despite what happened!Delete
Agreed - these races are the best learning mechanism, ever, and millions of knees out there are all "thanking" all of us for having gone through them!!! (Those pesky IT bands of ours, argh...!)
Nice picture of Phyllis :-)))))ReplyDelete
Thank you! Phyllis is enjoying her modeling breakthrough very much. ;)Delete