Angkor Wat Half Marathon #2
June 1st was a big day for Team Hamada, Clint and I made the decision that not only would we pay all our money to the travel agent for tix to the USA but why not also thrown in a weekend trip to Siem Reap so that I could return to race the Angkor Wat Half and make up for the disastrous start to last year’s race (see post on this!). However, after a 1.35.30 San Francisco Race and a 1.33.57 Angkor Wat last year race, I was quite determined to aim for something bigger and so I not only put on a sub 1.30.00 goal (in hindsight this was more than a tad optimistic but you have to try right?) but after self-coaching for many years, I thought I would engage in a coach (online) to assist me with this race plan.
Coach was interviewed and chosen, and I have not been disappointed by the training (variety and appropriateness and also attention to detail) and the running was great. I have less Km’s this time around to try and keep my RHS hip from returning to its injury form and with core workouts and some leg work each week, I was flying.
Fast forward to Nov 3rd, I had a 10K race time trial in Hanoi just to see how things were going – a 15min race pace training during that week made me see that I was running fast – much faster than last year! Yippee eh? And the 10K ended up at 41.24 which was something to really relish and celebrate. Sunday Nov 4th and a 28K training run saw my optimistic stretch end with fatigue and on the Monday a cold which I hung onto for almost 2 weeks which seriously left me feeling terrible and suddenly after an amazing race and a PB first 5K and then 10K I couldn’t run more than 8K without feeling awful. I crumbled mentally and fast – and that hasn’t been such an issue before.
I felt very uneasy about racing, I was very nervous (always have nerve issues) in a different way, was I good enough? Did I spend too much time on this? Had I spent too much money? Why was I pushing this so hard when I felt so bad? It was hard to shake and with 2 weeks to go, my 20K training run saw my RHS hip flare up resulting in lots of anti-inflammatory gels, ice and painful running. I saw all the work crumble around me and I was scared.
Race day: Angkor Wat is gorgeous, buzzing with energy. I didn’t drink as much as I didn’t want to be stuck in the toilet line, and so I got ready to run, but didn’t have it today. My first 7K was super good with average of 4.11min/Kms’ but after that everything rapidly deteriorated and I had a lot of issues keeping everything together. I walked; jogged; tried different songs; counted and ran to trees; took gels; more water; went to the toilet and just couldn’t find a mental state where I was in any way in control of my run. I felt tired at 6.00min/K pace, a pace that is never on my radar in any training I have done in the last 2 years. I can’t tell you what happened, but I can tell you that I was frightened, angry and just not happy on my race. My sub 1.30.00 rapidly moved out of reach at the 7K mark when my 8th Km was over 5.30/km pace – again so super slow for me. And sadly the worst part is that my hip is very sore and I am not sure if I will be able to race next weekend or whether I should.
So, a few hours of wallowing later (and copious tummy issues – is this the reason I feel so awful?) I am back at the airport waiting for my flight to Hanoi. I was here last year too, but with a different mindset, optimism and excitement – all long ago and completely the opposite to now. I should be happy with my time, it is a good time 1.42.00 but I am not – I lost it on my race and I am not sure what to do next. A sad end to a goal set in June – next up a little time to reflect and see how I feel – no pressure and no new goals – just some down time and rest and focus on re-strengthening up my core/leg to allow me to have options of running in 2013.
Update: Final result – I came 20/840 for the Women’s race and my split time at the 5K had me in the top 10.