Good is not good where better is expected.
The Sunday run was a disaster for me. Giant disaster.
I really wanted to hammer it and I had trained for a Sub-1:40 and had confirmed I was ready for it.
I didn't have legs. My legs weren't fresh and I simply could not friggin move! When your legs are not fresh (if you don't know about acidosis then you are lucky) you cannot control them or rush them: they develop a life of their own and that life is sluggish. The Americans say your legs give you a "f**k you."
It is different from overtraining: it is just inadequate recovery. Your heart is almost idle because the legs are asleep and not generating enough work or oxygen debt. It is hell ah tell ya. At that point you can stare at them and scream at them or fling furniture around or you can hold your head in your hands and scream. I did neither of those. I tried my best with what I had.
I had not recovered from the fast 16K that I did on Tuesday. WTF was I thinking doing a fast 16K a few days before a race? Or it was the 9K with 11X100m that I did on Thursday?
I ignored my own counsel by doing those fast training runs a few days to race day. But I frankly thought I could pull it off. Anyways, I have learnt my lesson. Amateurs do get cocky and arrogant and overreach themselves.
We started of well. It was still kinda dark (6:10 am-ish) and like the 16K last week, what I promised myself is to ensure that the first Kilometer does not end up being the fastest in the race. So we started with a moderate 4:50. Then some tall guy tried to keep with us from Doonholm roundabout but we shook him off by the time we reached Buru junction. second Km was in 4:43 and the third was in 4:48. Not bad, I noted. But I need to start picking up and so I tried to inject a little speed. 4th Km in 4:49. What? Oookay, calm the ef down, just push a little bit now. Maybe the legs aren't warmed up properly. 5th Km in 4:58. Whaaaaat? 4:58? Jesus Christ! I can do a 3:50 for heavens sake! What am I doing with a 4:58 at the 5th Km?
Now I knew something was totally wrong, plus, we hadn't reached the expected 5Km mark. Was the garmin wrong? Then I realized we had started at the wrong point. Oh God. But that can be addressed later. Move man, move! I was losing GK somewhere behind me.
I tried to push. Nothing. I pushed harder. Nothing. I simply could not move. I checked my heart rate and it was at 165. This is nothing because my heart rate peaks at 178 so my heart was idle. I told myself learning to run with tired legs is part of training. Nothing. I fantasized that maybe after 7Kms I will pick up 'rythm' as Sikuku calls it. Nothing. 7Km reached and I was posting 5mins per Km. I knew I was in a big mess. Giant mess. A mess that you can plant a tree on.
So I decided to be one with the mess and accept the mess and me as partners and we kept posting 5mins plus times per Km. GK caught up with me at 18Kms and we added an extra Km to make it 21Km.
It was so disappointing but I have learnt my lesson and will taper differently next time. I feel fine and will probably attempt a sub 1:40 in a week or two so that I can put it behind me because I am sure I am capable of doing it it.
In the end, I finished in 1:46. Bloody hell. I have kicked myself so hard my right ankle is sore.