RIP, my endurance

All of this strength training and boot camp-ing has been great for my strength and foot speed. Sub-90-second quarters ain’t no thing, and on Monday I did 30 (!) consecutive push-ups.

However, it has brutally murdered my endurance.

Okay, I know. I’m sure it’s the lack of mileage that’s the real culprit. But that’s not what I was thinking at mile four of yesterday’s Peachtree Road Race 10K when I was whining dramatically to myself about how this race was soooooo looooooong and if I’m in such good shape why am I toooooootally dying right now?

Damn that SAID principle.

I mean, I kind of expected to run a shitty time yesterday. But I didn’t expect it to hurt so much.

The morning started off uneventfully. Balance Bar, Gatorade, comically packed MARTA train car. Had a solid 45 minutes to kill before the 7:30 AM start, so I did a 15-minute warm-up and hit the plastic potties (for which there were shockingly no lines!) about six times.

In my start corral, I ended up chatting with a couple of guys and totally neglected to start my Garmin before we took off. Whoops. So I guess I’m running this one by feel, I thought.

The crowds weren’t too bad and there was plenty of excellent people watching, so I cruised along at what I imagined to be mid-7 pace.

Somewhere in the first couple of miles, a familiar face strode up! I don’t know how Ms. Blondie managed to find me, being that we have never actually met, but we’ve known each other online for a few years so it was great to finally connect. We chatted for a bit and she informed me that we were running around 7:10 pace.

At which point I regretfully stated that if that were indeed the case, I needed to slow the hell down. I wished her good luck and pulled back a bit.

A few minutes later, on the long stretch of downhill approaching the infamous Cardiac Hill, I pulled a potentially-creepy-internet-stalker move and said hello to a girl in a blue skirt, betting that it was Mackenzie from the comments on Tuesday’s post. Thankfully, it was, and we ran together until we hit the uphill, at which point she smoked me.

But I kind of knew that was going to happen, because I was three-something miles in to this race and I was totally out of gas.

I chugged and huffed and puffed and pushed, but I was just done. I could blame it on the hills or the humidity, but I know it was just lack of training that lead to the grotesque show of pain and misery that I put on for the latter half of that race.

The clock said 49-something when I crossed the finish line. (Official time: 48:52.) I collected my ugly finisher’s shirt and bemoaned the apparent lack of taste on the part of Atlanta’s running community. (The t-shirt design was selected by popular vote.)

Then, after making a circuit of the finish area to find my husband and congratulate various friends (including my former co-worker from Raleigh, Bobby Mack, who finished first American), I made a beeline for the designated beer-drinking location.

Where I proceeded to stand around for two hours in wet clothes. And then walk a mile and a half home in wet clothes.

My inner thighs look like they’ve been attacked by a meat grinder. You’re welcome for the sexy image. But there’s no other way to describe it. Wet Tempo shorts are not good party clothes.

The dumbest thing about this is that I had a change of clothes in my backpack. I was simply too lazy (or perhaps too preoccupied by the beer) to walk a hundred feet to the bathroom to change. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

So, the important takeaways from my first Peachtree:

1) I have no endurance right now. I’m good for 2-3 miles of hard running and then…splat.

2) Drinking while sweaty is a dangerous activity.

Chafing aside, I’m pretty okay with how things went. Going in to this race, I knew I wasn’t going to set any records. I’d hoped to finish closer to 45 minutes, but sub-50 is fine given my lack of training.

And it’s kind of nice to know where I stand. Building my endurance back up is going to be a major project this fall. But for now, I’m happy to work on quarter-mile repeats and push-ups.

20 responses to “RIP, my endurance

  1. Ok, first of all, ouch to all of this: the grotesque show of pain and misery, the inner thighs, the awful feeling that someone murdered your endurance and the wtf-y race shirt. What I love about this post is the fact that you randomly saw and chatted with two internet friends/real-life strangers in the middle of a gigantic race that must have thousands of runners. Amazing :)

    Now I kind of want to run a bunch of miles and then have beer. But not in tempo shorts.

    • It was kind of cool! I was keeping an eye out but didn’t think I’d actually find anyone that I was looking for. Pure luck!

  2. I’ve decided 6 mile road races in July are overrated. But at least my shirt was AWESOME.

  3. Seriously–that shirt? The design was bad enough, but the color?! It looks like it had already been stained with sweat or something, not attractive. And I must have been blind, because I could not find the beer, just ridiculous amounts of food. I also gave up quickly and walked home where I could have beer+a/c.

    Anyways, good to meet you while running! I felt like I was going to die the second half of the race, and quickly remembered why I hate 10k’s. If you ever want to run sometime let me know–we must be midtown neighbors haha :)

    • Yes, the color is horrible. It looks so dingy.

      The beer drinking spot was unofficial – just some people from my track group! And yes, I’m right by midtown – we should definitely meet up for a run sometime!

  4. “OK, let’s see…what’s a good date for our 10k race in Atlanta? Oh hey, July looks open!” THAT’S BECAUSE IT IS INHUMANE. I’m impressed you ran without dying, let alone such a fast time. I don’t think the shirt’s the worst I’ve ever seen…I don’t understand why local AIGA chapters don’t do design competitions or pro bono work to design better race shirts, though.

  5. I’m jealous of those push-ups. I’ve been doing New Rules and still can’t do more than a few proper push-ups.

    I’m sure you’ll get your endurance back.

    • I’m sure they weren’t picture-perfect push-ups, but whatever. I always end up dropping to my knees around 15-20, I just made myself keep ’em off the ground that time. They were good enough that my boot camp instructor didn’t call me out. :)

  6. I ran just shy of 5 yesterday & I almost died. This heat does not help with the lack of endurance.

  7. Sounds like my miserable Queens 10k. I however will blame the heat. And the fact that I went out way too hard for the heat and then hated life 1.5 miles in.

  8. Heat rash is the worst. I may be sporting some, as well, from my recent trip to the beach.

    Nice job on the race. Even though, you’re totally right- the race shirt is… uh… interesting.

  9. OK, I’m sorry but y’all have obviously not been in the ATL long enough. That shirt is _so_ not-bad-at-all considering many of the past years’ offerings. Unless you are really into YET ANOTHER freaking giant American flag with red, white and blue all over the place. And, Shelby, wtf? 48 and change is nothing to sniff at! Be proud, sister.

    • Okay, so now I understand that ugly tees are apparently a THING with this race.

      But still. They could have used a shirt that wasn’t the color of stale iced tea to print it on.

  10. I do the whole hanging around in sweaty running clothes thing too. If you don’t change right away it’s easy to accept and just roll with it. As for the no endurance–you’ve been taking it easy and enjoying it. Once you get back into more scheduled training it’ll come right back. For now, like you say, it’s time to enjoy the shorter runs and less demanding running schedule.

  11. I’m drinking while sweaty this weekend after the BoilerMaker 15k which ends in a brewery. I will note it is a dangerous activity. And wow, that shirt is so ugly.

  12. I ran a half-marathon on Wednesday (PR!) and also got attacked by a meat grinder on my left thigh. Gotta love summer running!

  13. It’s sad really, but this year’s Peachtree shirt is one of better looking ones I’ve seen! This was my 5th (6th?) Peachtree and this is the ONLY shirt I would ever consider wearing in public again. And by “wear in public again” I actually mean “throw into the back of my closet where it’ll never see the light of day again”…the rest have gone promptly into my DONATE bag.

  14. Angila Truner

    Heat rash occurs most often in hot, humid conditions. It’s most common in infants. Active people, newborns in incubators, and bedridden patients with fever also are more likely to get heat rash.,;`;

    Catch ya later