Carlsbad half marathon will always be a very memorable race. Going into Carlsbad, I was mentally prepared for 13 hard miles. I had accomplished some great workouts while training in Henderson, so I felt confident and ready to be in the mix again. I am usually very conservative in my race plans, but in my pre−race phone chat with Brad, I asked if I could go out with the leaders and see how long I lasted. Brad even said, “You never talk like this, if you’re feeling antsy, then do it. You’re fit.” Well, my body was not on the same page, and it was evident as soon as the gun went off. From the beginning I didn’t have that pop in my legs. I felt heavy, and I quickly lost the front pack− I didn’t even make it to the mile with them. From the start I knew that I should treat this race as a tempo, and practice running when my legs didn’t want to.
Despite the disappointment in my time, Carlsbad served a purpose. I am proud that I finished. There were moments of extreme weakness, when I thought I might as well pull out (especially when I ran past the hotel I was staying at), but I persevered and averaged a decent tempo time for the course. In addition, I reconnected with one of my old college friends, and I met some new incredible women. Their friendships solidified how wonderful the running community is. Through our conversations I gained perspective on how racing is a blast no matter the final time or place, and it is an honor to just be healthy and on the line with the opportunity to race.
Carlsbad also gave me perspective on this marathon cycle. If I was to make a best guess on why I felt the way I did on Sunday, I would say there are a few reasons. First, I went into the race off 6 days of rest. This should be enough with normal training, except I had been running more miles per week than I ever have. Furthermore, in preparation for the Olympic Trials marathon, on the Monday before Carlsbad we did a 25 mile moderate long run. With warm up that came to a 26 mile day. The point of the workout is to deplete the body so it builds better energy stores. Four days after the workout we still couldn’t get enough food, so it’s easy to assume that I was still in a negative energy balance from that workout going into Carlsbad. Overall, looking at the training I have been doing, I’m not surprised Carlsbad went the way it did.
I know I’m going to be ready for LA, but Carlsbad demonstrated that some adjustments are going to need to be made. Brad and I have already talked, gone through past and upcoming training, and made tweaks in the plan for next four weeks to make sure LA is a personal success. I’m looking forward to finishing up the next three weeks of training with my teammates and excited for the opportunity to race through Los Angeles in the upcoming Olympic Trials.