Week two of the 2015 AdiRUNdack Trail Series is in the book. The weather was noticeably cooler than it has been, and it was windy, but the trees did a good job of sheltering us from the wind. I had thought, earlier in the day, that the trail would be muddy mess, since heavy showers were making their way through the area. As it was, the ground was still firm and fast through most of the course. Alex Benway once again won the men's race, running 16:09 (almost a full minute faster than last week), and Tyra Wynn once again won the women's race, running 20:51 (almost a full 30 seconds faster than last week).
As for me, I was planning on putting down 10:00s, in preparation for 9:00s the following week. It didn't happen. The first mile started out well enough, though a bit faster than I was aiming for. I ended up running it in 9:37, but I was nursing my right knee by the end of it. The second and third miles went by in 11:59 and 11:38, definitely not what was I aiming for. I managed a bit of a kick at the end, but there wasn't much left in the tank.
So, what went wrong?
The most obvious answer is that I'm not in the same shape I was in last year. I'm 10 lbs heavier than I was last year, and it's having an effect on my body and my mind. I also haven't been able to get in the training that I would like to be doing. I haven't had a basic long run (60-90 minutes) in almost 2 months. Last year I was laying down consistent 2 hour long runs in the weeks leading up to the 5K races, because I was building for a 10-miler in early May. Clearly, I need to get my weight back to where it needs to be, ideally about 40lbs lighter overall, and I need to be sticking to my training schedule, basic as it is (1 speed workout, 1 tempo run, 1 long run).
Aside from that, I woke up feeling completely off this morning, due to what seems to be an allergy attack. I woke up with my face puffy, and weighed in an extra 2 lbs heavier than I should have been. My breathing felt constricted during the race (and also during my last two walks, when walking uphill), and my knee felt like it was swollen. I'm not sure what's causing the problem, so it's hard to say how to fix that one. I did try an allergy medicine, which may have helped a little.
I'm also an idiot. I've been weaning myself off of caffeine, because I'm sick of being dependent upon coffee to function day-to-day. The side-effect of that is, of course, I'm stuck with lower energy levels for a while. Last year, 30 minutes before the first race, which was my fastest of the series, I took a packet of caffeinated Jelly Belly Sport Beans. This year, I ate a PBR (peanut butter and raisin) 3 hours before the race, and drank decaf all day, with little 2 oz cups of regular coffee. I think the fix for this, clearly, is to drink a quad espresso and a bucket of Pixy Stix before the next race. Kidding. I will try a packet of Jelly Bellies next week, to see if that helps, or maybe a few Jelly Babies. (The good Doctor says they're very nourishing.)
On a positive note, I did look around a bit more this time. There's a lovely creek that winds its way through the preserve, and it was flowing nicely today after the rains. I can't say that I've ever paid it much attention, but I think it has mostly been boggy during our races, as opposed to a proper creek. I intend on paying it more attention in the coming weeks.
Well, that's it for now. Be excellent to each other, and yourselves.