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10k Race Recap, and “Feedback, Not Failure” September 18, 2010

What a bizarro week it’s been. I think I can safely say that the motto of the week is “Feedback, not failure.” (a WW favorite) I think it pretty much applied to everything I did and experienced. I got a lot of feedback. But I don’t feel like I failed.

First, the food. See details here. At the beginning of the week I was in a bit of a cocky state, crowing “I can eat cookies! I can eat pizza!” because at first, my weight just went up a teensy bit. Then like 3 days later, it went up a LOT. Okay. So I can’t eat “everything.” Especially not all in one week. It has now settled back into my regular range, so that’s good, but it was, I suppose, a bit of an eye opener. I did learn a few things from my week of Indulgence though:

  1. A lot of people avoid sugar because they feel like it will be like a Gateway drug into more and more and more sugar. This was not my experience at all. I ate cookies for a couple of days, and my response was, I WANT VEGETABLES. Same thing with the fried chicken and pizza. They made me crave greens and vegetables and “clean” food like nobody’s business. So that was kind of illuminating, and also a relief. I feel like I don’t need to see another chocolate chip cookie for a long time. Or pizza, for that matter.
  2. It took like 72 hours for the food to “settle” onto my body.
  3. But it also went away pretty quickly. Most of it. Not all of it.
  4. It’s just really, really hard to stay in a good range when one eats out a lot. Which I really did this week. So. Lesson learned.
  5. I’m not about beating myself up or feeling “guilty” or like I blew it. I don’t think I blew it. I think I learned stuff. Yay for that.

Now, to my 10k race this morning. Haha ha ha! Let me just say that until I was actually on the course, I never really believed I was going to run a 10k today. If I had, maybe I would’ve, like, TRAINED for it? Ha ha again.

Back up. I found out that this race was happening in a park very close to my house. Which got me all excited. It’s a beautiful park in the redwoods. I vaguely remembered seeing people doing this very race (or maybe it was a different one) a few years back, and what I remembered was a few people running, and a bunch of Sierra Club-ish septegenarians with hiking boots and walking sticks. And their website says “hikers welcome,” meaning you don’t have to run it. So this WHOLE TIME I was thinking, I’m gonna hike this baby. Easy peasy.

But several elements transpired to transform this thing from an easy 6.5 mile hike into a crazy, grueling, up-and-down hills 10k RUN. First, I got to the registration place. I did not see a single 75 year old with a walking stick. Not a one. Instead what I saw was shirtless people with 2% body fat. I immediately felt faint, and like, UH OH. Then I ran into my friends: one of my Team Penguin buddies (surprise! yay! he was doing the 20k, ooh!) and my friend Sarah from solo performance workshop, and a WW buddy.

They herded us into different groups: 10k, 20K, 30K, 40K and FIFTY KILOMETERS. Holy mackerel. The woman with the megaphone referred to the 10k as a “lollipop run” to which Sarah took offense (“What are we, babies?”) but then I pointed out I think that was the SHAPE of our course, not our level of difficulty. I nervously noted that MOST of the herd was in the 2ok and up crowd, and the 10k bunch was relatively small (50? 70?).

They counted down (about 20 minutes late) and then were off. The trail was really narrow so it was pretty much single file. People were passing me like crazy, including a woman with one leg and one spring. That was impressive. After a while the course thinned out incredibly and I was in the company of this guy who looked Not At All Like A Runner, wearing snowboard pants and a wool cap. And carrying a loose water bottle in his hand. This other guy, who was Most Definitely A Runner, kept running up ahead at great speed, then coming back to check on the snowboard dude. I later learned they were brothers. I am not sure if Snowboarder was grateful or wanted to kill his marathoner brother.

Anyway, I ran the first half-mile or so then it started going uphill. Then REALLY uphill. Like a ladder. And my ankle, in spite of its sturdy brace, began experiencing major stabbing pains. It just DOES NOT like inclines. Or declines. Or anything other than pure flat terrain. My missing toenail, on the other hand, did not bother me at all.

The trail was really beautiful. It looked mostly like this.

Very pretty. People kept passing me. Eventually Snowboard Guy, who was behind me for a mile or two, passed me. These two women, who were behind me, passed me. Finally I was all alone. It occurred to me that chances were VERY HIGH that I was the Very Last Person in the 10k pack. And I had to do some serious talking to myself. I felt sorry for myself. I felt like a loser. I felt stupid for not training more, and for not really checking out what this race was truly like.

Then I remembered this guy from this video I saw last night.

And I started crying. I was like, Guy, if you can do what you did, I can get through this 10k. And I also thought, even though I am probably the END of this pack of athletes, I am HERE. I am doing this. And how many people are not doing any 10K at all, OR a 5k or even a 1k. And then I felt a little better.

Running is such a psychological experience!

I had a few periods of what I call “gazelle running” – when I was truly running fast, LEAPING over logs and just flying. For me. But then other times I was trudging up steep inclines. And my ankle was crying. And then a few times I got all dizzy and nauseated and my hands went numb and I knew I was getting dehydrated. It turns out that they do not have aid stations every mile or so, like regular big runs, but instead EVERY TEN KILOMETERS. In other words, when my race was over. And I was not carrying any water. Duh. When will I learn? (Today, Jesus, today!!!!!!!!!)

I did have a KIND bar which I think helped me with hypoglycemia. So I got through it. I eventually finished. I felt like both crying and throwing up when I finished, but I did neither. I had to rush off to pick up my daughter from crew practice, because Mr. McBody (um, Dr. McBody) was on call and could not do it. So that also helped me hustle my little tushie through the woods in a timely manner. For ME, I ran my ass off, and it was still really really hard.

My final time was 1 hour and 50 minutes. This was not stellar. I was, I think the last person in. The first finishers finished a full hour before me. But you know? I feel good about it. And sort of dumb. I wish I’d realized I was going to RUN this thing. If I had, well, I either would have dropped out ahead of time, or I would have prepared better.

Live and learn, right? For now I am feeling pretty proud that I did this thing.

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24 Responses to “10k Race Recap, and “Feedback, Not Failure””

  1. talesofmy30s Says:

    Awesome that you finished, really :)

  2. Lydia Says:

    Hi Susan! It was really tough and I am so proud of both of us!

  3. Kathy (@KKirkscey) Says:

    Congrats on your finish! What doen’t kill us makes us stronger, right? Your description of the race was priceless!

  4. And I am proud of you too. Now…next time, bring some damn water! ;-)

  5. Bari Says:

    What a cool race! I’m so impressed you stuck with it while your ankle was screaming at you. I have never tried a trail race before. It looks fun, but I have this horrible fear of falling, or breaking something :) And the fact that they didn’t have water on the course is just wrong. But now you know, and next year you will be prepared and you will blow your time out of the water!

    • Yeah, one of the things I had to really focus on, especially on the steep downhills, was watching my feet at all times. Because that’s how I messed up my ankle in the first place (same trail!). So I was very wary.

  6. First, major congrats on the race!! That’s so awesome!

    Second, I think what you said about the sugar not leading to more sugar cravings is so interesting/a good sign! I think I’ve been the same way recently and you’re right…it’s nice to know your body wants fresh food and not more junk!

  7. Sana Says:

    You finished and that is EPIC! I think I am going to attempt my own 10K tomm. People may be power walking past me but I will be inspired by you and try and finish :)

  8. Susan, I could NOT be more proud of YOU!!!! You have given me a BOOST of inspiration as I train for my first half!! I LOVE YOU, GIRL!!!

  9. Fantastic that you finished and so inspiring. Once I’ve had my baby (number five due March!) entering some kind of ‘race’ will be something to work towards to try and shift the weight. I always seem to pack it on and I had just managed to lose most of my weight – c’est la vie! I know what you mean about cookies/biscuits, I guess the occasional one is ok but they are just not nutritious and our bodies need good nutrition big time, it’s when we don’t give it the nutrition it needs that we get into problems.

  10. Fit Bee Says:

    i say great job for noting lessons learned and growing from this experiences and you get a bravo for finishing the race against all odds. thanks for reminding me that they are not failures but rather feedback. on the path to getting healthy i sometimes get a bit discouraged and forget this

  11. Shannon Says:

    Great job Susan! That track does not sound like an easy track at all and you did it! You are right on the money when you said at least you were there running a 10k. So many people really have no clue what a 10k is or even ever try to accomplish something so amazing. BE PROUD!!! You did a wonderful thing for yourself and that is fabulous!!!!
    XO

  12. MizFit Says:

    late to the soiree but still here.

    you, susan, are freakin amazing.

    see you in VEGAS!

  13. Pubsgal Says:

    Oh, I loved reading your race report!!! It looked beautiful, and wow, that’s a rough course! I’ve “only” run a 10K on a flat course, and that with a healthy ankle and all toenails intact. :-) Glad you brought some food along, although that’s a bummer about there not being more water stations. They should’ve at least put one at the halfway point.

    Congrats!!!

  14. Dee Dieter Says:

    Wow, I want to be like you…sugar making you crave vegetables. Fantastic! Thanks for posting My 120 pound journey. What an inspirational video. I really enjoyed it.

  15. Congratulations!!! You are an inspiration!!!

  16. You did GREAT, Foodie! I’m real proud of you, no matter those little snafus. hehe. And so happy to you have you as our Featured Blogger this week! :)

  17. Dawn Says:

    Not even sure how I made it here today but I know I was meant to. Loved reading about your 10K and also watching the video. Way to go!!!

  18. Patrick Says:

    A pleasure to read of you as a FBG Featured Blogger this week. You finished here so your time was stellar and pride is definitely yours to be had.

  19. [...] Foodie McBody is the awesome weight watchers leader who is living in maintenance through taking care of her food and body. My favorite posts from her this month included her vacation recap and a 10 k race recap. [...]

  20. Quix Says:

    You are awesome for finishing, that sounds like a TOUGH course!


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