I can't tell you how many times over the past week I thought about ditching the race. "I haven't trained." "I'm too busy to pick up the race packet." "I need to sleep more than I need to run." "It will be one more race to prove how slow I am these days and I will be disappointed." But I kept thinking about the need to "fail better." Just finishing would be a much better "fail" than not doing it at all. So I did it.
And slow it was. I took the run 4 minutes/walk 1 minute approach and the breakdown into 5 minute chunks made the whole thing more palatable somehow. The humidity was not helpful and the two loops of Prospect Park were steamy indeed. It was nice to see my co-worker Sam on the course (twice) and very nice to have the water stations stacked to the brim with cups at every turn! I think I only skipped two and did a decent job of adjusting walk breaks to coincide with fluid stations. I took 2 gus and a few sport beans and ditched the fuel belt for this one. Luckily that worked for this race.
The last, straight, flat stretch on Ocean Parkway was fine but just a tad longer than I needed it to be. I just wanted to get to the boardwalk, and when I did I couldn't have been more relieved. I didn't have any extra kick in me for a big finish and somehow even managed to miss a few folks calling my name! The finish was uneventful and after half a bagel and a banana, an extremely efficient bag pick up (there weren't that many left in my corral ;) and a quick shirt change, I headed to the beach.
I was hurting and I remembered regretting that I hadn't taken a dunk in Lake San Antonio after the ride at Wildflower. So I headed down to the ocean for a little stroll. It was cold and served as a perfect post-race ice bath! A relaxing visit to the post-race festival followed. There were cool sand castle building experts, kids games and a fun band (April Smith and the Great Picture Show.)
As I was on my way down Stilwell headed to the subway home, a few Wildflower peeps spotted me and I ended up hanging with them at a beach bar for a bit longer. Friends, fun and food. All good things. I was home before 1pm and will admit to crashing hard. Old man Sam and I napped away the afternoon. And today, I hurt. My quads are killing me and I've been icing and ibuprofening all day.
But 70.3 was done in the month of May - 1.2 in Lake San Antonio, 56 in the hills of Bradley, California and 13.1 on the roads of Brooklyn.