• How to Obtain a Personal Worst

    Date: 2011.04.11 | Category: races, running | Tags: ,

    Hello!  I can hardly believe how long it’s been since I’ve updated.  I have been keeping myself busy by:

    1. Lurking on other people’s blogs
    2. Watching HGTV
    3. Staring at my cuticles and split ends

    As you can see, hardly enough time to blog!  Well, I am still very, very busy doing those above things, but I have too much advice to share to just let myself sit idly — I mean, busily. 

    You see, I am now the proud owner of a new personal worst in the half marathon.  So many people have been asking me how to get their very own personal worst that I figured the best thing would be to write a blog post about it.  That way I don’t have to repeat myself too many times.

    Now, I don’t think you can pick and choose circumstances leading up to a personal worst.  It really is a culmination of factors that leads to a breakthrough of this kind.  However, if I don’t write out the factors in a numbered list,

    1. People will stop reading and go read other blogs with numbered lists. 
    2. In fact, it’s a miracle if anyone has read anything before this numbered list. 

    Without further ado, here is how you too can achieve a personal worst.

    1. Pray to the weather gods for weather about 20 degrees warmer than what you’ve trained in, with extra humidity.
    2. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to train in warmer, outdoor weather in an attempt to acclimate to increased temperatures.  Stay inside and train in your comfortable basement on your treadmill.
    3. Blow off training runs in the month leading up to the race.  You can do this.  It’s your seventh half marathon after all.  13.1 miles is NBD.
    4. Screw around with your diet during your training period.  Go on Paleo diet.  Go off it.  Go on it a week before the race.  Go back off it the day before your race, in an attempt to carbo-load.  Your GI system will be fine.  If you wake up at 4 in the morning on race day and your stomach loudly revolts to this idea, don’t worry about it.

    If you are lucky, these steps will lead to the following results:

    1. A very hot, humid day to have an endurance event
    2. Being graced with the presence of several thousand other people pushing fluids and needing to use ALL port-o-potties on the race due to their extra hydration and/or sympathy pains
    3. Needing to stop at almost every rest stop on the race yourself and wait in a long line for your spot in heaven
    4. Being unable to keep a good pace due to your stomach issues, and due to the periods of waiting in line, and the glorious heat
    5. If you are really lucky, you will get something called “cheek on cheek action
    6. The crowning achievement of a personal worst 13 minutes slower than your last personal worst.

    Thank me now or thank me later.

    So, that concludes my race recap of the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon 2011.  I am not sure I will ever run this event again, and instead, am considering only participating in endurance events in Canada.  I am also not sure I will ever speak again without laying the sarcasm very heavily. 

    The good news here is that I have another opportunity for a personal worst at the Lincoln Half Marathon in a few weeks.  A very optimistic person reminded me that my St. Louis half experience could serve as a good training run for that half.  I really don’t know if I have it in me to do another personal worst but I will try my best.  ;) 

    But seriously - I think I know what I need to do.  Nothing in the above lists.