My body is working totally differently after beginning to correct the magnesium deficiency. The Vitamin C had to be cut altogether and the Thym-Adren reduced from 8 pills to 3 pills but there were 2 other questions that needed to be resolved. How much calcium is necessary to prevent flipping to the other extreme? Second, B-vitamins (particuarly B-6) are needed for the cells to absorb the magnesium. Do I take B-6 alone, as part of a B-complex or with an amino acid? I had a decent training week coming in however but I was battling a bit of soreness in the groin and hamstring. Since it is not a PR course and I am not in PR shape, I chose to train through and take only 2 days to taper. I would treat this one as a glorifed training session. Unfortunately, the 2 days off did not reduce the hamstring soreness and I began to get a sense that the amino acid option was not the answer. I confirmed that after the race.
I left work early on Friday and took the scenic route up through NW Alabama, a corner of Miss' Sippy and west TN. I stopped for dinner in Corinth, MS and spent the night in Jackson, TN about halfway to St. Louis. On Saturday, it was into Missouri with a stop in Cape Giradeau and I got to the airport to pick up Nick, who flew in from Atlanta, right on time. It was already mid-afternoon when we checked in so there was too little time to do anything except walk to the expo and stop at a Walgreens to pick up some fuel. The cashier asked us if we were racing and jokingly suggested a candy bar for fuel. I asked about some cigarettes instead because we were at the counter. Nick said that he would "disown me as a friend" if I ever did that. On the way home, I went back via the interstate, which took me through Illinois and western KY before picking up I-65 in Nashville. I was on the road until 11 PM but did make it back home in one day.
Fairly scenic route mostly on city streets with only a small residential portion. It was rolling all the way but for the most part, the hills were long and gradual. I'd rate this one as the 3rd toughest I've done behind Charlotte and Atlanta. I would have preferred more scenery along the river and near the Arch but this was still a quality event with good organization and fans along the way. Miles 1 and 2 were about 50% up and 50% down but Mile 3 was brutal. 4 went back down and 5 was fairly level. There was another tough section after Mile 5 then another small break. Mile 6.0-8.5 is referred to as "Holy Hill" so named for the large number of churches on that street. It was advertised as a gradual hill with less than 1% incline. In reality, it was a series of smaller hills that did include a few breaks and a few steeper sections. If you can get through that, you are in pretty good shape the rest of the way. There are a few ups and downs through Mile 12 but Mile 13 is all downhill before a bit of a rise to the finish line.
I knew I was off form but part of me had the irrational hope that the race day magic would carry me. I took off at a good pace and felt surprising comfortable through 2 miles, both of which were near 6:50. The last half of Mile 2 was mostly uphill then we turned up a side street for a much steeper section. From here, you could smell the hops and I wanted to quit right then and there and start drinking. I was surprised to see a respectable 7:10 split here but the damage had been done. I used Mile 4 to recover and turned in a split just under 7:00 but I was already in survival mode and basically punted from there. My hamstring and groin were stabbing at me and I just could not extend my stride. Add to that that my breathing was out of whack too. I was still doing a semi-respectable 7:15-7:30 early in Holy Hill but that turned to the upper 7s by the summit. In Mile 9, I stopped for a full cup of Gatorade and water. It was sunny and 60 degrees but that proved to be a bad call. I just could not get started back up again and melted down badly from this point. This time, I did not fight on and merely slow jogged to the finish. Some people walked up hills but I was not gaining much on them. My finish time is not for you to know and I can only hope for better days ahead.
Nick and I went down to the Arch area and admired it from the outside. It is certainly worth seeing and much more impressive than depicted in pictures. Unfortunately, there was too long of a line to go up and we elected that the Budweiser brewery tour was more important. That was a free 1.5 hour tour with sampling at the end. Very cool and certainly worth seeing. Too bad I felt like total crap and could not properly enjoy it. Finally, we got a mediocre burger for lunch and I dropped him back off at the airport before making the 8 hour drive back. I stopped only once more myself in Paducah, Kentucky and would have to show up for work the next day. State #17 is in the books but it is one that I would like to forget. The next possible ones are an Atlanta 5K in 3 weeks and a Pensacola 10K in 4 weeks.