Today was not my best day. I was terribly slow, especially at the end. I turned in some miles that were close to and slower than my marathon pace. Oh well, we can't always PR (although this was my first 20k so technically it was a PR); my pace was 26 seconds slower per mile than the North Trail Half Marathon two weeks ago. A lot of other bloggers have done a good job analyzing their good and bad races, so I'll make an attempt to understand what went wrong today:
1. Too much racing--I raced three times in May, every other weekend since May 1st. This was probably too much racing, plus it affected my ability to do quality training. I was always in either taper or recovery mode. Even before today's race I had decided to race less and focus on good workouts, long distances and quality races.
2. Too tired--I didn't sleep well this week and especially last night (I probably got about three hours of sleep last night). This, combined with too much racing, made me generally rundown and sluggish.
3. Not a good taper--I didn't taper very well this week, and then to top it off I did yardwork on Saturday. My legs were very sore yesterday and still sore this morning.
4. Harder race--this race had a fair number of hills and it was hotter and sunnier than my last race.
I'm not really discouraged; I've had a lot of great races so it was inevitable that I would have a bad one. I think I know what to do to minimize the possibility of future bad races, so all I can do is learn from my mistakes.
Here are my splits for anyone that's interested: