Surftown Half Marathon
Although I did not blog about it – the last “race” I ran was the UCONN Health Half Marathon back in June. A combination of dealing with my father’s health (and subsequent passing) as well as this damn Ulcerative Colitis Flare has made me wary of signing up for any races. To be honest I was scared of being out of my comfort zone (i.e. racing on a route where the port a potty situation might be less than ideal).
BUT that doesn’t mean that running has taken a back seat. On the contrary – I am still training for the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon and averaging between 50-55 miles per week.
Last week I had a 17 miler with some marathon miles thrown in. My pace was pretty spot on considering the terrain BUT the best part…no GI issues!!!
With that boost of confidence (I might have cried a bit in the parking lot afterwards), I set out to see if I could use this weeks Long Run/Quality session to “jump” into the race. My thoughts behind this were 1) I miss participating in organized running events (i.e . running with other people) and 2) I need to start mimicking race day to figure out what what works for me in terms of fueling before, during and after the run.
I got the OK from coach and proceeded to do something that I rarely do – pay a lot of money to get up at 4:30am and drive to Rhode Island .
The Warm Up
The night before the race went pretty smoothly – I had my standard pre-long run meal (Steamed Triple Delight – no broccoli, non spicy garlic sauce on the side, white rice, & Wonton Soup (with some crispy noodles). Bed time was 9am and before I knew it the alarm went off.
Heading out for my drive to Rhode Island I had a plain toasted bagel with spray butter and a banana. Of note – this is completely different from my standard pre-race oatmeal, and I never thought I would be that “pre-race bagel gal” but it’s been working thus far and I don’t want to jinx it.
Once I arrived and picked up my bib, I headed out for a 2 mile warm up, quickly headed back to the car for a shoe change, stood in line for the port a potties, chomped on some Honey Stinger gummies, said a prayer to the pooping gods, and headed to the start.
A slightly cool breeze, temps in the mid-50s, and just enough sun – I could not have asked for better weather this morning.
Sooooo – the workout (as written) was a 2 mile warm up (done); 7 miles at marathon pace (8:10); 1.5 mile jog; 4 miles at marathon pace; 2 mile cool down.
I started between the 1:40 and 1:50 pace group and once we were “off” I started getting concerned that people started passing me. I felt like I was going at a good clip and a quick look at my watch after mile 1 revealed a pace of 7:45 – ooops but to be honest I felt good. I figured that I would slow down but after mile 2 and 3 the paces were pretty similar to mile 1.
It was not what Coach had written but I felt good and made the decision to see if I could hold the pace. The weather was cooperating and my body was cooperating (something that has been rare this training cycle) so I plowed ahead.
I came upon mile 7 and thought I slowed down – the two times I checked my watch it said 8:20 so I held on to the pace – what I did not account for was the down hills where I sped up. This lead to an average pace of 8:10 – my marathon pace! I also checked out during my “jog” and before I knew it the 9 mile marker was upon me. CRAP!
So – I ran the remaining 5 miles as another marathon block and although I AGAIN did not run the pace at marathon pace – it was pretty close to my first 7 mile block.
Fueling also went well – it’s still a work in progress to get the adequate number Honey Stinger gels necessary down – but I still have time to work on that.
Another bonus – 4th in my AG – not bad for running the race as a “workout”.
The Cool Down
Needless to say – I was pretty stoked about not only my time but how I felt. Although my right IT band was not very happy at the end, I still felt that I had gas in the tank – a feeling that I have only recently been able to experience.
However – no sooner had I saved my workout and started to head out for my cooldown then I was reminded by Coach that although I had a solid workout – it was not the one that was written 😉 BUSTED.
As he said – “You have no chill” – which might be true 🙂 but I was happy with my effort, the fact that my pace was consistent, AND as opposed to the other 2 halves I have run this year – today I felt well fueled from start to finish.
And for me, at this moment about 1 month and 15 days or so from the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon – it’s all about these little victories which I hope will compound come October 27th!
Onward we go!