Monday, August 28, 2017

Back on the Train Gang.

So, last time we chatted I'd just run my first half-marathon in for-evah. It was one of those positive experiences that makes you want more of the same. More half-marathons, please!

But then baseball and end-of-school activities and more baseball and summer break (and all the goodness that goes along with that) took over. Running took a little bit of a back seat and with it, my thoughts of a fall half.

Sure, I'd bandied a few ideas of race weekends with friends but nothing came together.

Until my run in Sacandaga last weekend. Here's a peek at the scenes from that run:

I wanted to run 6. I ran almost 7.5. And I felt terrific, even after sub-par sleep the night before. I mean, super sub-par. The run buoyed me and made me think that, yeah, I can pull out a half-marathon this fall.

And so I decided to go for it. Bridget messaged me that she registered for the Fall Foliage Half Marathon in Rhinebeck on October 15th. Well, me too.

I'm registered. I'm in. I have a plan in place and I'm going for it. Sure, it is a hilly race but I'm a hill runner! I've got this.

My first long run of this training cycle was 9 miles on Saturday. I made sure they were hilly miles :-) and ran them in 1:25 (9:31 pace).

Bring. It. On.

Anyone else training for a half marathon this fall? Or another distance? Let me know!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Home Away From Home Half Marathon

So, friends, I ran a race. First one in for-evah!

And it was a half-marathon. I went from a full marathon in October 2014 to no races to this half-marathon in May 2017. Holy cow, that's a long time between races!!!

Back in the beginning of the year, I decided I needed to set my sights on a race that would require some commitment. And a half-marathon requires a fair bit of commitment. I settled on a (pretty much) hometown half-marathon and decided to follow a very low-key training schedule to prepare.

I wanted to see what I could do after so many ups and downs with my running (and other things that have had an impact on my running).

But I was also sort of a Nervous Nellie and I didn't want any part of injuries or burn-out. So, I ran 3-4 easy runs each week, one long run, and did yoga and upper-body strength on the two other days. No speedwork. No tempo runs. Nothing too training-ish. Just some solid, enjoyable running.

I made it to race day full of excitement.

I even had the requisite pre-race nightmare where things go fantastically wrong on race day: For me, the full 13.1 was run on a track and I was wearing clogs. Clogs!

Anyway . . . the forecast for the race was rain. All rain. I was freaked. But I shouldn't have been because the rain held off and we ended up with more or less perfect weather (cool and overcast).

I met Bridget and Kate before the race and we tried to warm up and, of course, we snapped some pics:



And then we were off.

Now, let me tell you about this race. It was small. The 5k and the half-marathon started together but there were only 80 people in the 5k and 103 in the half. The out-and-back course was hilly for sure. Not steep hills, not long hills, just constant rolling hills.

I ran off with the generic, feel-good goals in my mind: I just want to run strong! I want to see where my fitness is these days! I want to smile at the finish!

But, honestly? Those goals are crap. Truth be told, I wanted to run under 1:55. I felt like I had it in me. Sure, that's far from a PR and I know I'm not in PR shape right now. But, 1:55? Doable. Totally doable.

So I ran:

Mile 1: 8:41
Mile 2: 8:25
Mile 3: 8:20

The first few miles had the 5k runners in it but once they turned off at the 1.5 mile mark, the "crowd" really thinned out. Everything felt easy. I was holding myself back from going out too fast and I'm glad I did!

Mile 4: 8:37
Mile 5: 8:25
Mile 6: 8:17
Mile 7: 8:11

Still going strong through the middle miles. Here's what I learned during this patch: I love out-and-back courses (when you're near-ish to the front)! Being able to cheer for the leaders gave me such a lift! And, I could count how many people were in front of me and that made me feel pretty good :-)

Mile 8: 8:25
Mile 9: 8:13
Mile 10: 8:27
Mile 11: 8:29
Mile 12: 8:30

So, this was a weird section for me simply because the dude running behind me Did. Not. Stop. With. The. Yelling.

Yes, the yelling. Every few minutes or so he'd YELL something like, "C'mon!" or "Move it!" or "Get going, RIGHT NOW!" It was . . . unsettling. And yet, humorous. I mean, I guess he was pumping himself up so I went with it and just ran.

And then there was just over a mile to go.

Mile 13: 7:58
Last .18: 1:15

Um, I love that last mile time!

Official Time:
Overall place: 19 out of 103
Female place: 10

Yeah, I beat that 1:55 goal!!! So happy with the race. So happy to be back.

And also pleased with how I felt during the race (like I was pushing but always completely within myself) and how I felt the next day and few days later. No soreness. None! And that tells me that I ran my race well.

It also tells me that I probably left a little in the tank . . . and that has me wondering what's next. Another half this fall? A full?

Time will tell my friends :-)

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