This weekend was a fun one. Not only was it a girls weekend away in Austin, but it was a great race weekend for me and Jessica, the friend I went away with. We raced 3M, a half I’ve PRd at twice before, and while I didn’t PR yesterday, I had a good race, and a race that was right in line with the 3 weeks of running I’d done prior to it (after the 3 week break I took before that).
Just the week leading up to the race, this was what I had done workout wise.
Sunday: 9 miles 9:41 pace (I had awful right calf tightness hence the slow pace)
Monday: swimming 1.02 miles
Tuesday: 4 miles 8:36 pace
Wednesday: 2 miles on the Woodway Curve manual treadmill at a 10:00 pace along with spinning for 40 minutes
Thursday: 3 miles 8:36 pace
Friday: 30 minutes on elliptical
Saturday 2 mile shake out run 9:13 pace
*** 20 total run miles for the week
Looking at this and the previous two weeks before that, I knew going into the race, that I wasn’t going to PR, and it wouldn’t be smart to try. I didn’t have the training or speed/strength workouts built up to justify a 1:45 time or better. When asked I told people I was hoping for a sub 2 hour half, likely a low 1:50s time. I clocked a 1:51:18. Not a bad guess.
My splits were still positive, but not awful.
At mile 2, I actually met these two women from Austin, Ivi and Courtney who had a nice 8:20-8:30 pace and I asked to run with them. Ivi seemed to really know what she was doing and was quite the motivator. I found out at mile 8 that she was the female masters winner of the St. George Marathon! (she didn’t brag, Courtney let me know). Which made total sense because she was pretty much running backwards.
I went into the race not wanting to further injure myself (my hamstrings or my calves) and Ivi kept telling me to go on ahead and not wait for them because I would wait for them at water stops and slow down when Courtney got tired to make sure she was keeping up. Seeing as I hadn’t run farther than 10 miles (on a treadmill no less), I wanted to play it safe and just stick with them. I didn’t think I’d have a “surge” in me, and based on our pacing at mile 10 (there was a hill), I felt it smartest to just try to maintain pace since the last mile had another hill.
Honestly, I liked the company. This race made me realize I really like running with other people even if we don’t speak. As the last 1/2 mile came about, I really felt the fatigue. I wasn’t going to give up but I definitely thought about the shape I was in and the fact that several years earlier, I had been in better shape due to different training and different injury status. I pushed hard to finish under 1:52 and when I saw my finish time, I was pleased. I was so grateful to Ivi and Courtney for their companionship along the race and whether they think so or not, they definitely helped me.
I do have PRing my half on my goal list for this year. Yesterday wasn’t the day, nor did I think it would be. I ran with a smile on my face most of the race and had a genuinely great race. There were some real comical situations along the way listening to other racers and watching spectators. But overall, I wouldn’t change a thing. You always think, “maybe I could’ve done better, gone faster,” and yes, those thoughts went through my head today. I probably could’ve gone faster, maybe even getting a sub 1:50. But on the flipside, if I ran a tad faster than I was trained for, I also could have hit lactate threshold too soon because I pushed it too hard and then I could have bonked at mile 12…. I just wasn’t trained for a race in the 1:40s and I definitely wouldn’t have PRd, so why not just run an enjoyable race?
My friends above, by the way, ran incredible races! Jessica paced Michelle and they ran the half in 1:33, automatically qualifying for the NYC Marathon with that time! So proud of them!!!
I’m learning more with each race and I’m also learning to ENJOY racing and the process that it takes to get to each race. So for my first race of 2016, I’m happy.I don’t hurt severely from yesterday, outside of muscle soreness and an ugly blood blister.
I’m also excited to see what the year has in store. I need to begin planning what’s next. If you’re wondering what that is, even I don’t know yet. But I’ll keep you posted! I won’t be able to sit still long. 🙂