I got a 2:14, which is not a PR. It is 5 seconds per mile slower than my best time, which was my first marathon, Race the Runways on April 2 of this year.
Gah! I didn’t want to start this post that way. I really do feel good about this race. I know I did the best I could do this morning.
The course was beautiful. So beautiful. It wove through farm country, around lakes, and passed some gorgeous views. And adorable livestock. The weather was absolutely perfect. Sunny, 55.
It had all the makings of a race that should have been a personal record. But argh! It wasn’t. Oh well. I said I was going to come into this with no expectations. I have years ahead of me of running to get faster.
Miles 1 & 2: 21:14 (missed the first mile marker. Avg per mile is 10:37).
3 – 10.54 (140 heart rate)
4 – 10.42 (147)
5 – 10.44 (148)
6 – 10.24 (148)
7 – 10.41 (147)
8 – 10.24 (154)
9 – 9.53 (151)
10 – 10.14 (153)
11 – 9.23 (158)
12 – 9:27 (162)
13.1 – 9:58 (170)
Close, but not enough.
My strategy for this race was learned from the failure of the Old Port Half Marathon: Don’t be an idiot in the beginning. In that race I went out in sub-10 miles and bonked at mile 8. This race, I kept repeating to myself “run your own race” as I saw my friends and other runners pull away from me. I tried to stay really in tune with how my body felt and maintain my reserves at the start.
And I did that and I finished strong. “Don’t be a wimp,” is the mantra for the end. After mile 8, I would pick off runners in front of me and focus on just passing that next person. I made it a game, and it was fun.
I debated the fuel belt and the jacket and the music before the race. I ended up …
• Nixing the belt. Verdict? Good choice. I got plenty of water from the fuel stops.
• Keeping the jacket. Verdict? That was a mistake. It was sub freezing when we left in the morning, but 55 during the race. I ran most of the race with my jacket around my waist.
• Keeping the music. Verdict? 50-50. I thought I would channel some good vibes by doing what I had done in my first half-marathon, but for a lot of this race, the music was more a distraction than a diversion.
Side note: I kept my phone in a breast pocket for the first two miles and it was thumping across my chest as I ran. So my heart rate wouldn’t go below 200, which was tweaking me out until I realized that the phone was what was causing that.
Ok, here is where I justify my non-record time. I mean, I weigh 15 pounds less today than I did when I made that PR. I’ve probably run 1,000 miles since then. There wasn’t as much wind today.
So, I didn’t prepare my mind and body as well before this race. I could have had better nutrition. And I’m still tired from marathon training. And I trained to run much longer.
So. Lessons learned.
I am going to do more cross training. I wont say this is my last race of the year, but … definitely the last distance race for while. I want some time to reach equilibrium again — to rest and try something new. And work on improving my diet, which hasn’t been great since marathon training didn’t force me to be good.