Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Skagit Flats half marathon

I don't really feeling like writing today (I tell you, when I don't run, I don't want to write), but since you all are waiting on the edge of your seats for my half marathon report, I will try to struggle through it.  The reason I posted so late yesterday was the same thing, I didn't feel like writing, I had written a little early in the day, but then set it aside.

I, sadly, have no pictures of me actually running the race because the website doesn't have them up yet and I had no one there to take pictures.  So you'll have to be happy with what I do have, which I made into a cool collage.  =) 

Do you see that time?? That's awesome!
Sunday was my half marathon. I was so nervous. Last week's 10 miler made me feel better, but I was still really, really worried that I wouldn't be able to run an extra 3.1 miles. A 5k race is so quick and my last one was fast, but put that same distance after 10 miles and it feels like forever. I was also worried because for the Berry Dairy Days half marathon I ran with a girl (stranger) for 8 or so miles and I felt that really helped push me and make the time go faster.  I knew I wouldn't have that particular girl at this race (even if I did see her, I wouldn't have run with her out of the blue again) and I didn't feel at all well trained for this half, plus the issue with my foot.  So I figured that I would be slower than I was for the Berry Dairy Days half. 

I had the idea that I would LIKE to try to beat my time (2.07.34) but would be happy to just to finish.  I had been looking at the website and noticed that there were going to be pacers.  I've never run in a race with pacers before, but there were no pacers for a 2.05 time.  I saw 2.10 and 1.55 (I think it is silly to have a 15 min window at this particular time when all the other windows were only 5 min.  Anyway, I knew the 1.55 would be too fast, so I decided I just wanted to be in front of the 2.10 pacer. 

For the couple of miles of the race I ended up smack in the middle of the 3.55 marathon pacer group.  I couldn't do that math in my head while I was running to figure out how fast that was, or how fast I would be finishing the half.  Since the pace felt okay, I decided to stick with them for a while.  When my app came on at mile 1 and said (what I thought it said) 8.36min/mile (it actually was 8.26min/mile) I knew I was running too fast and thought I would slow down.  I did, but only long enough to get out of the middle of the pack around the pacer.  I ended up still running "with" them, just a couple yards behind them.  I didn't catch what my app said my mile 2 min/mile was, but I knew I was still going too fast.  I finally slowed down and let them get ahead of me, but I could still see the pack and didn't really lose them until they continued on and I turned around at 6.5 miles. 

After I "lost" the marathoners, I finally slowed down, but was keeping a pretty steady pace right around 9.03-9.10 until mile 10 when my legs really slowed and I dropped to around a 9.16 min mile. 
-As I passed the 10 mile mark, I thought, I only have a 5k left and I can do that easy.  =)

One thing I really liked was that some of the water stations towards the end had the roster of runners and they would look up my number and then encourage me by name.  I felt bad for a girl that was right in front of me, the guy looked up my number and then called down the line that my name was Cathy, so everyone called me by name as I ran by, but the girl in front of me didn't get called by name.  I didn't hear the guy even say her name at all.  But I thought that was a really awesome way to encourage the runners.

Something I learned was to fuel early and often.  I started drinking the liquid Gu that they had at mile 4, and I continued to drink it at every water station.  I really felt that it made my run feel good and I went faster because of it.  So now I know. 

Here's my splits for the race.  I wasn't able to get my app to start right away at the beginning, so I didn't get it started right away, and then I forgot to stop it, so the "0.1" mile part actually says .3 and is 3 min long.  =)

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