Todays Workout- 6 miles watchless at a recovery pace (guessing 8:00’s). Lots of hydration, lots of rolling, lots of resting.
Yesterday I ran the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon in Hampton, Virginia. After sloppy, hot conditions at my last half marathon a little over a month ago, we were hoping for a solid half to really give me a clue where my fitness is. For my own reassurance I needed to know all the miles I’ve been putting in have made a difference. Did it? Yes, but not in the way I wanted. Yet again, we had sloppy, hot conditions on race morning. Notoriously I
suck am bad at racing in hot weather. I should have backed off the pace, and I did but, unlike the Virginia Beach Rock & Roll Half, it wasn’t by choice.
3 hours before the race start I drank 2 1/2 scoops of Hammer Perpetuem (around 300 calories) mixed with 24 ounces of water. 2 hours before race start I started sipping coffee with a teeny bit of milk. A week ago I unintentionally stopped drinking coffee in the morning. After realizing on Thursday that I still hadn’t made myself a pot of coffee I thought, okay maybe I’ll just wait until race morning and see if the caffeine removal/adding helps. Not sure if it actually did but I had a good race so I may replicate this for Philly. Lastly, 90 minutes before the race I started sipping Gatorade. Other than these beverages, I had nothing else race morning- no food or gels. I ate a large dinner late in the evening the night before the race and that worked out perfectly for the half. No stomach issues. For the full marathon I will eat a small breakfast with the Perpetuem though.
I lined up with Andrew and we ran the first mile almost perfect, a tad slower than goal pace at 6:11; placing me as 2nd place female, where I would stay for the next 11.5 miles. The plan was to ease into 6:08-6:05 for the first half. That did not happen. I think it was 75 degrees by that point and I was dripping sweat. I made it a point to stay smooth and relaxed but smooth and relaxed was averaging 6:14 pace through the first 10K (38:46). Still though, we had a nice pack of four of us and we were all kind enough to take turns pushing the pace for each other so my spirits were good. A few miles later, it hit me that sub 1:20 was out the window and for the sake of authenticity and with the risk of embarrassment I’ll tell you what I told myself- You might not PR, but you WILL leave everything you have on this course. With that, I kept my head up and started dropping the pace.
My pace got quicker and quicker the last 4 miles. By Mile 9 I could see the bike leaders (who stay with the current 1st place male & female) up ahead in the distance. Mile 12 was at 6:02 and that’s where I was able to catch up to the lead female (a great runner friend!) as we approached the last big hill over a bridge. Coming off the hill we only had about 1000 meters to go and since I knew she was flipping fast as can be, I hauled it like I’ve never hauled it before. I never had any inkling that I would win this race until I actually crossed the finish line because it was that big of a push. It felt amazing to be able to text the Mr. and Coach Hadley the news. Big Thanks to Running, Etc.! And thanks to Dennis too for all the advice/pacing! So thankful for my support system.
Quick story about the girl and I pictured below. When I ran Chicago in 2011, she came up to me before the race and said “Our kids go to preschool together.” I was so surprised. Here I am, half the country away, and I meet another runner who happens to live two miles from me. We’ve been friends ever since. Yesterday was her first race back since that race in Chicago. She had been pregnant and raising kiddos. This half was what I would call her post-baby debut. She killed it with a 1:38!! Congrats Carin!
Not getting that sub 1:20 is frustrating but coming away with a W feels great and that momentum will carry me through a few more weeks of tough training. We didn’t back off for this race week, I totaled out at 80 miles, which gives me confidence in my fitness level. 6 weeks until the Philadelphia Marathon and things are getting exciting! Have a great week everyone!