Monday, May 14, 2012

63 Days Remaining - QCDC Half Marathon

What a perfect morning for a race! I woke up at 4:45. I made a post on FB that stated the following

up at 4:45 for the race today. Race plan: Tempo run for first 6.5 miles, get a sense for how the body feels --> Good Feeling = pick it up a notch, Bad Feeling = Continue with tempo. My big race is next weekend so no need to overdo it today. Personal goal regardless is to PR from my only Half Marathon run in 2010 when I ran 1:46. 90 minutes it is game time.

I spent the morning drinking a cup of coffee, eating two pieces of peanut butter toast and a couple cups of water. I just relaxed and tried to go through my email account back reading all the posts I sent to myself. It was a nice relaxing morning.

I went into this race with not any real big expectations being that I just signed up yesterday. My only goal was to PR which I really did not think would be hard because my training is so much smarter and effective from when I started running two years ago.

I made to Augustana around 6:30 ready to hit the bathroom for my 20th pee break and met up with some LU/Crazies. It was great to see so many people from LIVE UNCOMMON and from the CRAZIES running group! It wasn't long before it was time to head to the start to run.

The weather was perfect. It was in the 50's, the sun was out but not hot, little wind, and just great to run. I started back with Gaffney and tried to just run my pace and keep things nice and easy. It was tough to not just get after early on seeing all the LU shirts in front.

After getting through the first hill after mile 1 I felt good. I knew it was going to be a good day of running. I caught up with Josiah, Jay, and Chad. Chad and I got into a real nice groove and kept right at the 7:38 pace which was what Chad needed for his goal pace of 1:40. We stayed the course to perfect precision.

I skipped the first water station, but the second aid station I needed water as my right hamstring was feeling tight. I was not ready to deal with another cramp. Instead of water I grabbed Gatorade. I cannot drink Gatorade while training. I had to forgo the liquid and hit the next station.

By the time we hit the next station we were down by the marina. Chad was still going strong, but as soon as we stopped for water he hit a wall. Not sure what all went on with the big fella, but his body was not in the mood to be pushed. I know he could hit his goal because I have ran it with him, but today his body simply was not going to allow it to happen. I felt bad for him because he has been training awesome and tapered and done everything one must do for a great race. Around this time I decided to split off and let Jeff P. try to get him back on track. I picked up the pace to try and get out of his vision. Sometimes when you hit the wall the last thing you want is friends around. I have been there before and knowing Chad he was better off without me talking to him. The good thing about this is that he knows he can do it. We have done it before and he will do it again. No doubt about it. As much as I wanted him to PR it was not in his cards today. It is a great reminder that we cannot PR every time because if we did it would not feel so good. He will be ready this weekend for sure at the tri!

As I picked up the pace I felt good. I still felt pretty strong. At mile 8 I stopped to take a GU and water and decided to try and pick the pace up for good and just see where it would take me.

I was able to continue to push. My quads were tired, but the rest of me was good. You can see below that I was able to push each mile after mile 8 to finish nice and strong. Jeff P. ran with me for about two miles to help give me some conversation. On the track I was able to catch up with Jay who had a great run. I pushed hard on the track and finished strong.

My watch showed 1:38:10 for my time. I don't know what my official time was, but this is good enough. This is far below my PR of 1:46 two years ago. Taking 8 minutes off is impressive. I am quite happy with this time and the run. I ended up with only one blister in my try shoes and no socks. A little vaseline on race day next weekend on the spot and I will be good.

I was 8th in my age division and 45th out of 531 runners in the half marathon. It was a good day.

I wrapped up the day spending time with Amanda and her family. I ate like crazy at Iowa Machine Shed and pretty much the rest of the day. I decided to eat all day today and refocus on proper clean eating the rest of the week leading up to my first official triathlon. I look forward to the race next weekend with Jeff, Josiah, Chad, and Brian. It will be a new test for sure.

Congrats to everyone who ran. Jay was 3rd in his division as was Katie. Jen Paul took the top spot in the 5K. Chad, Nick, Katharine, Josiah, and the whole slew of LU runners did amazing today. They endured their own battles of will and testament.

Back to training tomorrow. The taper week begins and I have not really ever done an official taper. It shall prove interesting. Thanks to everyone who was at the race cheering and supporting the runners. It really helps to see people out there on the course.

It is almost 9 which means it is time for bed.

If I come across a pictures I will share them later this week.
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