My annual local race was a success! I woke up feeling healthy and ready to run. All week I was keeping my mental game relaxed. Maybe discounting some excitement in fear of disappointment. Race morning, drove to the beach parking lots, texted my uncle while waiting in line for the bus. He decided to run a 10k in LA instead of trek down to Orange County for the half marathon. Checked my bag, encountered the port-a-potty, and made my way to the corral.
My hands were full with my full size hand held water bottle, huckleberry hammerhead gel and two electrolyte gel capsules zipped in the pocket, and my iPhone on my armband. I hate Cora weight…but also hate my battle with hydration, nutrition, and wanting to race as I trained. Using my iPhone RunKeeper app has been a good addition to my training. Glancing down on occasion to check my pace or hear when i’m at my desired distance has been motivating to pick up the pace. When you have an electronic device keeping you true to a distance, you are more willing to challenge the speed. And since I didn’t know my surrounding area as well after moving, it was a great way of not spending hours mapping runs on mapmyrun.com before actually running. Remember I live my life trying to be more time efficient.
Alright, so the race crowd seemed positive, people were being respectful of others warm-up and stretch space in the corrals and generally everyone was commenting on the great sunny weather. Started running, felt my legs being a bit sluggish but “ok-ed” myself to go slow and warm up, the start was pretty congested. Mile 1 I look down and see 9:52…. Disappointment felt…slow long runs in training predicting my race. So I pick up my legs a little, lets see how this feels. Glance down around mile 2 and 3, 8:36 pace. Now my iPhone rests on my left arm, which is wildly but rhythmically swinging forward and back with my stride….so it’s not always reading super accurately, nor do I know if it has the power to read that quickly the pace between a forward arm swing and a backwards arm swing…but I know from training with it on my arm that it will read 8:36 and then when I stop the run it will say “average pace 9:16″. So…it didn’t freak me out, and I decided to stay uncomfortable and push through the minor hilly section of miles 4-6.
Mile 6… Heads getting foggy, stomach is crampy…it’s too early for this. It’s warm, thank goodness I wore my hat to keep the sun out of my yes and playing with my mental (weak) game. I decide to pop the pills….electrolyte pills that is! In goes two, big swish of water…a few minutes later my head starts clearing and my stomach relaxes…I start feeling like I can rotate my trunk a little freer. Amazing. Big point one: I say it over and over, but do nothing about it….my electrolytes are out of whack…from the beginning. My hypothesis: my recovery nutrition sucks. Need to work on this area. I do well eating “smart” before a run…afterwards I tend to wait hours…like 6-8 hours to eat…and often have indigestion that keeps me from wanting to eat. Dehydration you say? I drink upwards of 100 oz. of H2O a day….’cus I’m thirsty, not even forced drinking. So my hat is sitting at an electrolyte imbalance.
Anyways….head cleared up. Started assessing the gel situation…original plan: between mile 7-8. Running plan…yep 8 sounds good. Do I think you need a gel during a half? Absolutely not. I started playing with the flavor and tummy to,era nice during this training plan in prep for my marathon training….my stomach and mental aspect to my stomach takes some TLC. And that’s what I am giving it. S I had about 3 licks of my gel over the next 5 miles….just as a little sweet rush. Definitely more mental than any nutritional value. I continued to feel strong through mile 10, started wanting to slow down for my complaining quads, but kept pushing…I thought of my treadmill workouts, where I was hot in the stuffy gym with no ocean breeze running at much faster paces and pushed for up to 40 minutes…so these last 2-3 miles were going to stay uncomfortable and at a constant pace….no sputtering out. And I’m happy to report I did that. I am unhappy to report the 2:00 pace group, that started behind me passed me in the last .3 miles…..but I walked away with a 2:02:44. Race official 9:22 pace, at 13.1 miles. iPhone GPS RunKeeper records 13.25 mi with avg pace 9:16. Realistically I thought with a great race I could sit around a 9:15 pace. I thought I’d be trained to come in around a 2:05. I was excited for my finish time, and MORE EXCITED FOR MY STRONGER MENTAL GAME. I was happy I felt strong throughout and could keep my mind clear and on staying at the same pace in the last 3 miles. My plagued fuzzy dead seemed to respond great to the electrolyte capsules. After the race I did my traditional shady curb sitting, wrapped my knees into my chest and called my parents to give a report. They typically hear a taste of disappointment in my tone, but this time I heard upbeat and satisfied. The drive to PR was still there, but at no point, besides between mile 5-8 did I have that goal for this race.
I think I want to run some 10Ks and treat them as tempo runs to see how I can build my endurance and speed together.
A motivating race to kick off my marathon training. I want to keep the pace/tempo runs going…I struggled its those mentally more than the speed workouts at the track. So to it I sat down with a few training plans and wrote out a temporary plan with variations for if my legs want a few more running days, or if they are happy between the running, yoga, and swimming. I am going to put forth an effort to swim throughout the training program. I enjoyed swimming after long runs last summer…so put them on for Mondays. Two of the running days are pace and tempo days. I think I’ll hold the day after long runs to shorter race pace runs…..and stick to a more demanding tempo run midweek. Yoga is going to keep my zen on Wednesdays. And that’s a start….
Monday morning: sore deltoids, pecs, abs, and quads….it’s been a while since I was sore from a race, which made me feel like I really was able to push myself.
Marathon training starts Monday with a swim workout! Now…off to Mammoth for some pow wow with my brand spankin’ new bindings!