Buffalo half-marathon recap

(yesterday) AM workout: cardio: walked at 12.0 incline and 3.0 mph for 40 min. (TM) / weights: chest and biceps

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Week of race:  Kept up my water intake as normal, so I was hydrated.  I rarely drink juice or soda anyway and I don’t drink coffee, which is all very convenient for my running-self.  Cross-trained, weight-lifted, got in a few easy miles.

Day before race:  Decreased fiber intake.  Slept in, cross-trained [elliptical 45 min], lifted weights [shoulders & triceps], had a couple errands to do.  Went to the expo with my friend Carolyn, who I met and started running with 1x/week before we left for MN.  The expo was decent size with several vendors, running apparel, and gear for sale.  After the expo I showed Carolyn our loft we recently moved into, then went for an easy 4 miles.  My legs felt heavy and my calves tight the first couple miles, but by the 4th mile I felt loose.  Eh, we’ll see how that will determine my race tomorrow..  We also reminded each other that if someone wanted to speed up or slow down tomorrow that the other person wouldn’t care and to just go for it.  After the expo, I sent this pic to the Mr. showing him my bib and flag/cape-wearing buffalo.

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Race morning:  It’s a beautiful thing to live a 10-min walk from the start and finish lines of your race.  I woke up just before 5am, made some oatmeal, took care of business, grabbed my ipod, packed fuel, packed my phone, got my outfit on, grabbed my garmin, debated on socks, grabbed my sun glasses. Race started at 7am, I left my apt about 6:40ish and ate a honey stinger wafer on the way.  Carolyn and I had decided to meet at the 1:50 pacer to prevent starting too fast.  But when we saw each other, she suggested we move up to the 1:40 pacer…”It’s a race after all, right?!” [her words].  I had never ‘raced’ a half before and knew it’d be fun to race it with her, so I went along with it.

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The first couple miles I was bugged how tired my legs felt just starting out, but told myself they’d warm-up in a few miles..  7:48, 7:33, 735

IMG_20130531_185228       Picture 15

Just after mile three I told Carolyn to not worry about me if she’s feeling good, so she said she thought she could push it harder and off she went.  For some reason once she left I suddenly realized [?] I wouldn’t be able to finish the race without peeing my pants.  Hmm, guess I should stop.  So I did and had to wait about 30 sec for an open porta, lost about a minute and a half, but it was necessary and NBD.  9:03

Things were feeling fine, relatively speaking.  I turned on my music just before mile 5 to help distract me from my tired legs.  Normally I wait until the last few miles, but I felt like I needed the distraction.  It helped.  7:53, 7:59, 7:56

I hadn’t looked over the course map at any point, and I don’t know that I ever really do.  This works for me, it’s like the unknown and element of surprise help me mentally.  The part of the course details that I normally analyze is the course elevation map.  Mile 8 had a nice hill that wasn’t expected [I didn’t know Buffalo had hills?], but it wasn’t too bad.  I say it wasn’t bad, but I didn’t plow through, I just sort of coasted on up..  The hill was followed by an out-and-back, so you can tell when I was coming back up the hill during mile 10.  Also, I ate a serving of cliff shot blocks [3 squares] around mile 9.  Even though my paces weren’t any better after the shot blocks, I felt better.  I’m a believer of taking in fuel during races.

8:27, 8:16, 8:36, 8:22, 8:16, 8:12, and 7:00 for the final stretch.  Final chip time — 1:47:25

Looking at my splits, it looks like once I hit mile 8, I decided running sub-8 miles was overrated, because I didn’t see another sub-8 until the last 0.1 mile.  It was the kind of race where you stop to pee and stop twice to stretch [IT band].

Overall thoughts…  It was awesome to run a race again.  It’s like my soul needed it.  Ha.  Although it’s too bad my paces were the same as my training runs for that distance, literally.  There’s a few reasons I could think of that my legs were so tired on race day, but it is what it is and I don’t regret running it.  Besides, my approach to the half-marathon distance [or shorter] is more of a “quantity vs. quality”.

#5 done, and done. Picture 13

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