Monday, October 7, 2013

Week 7: DIG DEEP! aka Race a Pikermi

The really is more about the half-marathon I ran yesterday than overall marathon training, but in keeping with the theme, let's start with the stats:

Tuesday: Plan 4 easy @9:20, Actual: 8:30, 7:51, 8:04, 7:48
Wednesday: Plan 4 easy @9:20, Actual: 8:11, 7:59, 7:48, 7:34
Thursday: Plan 4 easy @9:20, Actual: 8:06, 8:03, 7:57, 7:33
Sunday: Plan 13.1 hard @7:38, Actual: 13.1 @7:45-7:47 (Race results vs Garmin)

I made up this week's portion of my overall training plan knowing that my ultimate goal race will take place in December (no pressure, right?).  However, I wanted to perform as well as I could and decided my A goal was 1:40, B goal was sub 1:45, C goal was to PR (which was 1:48:XX).  I ran too hard each day, but it was so beautiful outside last week that I kept getting caught up in the moment.  I figured with 2 days rest in between that I would feel fresh and ready to race.

Saturday, I sat around and tapered. I put myself on house arrest and entertained myself while Adam was at work.

I did some foam rolling and massage with The Stick:
I watched college football:

I started a puzzle:
And finished it:

I hydrated and hydrated and hydrated:

I decorated my racing bib with a Sharpie with the phrase "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" and "DIG DEEP!" along with a few stars for good measure:

I ate spaghetti for dinner and a bowl of cereal right before bed.  When I woke up in the morning after sleeping very well (!!!), I ate a blueberry bagel with peanut butter and enjoyed a cup of coffee from a lovely package that I received from SomeKraigGuy.  I naturally choose the blend on the right:

I drank a mini V-8 and had a few sips of Nuun.  In March, I didn't go crazy with the hydration and had the best race so I tried to mimic that feeling.  We met up with our friends Megan, Frank, and Jeff to carpool down to the race area.  We got there in plenty of time and I felt happy that I wasn't rushed.

We got a few pictures taken before the race got started:

I kissed baby Connor on the head and then walked up to my corral.  This race had about 3000 people and the corrals were nicely maintained.  There was plenty of room to breathe.  I found the 1:40 pace group leaders (a woman and a man) and stood behind them while I waited.  I used pace groups in my last 2 races and had a great experience.  They were talking to each other, but I didn't really see them trying to find anyone on their pace group 'team'.

The last few minutes flew by and then I was starting my Garmin as I crossed over the timing track.

I held close to the female pace leader in the first 1.5 miles and it was so dark outside, I could hardly see my Garmin.  I knew we were running fast and I felt thirsty from the get go. I started to let her get ahead a bit as I knew the other leader was still behind me. 7:24, 7:40

I kept up the pace for mile 3 and ran right behind the male pace leader.  But as it started getting lighter outside and I could check my Garmin repeatedly, I realized that I was going to be in big trouble if I tried to keep up that pace on those hills in the final miles.  So as we neared the mile 4 marker, I started to let the little 1:40 sign go ahead and run my race. 7:18, 7:27

Mile 5 I alternated between feeling terrible trying to keep up the pace and giving myself some slack to just relax and run comfortably.  Fortunately, mile 6 was much, much flatter and my body was much happier.  7:48, 7:47

I saw the photographer and did a one-handed wave:

Followed by the ever-awesome two-handed wave:

Mile 7 was good and I started to feel a little better knowing that I was halfway there. Mile 8 was a series of rollllllllllllllllling hills that are likely the major cause of my quads feeling like they are on fire today. 7:39, 7:51

I got a nice quadzilla shot though:

Mile 9 was all puppies and rainbows and I felt really strong.  I was still behind the 1:40 pace leaders, but I was likely not too far off my goal at that point. 7:47


On mile 10, my Garmin started to get all wonky and I couldn't see my pace.  My foot started hurting (where I'd later discover I was creating a giant blood blister-ew!).  I knew that I was slowing down some, but I was gauging it by other runners at this point. 8:14

Mile 11 was awful.  I couldn't believe that I was stopping to walk in a half-marathon.  What the heck was the matter with me??! I didn't stop to walk at all in my last full except going through the water stations.  I walked for probably 45 seconds and then looked at the "DIG DEEP!" on my bib and sucked it up. 8:37


Mile 12 was much better as I crossed paths with other runners who were on mile 7 and there was a ton of crowd support.  With others watching and cheering, I started to begin my countdown to the finish. 8:03

Mile 13 was incredibly long.  I was so ready to be done.  I knew that I was not going to be getting my 1:40 and even though I was going to hit my B goal, my body felt trashed. But I continued to push it. 7:37

Mile 13.1 was probably the closest thing I will ever have to feeling like I am racing like a pro.  A trio of female runners came descending upon me in the final stretch and my competitive spirit took over as one of them started running next to me.  With only 1/10th of a mile to go, I laid on the afterburners.  She was laying down the same fierce kick and we flew through finish chute gutting it out, neck and neck.  I gave it everything I had and it felt so good!

I got a lot of fabulous finishing pics:

We high-fived after we finished and I gushed about how great of a finish we had.  Hopefully my post-race celebratory gooberness was not too scary for her.

I eventually got back together with the group--they graciously waited after they finished their 5K:

I was feeling a bit woozy and my tummy was in knots, but I was happy to have finished with my B time goal:

Here are my Garmin stats:
And here are the stats compared to the field:

12th in my division, 38th female, 168th overall.  Pretty good for a field of 3000!

After we got home, I started to feel bad.  Like, really, really, really, really, I-might-need-to-go-to-the-emergency-room bad.  I felt like I had sudden onset food poisoning and I was hurting in the worst way.  I'll spare you the gory details, but I couldn't really move for about an hour and a half without tremendous pain.  I'm not sure exactly what caused it (something I ate, jostling during the race, kicking it hard in the end, too much hydration, too little hydration????), but I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  I thought I had an iron stomach, but I felt like I had eaten a chili cheese bagel for breakfast.

We had plans to go apple picking with the group and I finally mustered the strength to get up and get moving again.  Once things "passed" I started to feel a bit better.  Adam and I started heading to the orchard and on the way, I was able to get some food and drink down which definitely helped.  Soon, I was feeling back to my normal self:

We walked all over the orchard, picking and eating apples, and enjoying a beautiful fall day in Appalachian foothills.  Hopefully it'll be a long time before I'm too old to climb trees:

My legs are sore today--like I ran a hilly half-marathon--but I'm no worse for the wear.  Onwards and upwards! 2 more months until I make my BQ attempt!!

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