Sunday, October 7, 2012

That time I wasn't REALLY going to race... but you know how that normally goes

The end of my training cycle is coming near... just 2 weeks to go. That means RACE TIME!

I had three races scheduled for October:

  • Oct 6 - Hands4Haiti Half Marathon
  • Oct 13 - Cheerfund 15km
  • Oct 21 - Columbus Half Marathon
The original plan was just to run the Hands4Haiti Half as a training run. It's a really small, no-frills race here in the Bean Town, and I thought attempting a PR would be difficult. I was just going to go out and get my long run done (and maybe win. Seriously, last year the winning time was 1:35.) Then, I would taper, and race the 15km and Columbus Half all out.

Well, here's how it went down. I carb-loaded like a champ Friday night (mmmm, pizza) and woke up Saturday morning ready to roll. I warmed up and made it to the start line. After chatting with some of the other runners, the race finally started. (15 minutes late, whoops.)

Chillin' at the start. We thought it was funny that mostly women were at the front. Girl power!

Two women took it out fast, at least it felt fast. Not what I expected. I hung with them, and we went through the 1st mile in 7:47. "What?!" I said. "No way!" Fortunately, one of them had a Garmin, and that first mile marker was way off. We had actually gone through the mile closer to 6:40. At that point, I did a little mental freaking out, because OMG that is so fast! And I'm not supposed to be 'racing'!

I stuck right with the two women for the first couple miles, but eventually they pulled away. I kept checking my splits from mile to mile, because I couldn't rely on the overall time. I was consistently in the 6:35-6:40 range. "This is nuts," I kept thinking to myself. "How can I be running this fast? I am not tapered; this is 15 seconds per mile faster than my PR!"

But I kept rollin' with it. I guess I had decided to race, hehe. It was kind of a good thing that I couldn't really rely on my splits - it caused me to run by feel. And I felt good. I kept expecting to hit the wall, or majorly slow down... but I didn't.

Sprinting to the finish, thanks Business Man.

Even the last two miles didn't feel like death like they usually do in a half-marathon. Which makes me think I could have picked the pace up a bit. The next girl was far enough ahead of me that I knew I couldn't catch her, so I didn't have much motivation. 

We had to finish the last 0.1 or so straight up a hill, and I felt awesome! I cruised into the finish with a time of 1:27:37, a 6:41 average! That is an almost 3-minute PR, which is hard to believe. My previous best time was 1:30:14, back at the Get Lucky Half in March. 

Will I ever be able to clear this from the watch? Welp, already did. Had to get my recovery run in this morning!

I am so thankful for the two women who set the pace at the beginning. If they hadn't done that, there's no way I would have run as fast as I did. [Funny side note: Only one man finished in front of all three of us! The overall results went 1st male, 1st female, 2nd female, 3rd female, then the rest of the males. Isn't that awesome?! Girls rock!!]

Exchanging race stories at the finish... these girls are BEASTS!
I'm still kind of in a state of awe... I was not expecting to run that well at all. My goal time for Columbus was going to be to run 6:45-pace. Looks like I need to re-evaluate!

All smiles.

These next two weeks will be filled with lots of recovery miles, foam rolling, and getting lots of sleep so that I can recover well and hope for another PR attempt at Columbus in 2 weeks. I am still trying to decide whether to race the 15km this coming weekend or treat it as a training run. Suggestions?

My Business Man and I spent the afternoon after the race at a local apple orchard, picking lots and lots of apples. Such fun. :) Now what to do with the 25+ apples in the kitchen... apple cupcakes?!

Why are you so high up, apples??


Cortney @ Nerd on the Run said...

I'm sorry but I kind of fell of the blog reading/ writing wagon for a bit. I worked the Hot Chocolate Race booth at the Columbus Marathon expo on friday. If I would have been on top of things, I would have loved to have met you. Maybe next time! Knock 'em dead tomorrow! :)

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