Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Towpath Half-Marathon Recap

I just realized that I never really did a race recap for the Towpath Half-Marathon! My recaps aren't that thorough, so it's not like we're really missing out on much, but here goes. (There's more on the pre-race stuff than the actual race.)

This month's Runner's World had an article about carbing up. Essentially you do it more than just the night before. Starting two to three days before the race, your diet should consist of 85% (or something - read the article for details) carbs. I decided to try it, although I doubt my carb intake was that high. I like my carbs with cheese, thankyouverymuch.

But I committed to it, and it was weird! Pretty much, you have to eat constantly to avoid the blood sugar crash. I committed with a couple of beers each night, too - fat-free carbs!

Friday night, we took it easy - went out for Chinese (salty carbs - perfect for the salty sweater, following the cues from Monica's blog) and then went home. (Random, I have discovered I am definitely a salty sweater. All this time, I thought I just gathered dust, but no, it's salt.) We slept in a little on Saturday, and then headed out for breakfast (pancakes at Fred's) and some errands. We had to pick up our race packets, along with other stuff, so we took the Triumphs out for the day.

I also spent another hundred dollars at Fleet Feet. But it was a killer sale! New Saucony ProGrid Hurricanes for $35, four pairs of socks, one tech shirt, and one pair of shorts. And I got another tech shirt as a freebie. I love Fleet Feet. After shoving that into my tailbag (love the Speed Four, touring edition), we headed home (not without a stop by the Triumph dealer, of course).

Once home, we washed a couple of bikes and got ready for Aaron's cousin's party. On the way up to Cleveland, we stopped at Lockview and had dinner (mac&cheese, please) and a beer. I didn't eat anything at the party, but I did have another beer. I was home and in bed around 11 or 11:30 - not too bad.

We got to Brandywine on time Sunday morning. Unfortunately we weren't able to hook up with our friends running the half. Didn't help that I waited in line 20 minutes to pee beforehand (drank my 5 Hour Energy while waiting in line). It was cold - I was dressed in a short-sleeved tech shirt and my Under Armor shorts - but it was okay. I knew it was going to warm up a lot, so I didn't want to overdress or use the bag drop.

Once we started, Aaron and I settled into a decent rhythm. 10-minute miles for the first half or so, and then we parted ways: Aaron sped up a little, and I slowed down a bit. I felt good the entire time though. My splits were WAY better, a lot more consistent than last time where I slowed down almost a minute per mile after Mile 6.

And I really think carbing up for a few days works! My energy level felt pretty good. I walked through the aid stations, taking Gatorade every other one mostly. (I'm thinking next time, I'll run through the water stations and walk the Gatorade stations.) I had two gels, one about 4 miles in and the other about 8 miles in; there was another one stashed in my SpiBelt in case I needed it.

I was watching my watch and saw that I might make it in under 2:15. I got excited, and that motivated me to finish strong. (The lure of Great Lakes Commodore Perry didn't hurt either.) Aaron was waiting for me, and then I found my friends and it was just a lovely morning.

So, 5 minutes off my last time - aiming for 2:10 next! It'll be a while, so who knows? Maybe I can do more than 5 minutes off my time.

Next goal: The Home Run for the Homeless in under 40 minutes. It's a four-mile race on a hilly course. Time to start hill and speed training! Well, next week, that is. This week's two runs will just be recovery, easy runs.

(There are a lot of links - for me, at least - in this blog. And they are probably useless to you. Oh well.)

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