Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2015 Parkersburg Half-Marathon Recap

Official results: 2:11:24
16/49 age group
127/353 women
368/744 overall

Barely beat the half-marathon walker winner (he finished just under 2:12).

In other words, one of my worst half-marathons. I'm still trying to figure out all that went wrong.

  • The plan from Coach Katie: 9:20 for 8 miles and then pick it up if possible
  • My plan based on the high humidity: 9:30 for the first 3 miles, pick it up 4-8 at 9:20 and then finish strong
  • Reality: 9:45 pace through the first 10k, finishing with a 10:02

I could post my mile splits, but they're depressing.

6am to 7:15am - Get up, drink a little water (not enough and no Nuun), eat most of a cinnamon crunch bagel (why not the whole thing?)

7:15am - Jog to the starting line (1.5 miles), do some light warming up, eat a Shot Blok from Aaron and take sips of G2. It's in the mid60s, but the humidity is close to 90%.

8am to 10:11:24 - Race starts. I run okay through the first 10k and end up with a 9:45 pace. I'm not hating that, and I think I'll be able to drop it down and end up with a 9:30 pace overall, which would have brought me in under 2:05. Seemed reasonable. I took a gel during mile 3 and maybe mile 9? I probably should have taken one more gel. There are a ton of water stops with Gatorade, water and ice. I drank Gatorade and water at most stops (no Gatorade when I took my gels). I think I spent too much time at the water stops, but clearly that wasn't the biggest issue with my race. I also shoved ice in my bra at one point because I'd read about other people doing it. I ran the hill in mile 11 and then was incapable of dropping the pace much afterward. I'd passed Aaron at one point (he was hurting and stretching a lot), but he passed me in the last mile. He ended up finishing 5 seconds in front of me.

10:15am to 10:45am - Drink some water, eat half of a banana, literally have a bite of a bagel and get our little group back together.

10:45 to 1pm - Jog back to the house. Drink water, do some stretching, text about the race, shower, etc.

1pm - Drive to lunch.

1:30pm - Drink beer, eat a steak salad and get on with the day. (More beer, lots of sun and pizza and champagne around 9pm. Lots of water, no electrolytes. Bed around midnight.)

I would like to point out some things missing from the post-run: Drinking any electrolytes and eating much immediately after the run. I think that contributed to Sunday's shitty recovery run: 3 miles and I walked the first one and parts of the second and third. Actual physical pain (can your kidneys literally hurt?).

ANYHOW, I'm not sure if I race poorly in general, if I run this race poorly, if I underfueled (probably), if it was just not my day, if my goals are unrealistic, if I'm too heavy, if I was too tired... I could go on and on. I'm trying to figure it out. It's probably a combination of all those things with the humidity playing a big role.

I was pretty upset because I feel like I've been working really hard. I'm running ALL THE TIME. I feel like I'm doing nothing else this summer but run, and if I'm just going to go out and run a 2:11, what's the point? I can do that on four days a week and without speedwork.

I'm clear on why yesterday's run didn't feel good, but I'm not totally clear on why the race went so poorly. I didn't start too fast and I did fuel (although I recognize that three gels would have been better for me). I'm really just afraid that my goals are out of reach.

Coach Katie reminded me that I'm in the middle of a training cycle, not at the end, and that I didn't have a legitimate taper. She thinks my goals are reasonable. I don't know what else to do but continue on. (That's how I ran Sunday morning. I was awake, and I simply didn't know what else to do.) Trust the process, right?

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