Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Sweetest Half Race Report

After the race holding my maple syrup

I'm feeling differently about this race now that I've had a nap.  I have come home from two races that I can remember and been so exhausted I slept HARD.  It was actually from this same race both times. I don't know what it is about it that takes it out of me but it does.  It's not the only hilly course I do but that's how it is.

I went into it with a not very positive feeling about how I would do. Since my half three weeks ago I have done no speed workouts and concentrated a bit more on the biking.  I did get my long runs in but I missed some of the shorter ones.  I have mentioned that I think I may have overextended myself with my spring race plans plus the tri in June.  But it is what it is and off I went to race this morning.

My first mistake was overdressing.  It was cold before the race and I can usually convince myself it won't take long to warm up. This morning I left on my sweatshirt and within a mile knew I wouldn't be wanting it the whole race.  But I left it on which is pretty much what I do even on runs, not races.   It was a gorgeous day, sunny and cool, really perfect for racing.  There were 500 people in the half plus many in the two person relay. (Which became annoying later when a) they zipped by you all fresh b) they finished and hogged the course like no one was still  racing)
Very early - around where I saw my slow third mile

My miles today were all over the place. My first mile was fast. I was thinking about my new clip less bike shoes and thinking, "Wouldn't it be great if we could CLIP IN that first mile time and just maintain it with the same effort never tiring?"  Right.  I didn't catch the second mile split but when I looked at the third I panicked just a bit as it was 10:28 and I didn't want to go that slowly.  So I picked it up although many times when I looked at my watch it was in the tens. When I would get to each mile I would still be under 10 minutes a mile but did not know if I could maintain it the whole race.  The first half has hills but they seemed like nothing to me compared to the second half.  It is also a loop which I love.  The second half is an out and back and it has some killer hills.  The last two miles contain the hardest, longest hill on the course IMO.  I had a woman I traded places with several times.  She ended up smoking me in the end and I found her later and mentioned it. Most of the race she was great to be around as I worked to catch up with her when I fell behind her.  I would get ahead of her going down hill but eventually she would go by again.
This part of the course is the end of my bike
route I like so much - in the opposite

This race is nice because it is local and you see lots of people you know.

I did tell myself several times that a race was not all about the finish time.  I was out running on a gorgeous day and even though I was tired and it was hard this is what I love to do.  When I was at Mile 9 going up a hill I asked myself if I could do 4 more miles and I quickly answered (in my mind) no problem and I meant it. That was a good feeling.  I did get to the point where I could not wait to get to that turn around and at least be heading to the finish.  Of course the woman there said to everyone, "You are almost there," perhaps my least favorite words to hear. There were 2.7 miles left and those miles included one heck of a hill so no we weren't almost there.
Looking toward the Morgan Horse Farm (not in the picture)

I really really tried to get under 2:11 for the finish as I wanted my time to be under 10 minute miles. I did not do it.  My time was 2:11:18 and my pace was 10:02.  OFFICIAL  BUT my Garmin paced me at 9:59 (I'm sure I didn't run the tangents perfectly) so hey I ran less than 10 unofficially.
This hill is a lot more fun on a bike - you have just
come down a hill that sends you right up this.
This is the first half which is not as hilly as the second.

Until I got home I thought it was my slowest half but I had two slower including my February one.  The results have posted with no times which makes me think perhaps there is a dispute???? Not sure.
On the college campus now

So it wasn't my best by far but neither was it way out from previous times. I am happy with that and did put forth a lot of effort to make that happen.  I can't say I am looking forward to yet another half in 3 weeks but both my kids will be racing. I will be doing the relay with my son and that is something to look forward to.  And the VCM is a top notch race.  So I'll get there with some enthusiasm.
The shirt - which is pink - I like the way they
show the sponsors.

At the finish line they handed us a bottle of water and a small container of maple syrup.  Yum.  But what do I do?  Drop mine.  (Hello I am tired and you are handing me glass?)  They very nicely gave me another.  I stood in line for food - a hard thing to do after a race and these lines moved slowly only to discover it wasn't worth it.  There were two kinds of hot soup (vomit) and some salads.  I'm sure many people loved this but I did not.  I stumbled back to my car after running into Christa and Becky. I was frozen, tired, in pain and feeling a little sick. At this point I was not in a happy place.  My heel hurt - and this always throws me into a bit of a panic and depression. (Right now it is feeling fine but we'll see.)  I did stop at  a great local bakery to get the best bagel out there and I may have gotten doughnuts too.  Then I went to get gas and the price was down considerably and I got a soda.  I was getting into a happy place.  When I got home I just sat in my warm car for awhile, read my book, drank my soda and ate a doughnut.  Strange I know but I was comfortable and not ready to move. My husband came out to chat with me about the race and bless him he didn't think I was strange at all.

My not very healthy but oh so good post race food.

So several hours later I am feeling pretty good about this race.  Here are my stats which I like to have for reference for the future.  You will see my miles are all over the place.

371/504 overall
212/321 women
21/42 age group

Mile 1: 9:09
Mile 2: 9:53
Mile 3: 10:28
Mile 4: 10:07
Mile 5: 10:21
Mile 6: 9:22
Mile 7: 10:25
Mile 8: 9:34
Mile 9: 9:56
Mile 10: 10:06
Mile 11: 10:16
Mile 12: 10:25
Mile 13: 9:57 (proud of this one -hilly)
Mile .16 9:03


HappyTrails said...

Mmmmm, donuts...... I am betting that you maybe did get a couple of donuts. Donuts do have a way of bringing us to a happy place - at least temporarily - until we look in the mirror and see they've attached themselves to our behinds. Funny how that works. No worries, though, you burned them off with a good race despite not feeling up to snuff. I'd stick with the 9:59av. Rest and recharge your batteries this week. And hang in there with your oral challenges coming up!

Jill said...

First, a hard run half marathon deserves a sugary donut treat, so no guilt there. You burned way more calories than that donut. Laughing though that you liked to sit in your car and read. There are days I come home and can't muster up the strength to deal with the chaos inside so I sit and listen to the radio a few minutes first :). Not strange at all!!

I'm sorry you were initially disappointed in your time, but glad you rethought about things and were pleased. Your time was only a few seconds off your goal and yeah, definitely go with your watch time. My race was pretty long and time just clicked away when I should have been done...but wasn't. The course sounds so hilly and you kept strong on those hills, you gotta be very proud about that. I think you did great and these long, tough races are only making you that much tougher for the next!

Well done, Chica! :)

Ransick said...

Good job on your race! I hate when people say you are almost there when you know you aren't and you are hurting.

I love getting comfort food after races. For me it's usually McDonald's burgers and fries which I rarely get so your doughnuts are looking healthy now :-).

Funny you sat in your car but I can totally relate. Though first steps getting out of the car can be rough. Really cool your husband is understanding about it.

Paul said...

Post race food is NOT supposed to be healthy! Sugary, fatty, ????,

Order Please?


I'm with did great and finished a half marathon in STFU and be happy !

Besides you (and I ) are focused on biking and swimming things now (gak!..halp!) Have you tried on the ()*#)$# wetsuit yet?


Amy said...

I also hate it when spectators yell that you are almost there - you almost never are!!!

Glad you were feeling better about the race than after you had just finished it - it sounds like all in all it went very well. And post race hot soup? Bleh... donuts sound waaaaay better!

Char said...

I fully believe that treating yourself with something a little naughty is compulsory after a race. And it comes guilt-free.

Well done on your run. I'm glad you're feeling more positive about it now that you've rested up a bit.

Fran said...

I think you did fantastic Andrea. Every finished race is worth while, not matter the time.

I'm with Amy on the spectators. It was in the race I did with her some stupid person said that to us after 1K in the race and we had to do 15!
There are so many other things to say to support someone.

Kandi said...

Soup after a half marathon does not sound appealing! The donuts and bagels sound way better!

christa said...

I am still sore today. It's a tough race!! I too love the loop tho I wish they would do it the other way sheep farm road first, that is how Elizabeth and I run it usually. I was exhausted last night and fell asleep several times watching tv. We went to goodies after and I had a chicken burger and a creemee and some of Travey's onion rings!!

Johann said...

Well done! I think you did great! A hard race but you did very well in the end. I often feel like that after a race and only get better as I rest up and eat.

Katie said...

maple syrup, love it! congrats on your race!

Teamarcia said...

My BIL went to Middlebury College!
I think it's depleted glycogen stores that make us all grumpy at the end of races. I know I get that way and no soup or salad would appease me either. Glad you got some donuts and bagels!
That race sounds hilly and hard. Kudos to you for pushing through!

Kate Geisen said...

You've been training for 3 sports, plus that sounds like a challenging course. I totally get being frustrated with the results, though, I'm usually unhappy with mine until I get over myself. Love the maple syrup at the finish line!

And I'm a big one on sitting in the car in the driveway. Jeff will come out to take out the dog and then just look at me like "What the heck?"

Tara said...

Nice job girlie! Sounds like a hilly course (the picture of that one long hill, just looks brutal), but you pushed through and made a good showing!

And doughnuts should always be a post race recovery food. Should be mandatory. :)

Liz said...

Considering the amount of Halfs you are running and your training schedule (super hard), I think you did a great job with this race! Well done!

Black Knight said...

Congrats on another great half!
I love the doughnuts but what a pity they are alomst unknown in Italy.