Victory today at the Minneapolis 13.1!
No, I didn’t meet my 1:43:30 goal. But I am totally satisfied with my race, which I haven’t said about a race for a while.
- 1:46:27 (8:08 pace)
- Overall Place 281/1678
- Gender place: 76/971
- Division place (F 40-44): 6/108
So why am I happy with a time that was 3 minutes off my goal, and about a minute and a half over my PR?
- I had no issues with my right hamstring. Details below, but I had a minor freak out Friday and yesterday about my leg, so to not have it act up, at all, was huge!
- I kept it together mentally during the race. Those of you following my running know that I tend to fall apart in races when I fall off pace or am having an off day. When this happens I throw in the towel, have horrible splits and a bad attitude. Sometime during the 7th mile I knew it wasn’t going to be my day (to get the goal time I had in mind). I was being too cautious with the leg on the hills (up and down) and even though I wasn’t having issues with the leg, in my mind it wasn’t worth jammin on the pace and risking the hamstring seizing up or get hurt again (which it had started to do on Thursday at our track workout when I picked up the pace to a speedy pace). But I was ok with this and didn’t fall apart. Still maintained a pace that felt like a hard effort, but definitely not an all out race effort.
- I feel good now. I took an ice bath when I got home and have the compression socks on (yes, I even wore the pink compression socks, with sandals, to the mall for back-to-school shopping; I’m cool, I know).
- I really do feel like if I had given it an all out effort (and not held back because of worry about the leg), I would have been able to get 1:43:30.
So what went wrong? What can I learn from this half marathon?***
- I freaked out about my leg the past two days. A super speedy, super tough runner who knew I was worrying about my leg messaged me late last night and said, “No more worry. A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of running.” So so true. By 7:00 last night I was exhausted from all the worrying I was doing about my leg! I think runners do need to be ultra aware of their bodies, be cautious, nip potential issues in the bud before they blossom into a full blown injury, etc. Runners do NOT need to do what I did the past two days, which is: imagine that soreness all over my right thigh means that I’m doomed and must have a horrible hamstring TEAR and that I should not only not run the half marathon, but that I should take the next 10 days completely off running and then reevaluate and potentially back out of the marathon. Seriously. That’s what I worked myself up to the past two days. I should have taken a deep breath, stepped back and looked at what was happening with my body. The all-over soreness that I was feeling in my right thigh? That wasn’t my hamstring tweak expanding up my whole leg and tearing my entire muscle and tendons, like I built it up to be. If I had slowed down and not freaked out immediately, I would have realized it was soreness in BOTH legs. And it started the day after I lifted weights on Thursday (after resuming them on Tuesday of this week, for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks). Duh. So of course I’m gonna be sore, but just normal sore. Not freak out injured sore. I think if I hadn’t freaked out about the leg for the past two days, I wouldn’t have been so cautious with it during the race today and I would have had a better race time. SO, moral of this story: I need to chill the F out! Be cautious and treat my body well, but don’t overreact and freak out!
- During the race itself, I think I started too close to the 1:45 pace group. It wasn’t by design. It just happened. And I wasted some mental energy being irritated by them. There were just so many people in a big group around the pacer dude and it was irritating to be in with them instead of doing my own thing (even though my plan for the first 3 miles was to be a bit slower than their 8:01 pace). In future races I think I need to make sure I’m isolated from pace groups so I can do my own thing.
- Drinking water. I usually carry my own water bottle. I’ve done it in every marathon and half marathon. I like carrying my own bottle because it allows me to drink when I want to, avoid the crowds at most of the water stops (except where I pause to grab a couple cups to refill my bottle) and not choke on the little cups. But I decided to NOT carry a handheld this time because I have wondered if it is slowing me down – in terms of running efficiency and technique and weight. I didn’t like not having it (but I still may not use it in the marathon, we’ll see; I may just need more practice). I don’t think I drank enough fluid. One time I choked and had a coughing fit from drinking out of the cup wrong. And I’m not sure that my running efficiency was that much better. Not sure what other options I really have – I don’t really like the fuel belt things. We’ll see.
So, I am happy with today’s effort. Especially because when you plug it into the Daniels tables, it would translate to a 3:41:46 marathon!
*** WTF? Does anyone know why WordPress keeps altering my fonts and making things tiny, then super tiny, then normal again???