Flying Pig 2015

Flying Pig 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Emerald City Half Marathon

Race Swag!
I wish I could say that this race felt AMAZING but it didn't! As my regular readers/friends already know, I was treating this race as one of my long run workouts. My plan was to run 5 x 2 mile repeats at my goal marathon race pace (8:00) with a 0.75 mile recovery between each. If the plan played out, it would put me around a 1:48 finish time. I also had the responsibility of trying to lead my friend, Dani, to a PR victory.
As my regulars also know, I set ABC goals:
  • Goal A: Lead Dani to a PR.
  • Goal B: Accomplish workout stated above.
  • Goal C: Don't melt.
  • 4:30 a.m.: Rolled out of bed, hair lookin' fly...for a split second, I was actually pissed that I had a race because I didn't want to mess up my hair...had a hard boiled egg, a couple of pretzels, coffee, and a couple of bathroom breaks.
    Why couldn't my hair look like crap today?!
  • 5:25 a.m.: Leave my house because I couldn't sit still. I was a little nervous and I have no idea why! It's not like I was "racing." Whatever the reason, I just had to get on the road and turn on some rap music. "Booty Wurk" at 5:30 in the morning seemed appropriate.
    Pre-race. Jess is the only one that looks like she had enough coffee!
Ok, I got tired of bullet points.
Since I needed 16 miles for the day, I decided to do a 3 mile warm up before the race. My Garmin didn't find the location fast enough for my liking so I just started running. I'm sure I got close enough to three miles to make it count. After warming up, I stripped, attached my gel to my shorts, and headed to that start with my whole crew. There were too many of us to count! Some how in this process, I left my sunglasses in the car which I deeply regretted later. That sun was killer when it finally decided to peek out.
Since the planned start pace was 8 min/mile, we joined the 1:45 pace group. This was only my second time joining a pace group and these guys were on point with the pacing the first couple of miles we were with them. They were quieter than the ones I ran with at Flying Pig, but they were ok with us chatting it up. I told myself I was going to stick with the planned workout but something was telling me to make sure that's what Dani wanted since my #1 goal was to lead her to a PR. After miles 1&2, Dani felt she could try for another mile. A half mile into it we decided to take our first recovery at 2.75 miles. We took the recovery and, from there, I switched back to my 2 miles on/0.75 miles off. I tried to keep recovery between 9-9:15 min/mile.
I was feeling good about my workout for most of the race. The course was ok but not my favorite. I liked the part on the Glacier Ridge trails but wasn't a fan of the road miles at the beginning and end. They were long stretches that seemed to go on FOREVER. Also, were we in a swamp?! That part with the wooden bridge was scary. I thought for sure I was going to fall into a pile of gators. And did anyone else see the people horseback riding in the woods?! All I was missing was an angel of the Lord appearing to tell me this was all a dream.
As I was performing each of my marathon pace miles, I was just staying focused. I would look back occasionally to make sure Dani was there. I told her to just keep me in her visual field and she would be fine. I took my second gel around 5.5 miles when we took our second recovery period (the first I took 20 minutes before the start). From that moment until the end of the race, I could taste my gel every time I burped. That should have been my first clue to my big finishing moment I'm excited to tell you about.
Several focused miles later, I was approaching my last recovery period. I had just made friends with this girl who thought I was crazy because I smiled and waved every time we passed a camera. All I could think in my PT head was how much I wanted to fix her posture and gait. She would not pass the spatula test, Amanda! She would have had bruises on her face. Anyway, The only thing that got me through mile 11 was knowing I was about to get my last recovery. If I could get through that alive, I would only have about 1.5 miles to run at marathon pace.
The last 1.5 miles was the hardest I can remember in a long time....well, maybe since my 5k a month ago! Three things helped me survive that section of the race: another new friend (Kim), getting Dani her PR and telling every quarter marathon walker that I passed "Good job." There is something so uplifting about cheering on your fellow runners/walkers. My last mile was not at my goal pace but I still squeaked out an 8:15 mile followed by a quarter mile sprint at 7:40 (Enter rolling on the floor laughing emoji).
I finished with Garmin stats of 13.29 miles in 1:48:36. Official "13.1" time:
Right where I wanted to be. I did see my watch hit 13.1, and it was sub 1:48 so I was stoked about that.
As I crossed the finish line, I immediately went to the side. I had this weird sensation in my throat. I bent over and put my hands on my knees. All of a sudden, I started dry heaving! Seconds later...BARF-O-RAMA!!! It was this thin, yellow crap. I'm guessing it was probably my gel. I don't think it completely entered my system (hence, the burping and tasting my gel mentioned above). As an adult runner, I have NEVER thrown up before, during, or after running. I was right by the medics when it happened and they, of course, were concerned. I just remember saying, with vomit running down my face, "I'm good. This is not my first rodeo." WHO SAYS THAT?! Oh dear. I really was ok...mostly in shock because I didn't feel sick at all. It did get warm those last couple of miles so maybe that contributed. So that was the highlight of this run ;)
As for my friend Dani, she finished shortly after me and has a new half marathon PR!!! I don't think this race would have been as much fun without all of my friends being there. We even had some peeps cheering for us along the way!

Me, Marion, Theresa, Christine, and Dani. Post race relaxation in the grass.
What's next? Focusing on feeling more at ease with my marathon pace. I'll have plenty of practice between now and Indy. I'm sure part of the challenge today had to do with the fact that there was no real taper involved. I did scale back the miles this week but not like I will for Indy. I still remain confident that I can make this goal happen in November. In two weeks, I have my first 20 miler which will include some race pace miles. Hopefully that goes well!
Christine, Dani, Marion, Jackie, Me, and Felicia. Meeting goals=happy runners!

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