Expo: I got there late in the day, but left with some fun swag (sadly, unphotographed!). I got On Shoes for $40, and tried the new Nuun Watermelon flavor – and liked it (much less fake sweet taste than the new Cherry Limeade). I bought two tubes of Nuun at the expo – 2 for $10 + a water bottle… better deal than purchasing online!
Pre-Race: I was feeling ready, and did a decent warmup. I cut my strides short so that I could try and meet the Chicago Running Bloggers for a pre-race photo. #schedulingfail . I chatted with Pete & Charlyn for a moment, then went to drop off my backpack at gear check (in the official gearcheck bag), and head into Corral C.
Myself, Mike & our friend Chris, pre-race
My goals for this race were to: 1) PR, and 2) get a sub-43 (2 minute PR). That big PR would signal that I’m on track and ready to tackle a sub-2 hour half marathon. I felt that I could probably handle an overall 8:39 pace if all the conditions were ideal and if I paced appropriately. My pace plan was to try and stay as close to the 8:39 pace as I could (last year, my mile 1 split was 8:12!) so that I wouldn’t wear myself out too much for the second half of the race, when I typically start to fizzle.
I was feeling ready! I felt like I didn’t go out quite as hard as last year, and after getting through the first tunnel, my watch agreed… I was at an 8:26-ish pace, so I still tried to rein it in a bit more. I had an easier time not needing to run around people this year, and passed the first mile marker at 8:42. After that, my Garmin started going crazy– I was running at a 6 minute mile pace! (Mind you, I had not increased/decreased my pace at all.) It settled into a mid-seven pace, but I felt like I was still running that 8:40-ish pace. It actually lapped early, so when I passed the second mile marker, I manually lapped again. In total, mile 2 was 8:55… a little slower than I wanted, but not crazy.
My next mile was very slow! 9:08 for the same effort — but Garmin was showing me in the 10’s. I saw Zenaida on the course at this point, and also got a side stitch. Gotta practice how you work through those, but I slowed to a walk and stretched very briefly, then back caught up to Zenaida and said hello. As we turned south on Franklin, the wind came into our face. I’m not feeling very confident when it’s super windy out… time to spend more time outside running! Another wonky mile, where Garmin thought I ran a 7:41 and I really ran a 9:15. Ouch.
My final mile was a speedy one. I know how to speed up and run that last bit. I tried to push it, and struggled a bit on Mount Roosevelt, but completed that 5th mile in 8:36.
My overall time was 44:35, so I squeaked in 20 seconds under my prior PR, but was still about 90 seconds off from where I’d hoped. I’m happy I ran a strong race, and I realized how I need to work on pacing by feel. I’m confident I could have given it my all had my Garmin displayed accurate paces, but it’s hard to react when you know you’re not running the pace it displays! I haven’t really been focusing on what an 8:40 feels like, so I’m not surprised at this.
After talking with my coach last night, we’re starting to work at dialing in my current half marathon pace based on my experiences yesterday, so that I can learn what a 9:20-9:30 feels like. Fast finishes on my runs, and mile repeats at that pace (even though I could do a mile faster). My 8K results indicate a 2:05 half marathon, which will put me close to PR territory.
My next half marathon is May 7, so just over a month away. Time to buckle down on these runs, and to also work on shedding some of the weight (not that I haven’t been trying).
Workouts for Last Week:
- Monday – Rest. I was exhausted after flying back early from DC and working all day!
- Tuesday – Easy Run 3 miles
- Wednesday – Strength + Swim
- Thursday – Cycling 1 hour
- Friday – Interval run 40 minutes
- Saturday – 20 minute shakeout run
- Sunday – Warmup + Shamrock Shuffle
Run Mileage for week: 14.2 miles
Run Mileage for 2016: 219 miles
Target Mileage for 13 Weeks into a 1000 mile year: 260 miles. Didn’t make progress again, but I’m hopeful this coming week!
Have a great week! If you Shuffled, how did it go for you?