Saturday, August 29, 2009

[Mock] Half Marathon Report

Saturday morning I embarked on my longest training run to date:  13.1.  I decided to use it as a dress rehearsal/mock race so I know I have everything ready to go for the race in two weeks.  My goal for the race is to average at or below 9:00 mile pace.  For the training run, I was going to shoot for around 9:10 pace (2 hour HM).  I wanted to use the strategy I want to use for the race by breaking out the race into 4 sections running over pace, at pace, and slightly under pace.

I had wanted to start the run at 7:30am, as that's race start time, but my stomach had other ideas.  I honestly went to the bathroom around 10 times before leaving my apartment.  Mental note:  Fettucine alfredo is NOT a good dinner the night before long runs.  Even if you take lactase pills, your body will still be pissssssed.

When I got to the start, I realized it was way too cold to wear a tank and shorts.  For this race in the past, I've wore a light weight jacket with sleeves and tossed it to my mother around 4 miles.  I know the tank works for long runs (I've wore it on 11 miles and many shorter runs) so just decided to stick with the sleeves for the run.  So much for the dress rehearsal, eh?  I guess this is the point that I should've been serious about making Taylor practice cheering so I could shed the sleeves after the first few miles.

Ready, set, GO!  [Pretend shot gun!]  And I was off!  Within about 2 minutes of starting I realized I needed to use the bathroom, again.  And somewhat soon.  :(  The good thing about that "discomfort" is that it helped me from going out too fast.  Let me tell you, I've never scoped out the area so diligently for bright blue port-a-potties in my life!  I knew I would have an opportunity to use a rest room at about 5 miles in, but didn't know if I could wait that long.  LUCKILY (or somewhat unluckily) there was a port-a-potty next to a construction site around 2.5 miles.  First of all, eeew.  But second of all, thank GOD.  After departing the bano, I felt like I had an extra pep in my step and was on my way.  I took my first GU at the 3 mile point.
1. 9:26 
2. 9:27 
3. 9:29

The next couple of miles are my favorite of the race. I love our downtown area, and it is so beautiful when there are no cars, no people, just beautiful older buildings. I really wish I would've had my camera to attempt my hand at photography. While running, I saw 3 people waiting outside a repair shop, I said my typical, good morning.... and they started cheering and clapping for me! One of the guys was in a wheelchair, and he held out his hand for me to slap and told me to "go get em!" It was such a pick up, it was great. I think I smiled for the next couple miles after that exchange. Then after downtown it's on to Falls Park, which our city is named for. Here's a pic snapped later in the afternoon for your viewing pleasure.

I took my next GU right around the halfway point of 6.6 or 6.7???  The first time I spotted a water fountain, so I also snagged a couple of sips.  I was a little thirsty at this point.
4. 9:15 
5. 9:12 
6. 8:55

Once the time for Mile #6 popped up, I was a little shocked, I still thought I was running a 9:10-ish pace. I attempted to slow up just a little bit to keep some gas in the tank. At the halfway point my time was 1:01:30. I knew I only had to run 3 minutes faster the second half to get a 2 hour finish (which has been my goal for the last 4 HM that I've run). I also couldn't believe how quickly I had gotten to the halfway point. It definitely helped that the first 5 miles were on a different path then what I've been used to doing. Once I hit a little ways into mile 7 I was back on the familiar trail that I run for 90% of my runs. I took my last GU around 9.5 miles.
7. 8:45 
8. 8:56 
9. 8:44

I had passed a girl around mile 8 who was walking, so while I was snagging a sip of water at 9.5 with my GU she ran by the fountain. She was running at a quicker pace than me, so it was fun to have someone push me a little bit. I finally caught up to her and then she stopped to walk. Boring. :p I decided to make sure to keep her behind me, even if she did start up again. Normally during the last section of the run, I pick up the pace to BTTW, but I knew it wouldn't be smart to do that in a training run at this distance, so I tried to maintain the paces I had been running previously, as they were considerably under 9 minute pace. There 
was a red haired chica around mile 11 who just HAD be running a ways in front of me, so of course I had to catch her. Stinkin competitive brain. :p At Mile 12 I looked at my watch and it said 1:49, and I started 
tearing up, knowing that I would complete the last 1.1 miles in less than 11 minutes, and that I would FINALLY break the 2 hour mark that had been so far out of my reach in the past. :) It was around this point that I started noticing signs on the trail. Little did I know, there was a Healthy Heart walk that started and finished where I was planning on finishing my run (also the finish to the HM). It was a little congested, and I definitely got some looks for running amongst all the walkers. WHOOPSIES. :)  
10. 8:47 
11. 8:49 
12. 8:41 
13. 8:15 
.1 :47 (7:37 pace)

At 13.1 my watch read 1:57:33 for a pace of 8:58. :D I was probably the happiest girl at that point. The best part was that I still had gas in the tank. I could've ran probably another 2-3 miles at the same pace. OR I could've picked up the pace during the last 4 miles of the race. Also, since this was my race goal, it gave me something else to shoot for. By the way, unofficial PR by 10 minutes. :p Hope to make the ACTUAL PR even greater. :)
After ice bathing and showering, Taylor and I grabbed some Subway sandwiches and then headed to Falls Park. It was such a beautiful day, although it felt way too much like fall already. I got some great pics of the Falls and the lover boy, so please enjoy. :)

my goodness he's cute, no?  :)


Mica said...

Awesome PR!! Sub-2:00 is great! You are a speedy lady, fo' sho!r

Jamie said...

Way to go speedy! You did awesome on your mock half marathon!!! Congrats on the unofficial PR!

No Longer Using said...

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! 10 minutes?! that is AWESEOME. you are so strong- look at your second half. even despite the bathroom issues!!!! sometimes despite portapotty stops those can just get you down. but you weren't taking no for an answer:) love it!!!! and great photos!!!

Jules said...

Way to go! Looking forward to the official race report, I foresee you surprising yourself :) Good luck!

J said...

Great job on the run! Looks like a beautiful day! I am sure when you get to race day your stomach will be good and that way you will have an even better time!

RunToTheFinish said...

you pr'ed before your real race...seriously awesome. I can't wait to see how things go in a few weeks.

man the bathroom not fun, I think we have all been there!

Anonymous said...

"Stinkin competitive brain." haha I'm the same way! But hey, keeps the run interesting right? ;)

Unofficial PR by TEN minutes?! NICE JOB!!! That's huge! :) can't wait for the actual race day!

X-Country2 said...

Awesome PR! Yay!! You're going to KILL it race day.

I've been to the falls in spring, and they are beautiful. Crazy that something like that exists in the midwest.

Kristin Miller said...

GREATTTTT job! WOW! I'm so jealous. My hm goal right now is first one was 2:17. I'm doing another book review soon...and I love how our guys like to NOT smile for pictures when we look beautiful! ;-)They're too cool.

Anonymous said...

I loved reading that post! My very first Half is in Oct and I'm so excited. My goal is under 3 hours LOL! I trained last year, but got 2 stress fractures a few weeks before the race. :(

Those falls look amazing. Thanks for the pictures!

Susan said...

Awesome run!! With some beautiful pictures!

Glenn Jones said...

That's a great dress rehersal! Now, time to rest up. The rest of your workouts need to be easier. Don't leave your race day performance on the training paths!