Thursday, October 8, 2015

Wineglass Half Marathon Race Report

Wineglass Half Marathon, Run, 13.1, Race Recap


"What's your goal?"
No Goal.

"What was your previous best?"
I don't know.

"How long do you think it will take?"
Probably between 9-10 min/mi.

"Think you'll PR??"
I don't really care.


Wineglass Half Marathon, Run, 13.1, Race Recap


No Expectations, No Pressure, Just a Love for Running

That's how many of my pre-race conversations went before running my 3rd Wineglass Half Marathon.

All I wanted was to run a good strong race. I didn't want to look up my previous best because I didn't want the pressure of needing to beat it. I figured I would run based on how my body felt, not worrying about time. And truly I didn't care if I set a new record.

Almost all my MCM training long runs have been bad. I wanted to quit so many times. I needed to get my spark back. I needed to enjoy running again. So that was my approach to the Wineglass Half Marathon. Enjoy the race and run strong!


Wineglass Half Marathon, Run, 13.1, Race Recap


"No expectations, no pressure, just a love for running. #runnerlife #RunHappy #halfmarathon"

I'll Save You the Suspense

I ran my best.race.ever. I beat my previous best by more than 7 minutes. Whoa. That's a lot for a half marathon.

I finished the Wineglass Half Marathon in 2:05:08. That's an average of 9:34 min/mi. I finished in the top third percent overall and age group division, and in the top quarter in the female division. I'm super excited about that. 


Mile Splits
9:34, (missing due to watch malfunction), 9:24, 9:00, 9:17, 9:30, 9:16, 9:51, 9:28, 9:47, 9:37, 9:37, 9:16

What Went Right?

Everything.

That seems totally cliche, but so true. Some days the stars align and everything goes right. I spent the car ride home trying to figure out that one magical thing that allowed me to have such a great run. There were a lot of things working in my favor at the Wineglass Half Marathon.

  • I was very well rested. Nick says he always does best when he continues to work at his normal intensity. For me, I need to continue to move regularly, but cut back on the intensity. This is what my week before Wineglass looked like.
  • I hydrated like a crazy person the week before and I had a great carb-load lunch the day before the race.
  • The weather was absolutely ideal for running. The morning was cold {in the 40s}, but warmed up nicely to high 40s/low 50s. There was a strong headwind most of the course which was slightly annoying, but I think I would have been warm in the sun without the wind.


Wineglass Half Marathon, Run, 13.1, Race Recap

Run Like You Stole Something

I decided to line myself up somewhere between the 2:00 and 2:10 pace groups. Turns out this was perfect :) 

As I expected, there were plenty of people lined up ahead of me that shouldn't be. Normally this annoys the heck out of me, but I intentionally decided not to let it get to me. Instead I got a high off of passing people! Tooting my own horn a bit-- but I passed SO many people over the first 2-3 miles. At the beginning it was huge amounts of people. But even as we thinned out a bit, I kept moving at my pace and steadily picked off runners the whole race.

I was told recently that I'm competitive. I never really considered myself to be super competitive, but maybe I am. It gave me a huge boost to pass so many people.

Fuel Like It's Your Job!

I normally do a run/walk plan during long runs and races based off time. I changed things up a bit though at Wineglass. I decided to run until each aid station, walk while drinking, then jump right back into running. This worked out well and didn't slow me down. 

The Wineglass Half Marathon had plenty of aid stations and I never felt like I didn't get enough water or Gatorade.

I planned to consume Honey Stinger Energy Chews during the race. These were perfect! They tasted good and they gave me an energy boost without feeling like my blood sugar spiked. Oh, and they are organic {score!}. I ate 3 Honey Stinger Energy Chews at mile 7 and 3 more at mile 9. I planned to eat more at mile 11, but decided Gatorade would be enough.

There was a woman from Team RWB that I was near the entire race. At mile 7 we both stopped to walk and fuel at the same time. We looked at each other, smiled, and did a little "cheers" gesture with our fuel. It was like, "Yeah, we're in this together!"

The Entourage

My parents, my sister and Nick's parents were all at the race for moral support.

They were waiting between mile 6 and 7 and then again at the finish. It gave me something to look forward to as the miles passed by. Thanks Kat for your awesome iPhone 6 photography skills! {most of the photos in this post were taken with her iPhone}

Since Nick and I didn't run together our families had to rush to the finish after seeing me mid-race. It all worked out though :)


Wineglass Half Marathon, Run, 13.1, Race Recap

After Nick finished he came back out to meet up with me. It was around mile 12 that we found each other. The first question he asked was "What's your time??" When I told him, he was so excited and kept saying "Yeah, you got this!" He ran with me until the turnoff onto Market Street.

When Did You Know?

I knew I was going to have  good race from pretty early on-- probably by mile 4.

I was steadily passing people. My legs felt strong. My breathing was on point. There was no racing heart rate. Just calm strong strides.

My first indication that it was going to be a good race was that I never craved a walk break. I never had the "ugh, time to start running again" feeling.

My second indication was time. I wasn't hawking my watch, but I would glance down when I passed a mile marker. I knew that if I was running slower I would be passing miles on the "10s", but I was on the "8s"-- then towards the end, I was on the "6s". I had a huge buffer. The buffer gave me confidence and I continued to push myself.

Last year at Wineglass I walked over the bridge which was less than a mile from the finish line. I was not letting that happen again this year.

Over the last mile I asked Nick to tell me about his race to distract me. This was when I found out he finished 3rd male!

Wineglass Half Marathon, Run, 13.1, Race Recap

The Final Stretch

Coming down Market Street is always a neat experience. The finish line looks so close, but it's still about 3-4 blocks away! The streets are lined with spectators cheering on the runners. The air is electric.

My entourage was stationed right before the finish. I saw them cheering right as I was getting ready to cross the finish line.


Wineglass Half Marathon, Run, 13.1, Race Recap


Wineglass Half Marathon, Run, 13.1, Race Recap

2:05:08!!

I was spent. This was the fastest I've ever run this long of a distance. It kind of felt surreal. I hadn't run this well in months.

Maybe, just maybe, I got my running spark back.

Ready or not, here I come Marine Corps Marathon!

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Your turn! Did you race last weekend? Do you have a big race coming up? What's your strategy?
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AK

Wineglass Half Marathon, Run, 13.1, Race Recap

Wineglass Half Marathon, Run, 13.1, Race Recap

This post is linked up with Jill for Fitness Friday, Fitful Focus for Fit & Fashionable Friday, and The Silvah Lining for Tuesday Tales. Be sure to stop by and check them out!