This was the first time I've attempted to "race" instead of just run at this distance. I warmed up, I had a race plan, and I
Out of my control included the not sleeping well the night before, being a little hormonal just before "that time of the month", and my usually tried and true nutrition plan not working.
So what did I do wrong?
My race plan included going out with the 2:05 pace group and staying with them until at least halfway. I wanted to run just a little past comfortable. I left the pace group behind in the first mile and proceeded to clock my first 7 miles at a 9:13 pace, 20 seconds faster per mile than I had planned. (The pace group later passed me between miles 9 and 10 and I tried to hang on, but couldn't.)
I wasn't mentally prepared to "race" for over two hours. Keeping your mind in race mode for that long is HARD! I occasionally started to drift into space-out mode and had to really concentrate on focusing on my race. I suppose part of this comes with practice and I hope that this will improve the more I race at longer distances. Also, when I did my half-ironman triathlon, I did a lot of race visualization in the weeks leading up to the race. I only did any visualization the night before this race.
I wasn't trained as well as I should have been for my goal. I had a rough patch after my half-ironman, and even though I finally started having good runs again mid-September, I haven't been consistent since.
How and where it went downhill:
After my first 7 wonderful miles, I crashed. I was running along, feeling great. I had found comfortable and jacked it up just half a notch. My breathing was perfect, not breathing hard at all. All of a sudden while climbing a hill, it felt like someone attached me to the weight sled. I went from a 9:12 mile for my seventh mile to a 10:05 mile for my eighth mile. And I just got slower from there. No matter how hard I tried, my legs just did not want to go faster.
I usually take gel at 45 minutes and 90 minutes, in addition to one 15 minutes prior to the race. That has always worked for me in the past, but I always take an extra gel, just in case. Boy, was I glad I did! I was also happy to take an extra gel at one of the aid stations. I ended up taking gel at 45 minutes, 1:20, 1:40 and a half a gel at 2 hours. They didn't help me speed up any, but I could tell when it was getting close to that 20 minute mark, and I think it helped me not slow down even more.
My time: 2:08:57. A PR by 35 seconds.
I have another half in three weeks. I don't know how I plan to attack that one yet. That race falls on my three races in three days weekend. I am also running two 5Ks that weekend and so far the 5K is the only distance I have not set a PR for in 2011. I am torn between trying to break my 5K PR and going for the half-marathon PR I was hoping for. I think I need a couple days to get this one out my head. Then I can make a decision and draft my training plan for the next few weeks.
I'll post pics later if I get some from the official photo people. The disadvantage of having a hubby who runs also is there isn't anyone to take pictures of either of us! Speaking of my husband, he had a wonderful race and a PR of over twenty minutes with a 2:01:30! Very proud of him!