Saturday, October 8, 2011

RACE REPORT: iRecycle Half Marathon 2011

It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to sign up for the race.  When I found out that I wouldn't have company over for the weekend, I looked for a race to do.  I was going to need to do a LR this weekend, probably the last one I'd get to do before Spinx, and the last decent/normal training run before I'd head off to high-altitude Mexico City, where sprinting or long runs would be out of the question and where there would be limited time to train.

I saw the iRecyce HM in Spartanburg.  I could do it as a training run, perhaps.  I finally managed to do more than 12 mi for a training run for the first time since January 2nd just last weekend.  So my legs still aren't used to endurance yet, and they're probably still recovering from and adapting last weekend.  So I signed up on Thursday night, the last night for online registration.  I was leaning more towards racing, it, though.  This was the 3rd annual event, and looking at previous results, I had a good chance at an age group award.  Also, it's hard not to give it a good effort when you've signed up for a race.  We would see.

Training leading up to the race:
Sunday - 13.9 mi
Monday - Insanity dvd and a recovery dvd
Wednesday - 5.0 @ 7:58 pace, where my heart felt like it was having to work harder than normal
I took Thursday and Friday off to taper.

Fueling and sleep the day before:
- Week leading up, more of a normal person's sleep schedule, b/c my body needed it after a couple of months of little sleep
- Breakfast - onions and tomatoes, refried beans, milk, dark chocolate and peanuts
- Lunch and Dinner - cumulative Foot-long WW Turkey sub from Firehouse Subs, 24oz each of decaf coffee and green tea
- Napped for 2 hrs
- 2nd Dinner - Multigrain Flatout wrap with tomatoes, onions, and smoked salmon
- Tried to fall asleep again, but couldn't
- Midnight snack - Granola bar, skim milk
- Trouble sleeping, maybe got 3 hours
- Breakfast - oatmeal with a bit of PB, decaf coffee
- Pre-race snack - mini Clif bar

8am: 51, 9am: 56, 10am: 61.... decent
The course was half sunny, half shady

I wanted to go early to pick up my packet.  I considered picking it up the day before because I was so excited about the race, and to ensure that I could get a shirt in my size, but the amount of gas and time didn't justify it.  I went early and had to drive around a bit to find the YMCA, but I eventually did.  I went to the bathroom twice.  I wasn't positive what shoes I'd use, since I've been training in heavily built-up shoes recently to try to mitigate the plantar fasciitis, so I wasn't sure how my feet would feel in the light and cushiony Kinvaras, but they felt pretty good.  I didn't really warm up... maybe 100m only, then dynamic stretching. 

I started pretty much at the front line, since nobody else seemed to want to step up to it.  I stayed off to the side, since I knew I probably wouldn't go out too fast, if I was smart.  Even pacing was the goal.  The race would probably have maybe 200 people total, so it wouldn't have taken too long to get to the start line in any case.

(the yellow guy on the left won the mens' race in 1:11:41, and the tank topped #25 won the womens' race in 1:30:07)

We were off.  Cool temps make you just go.  The course had rolling hills throughout, which is something I'm not used to, but it gives the course character.  One thing that really helped me this time, a mental trick, which I haven't tried before, was to think during the uphills "one step now counts as two during the downhills".  That made the slow pace and hard effort feel less discouraging.  It worked very well, and I'll keep in in mind for next time. 

The course was nice.  It's 2 loops.  Maybe 35% is on the right lane of a main road, 15% is on a paved bike path, and 50% is on shady or lakeside residential areas.  The lake part was very pretty.  There were many (10!) water/powerade stops, which was FANTASTIC.  They also had Carbo Boom gels at mi 3 and 10.  I'd suggest that they have a water stop not long after he gels, since you really need to wash it down.  The volunteers and cops giving out water and marshalling the course were also FANTASTIC.  They were very helpful and enthusiastic, and their cheering gave me a boost.  Getting to say thanks to them as I passed gave an extra boost on top of that. 

Soo... starting off the race, a lead pack went ahead of me.  I counted 2 women ahead.  There was also a 5K, which intersected with the HM course for 2 segments, which put some fun into it.  The leaders came by as we entered the residenal area, but they split off later.  We continued through the shady, windy (as in turny) residential areas, and entered a really pretty lake area.  I caught one girl at mile 4 and didn't see any other behind me, so I was feeling pretty good about having a good chance of holding it.  I'd probably fade a bit, since I was perhaps going faster than my fitness could handle, but most people fade because they go out too fast.  It would be cool to get a top overall award in a race as long as a HM.  I was pleasantly suprised, since the previous years' top overall times were faster than I can go.  Around the middle of the race, my left ovary? kidney? something? was hurting, but it only lasted maybe 2 miles.  My legs started feeling tired/a little spent at about halfway.  I was working hard and maybe grimacing a little bit as we passed through the halfway point and completed the first loop.  It was exciting to run through the start/finish area, as there were many 5Kers around to watch. 

From the halfway point, it was about counting down the miles... only 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 left.  Miles 8-11 ticked by more or less on their own.  Last night, I had listened to a podcast where the speaker emphasized how relaxing your body is important to being efficient and fast.  Then mile 11.  It was maybe 0.5 mi of uphill, and it REALLY tested you.  I hadn't noticed that segment during the first lap, haha.  But it was there.  Got over it, and then it was a little more than a mile left.  It was a long last mile.  I thought I'd try to just get through to half a mile left-ish safely, and then pick it up then.  I didn't want to risk burning out too early or doing something that would suddenly make something start hurting.  I don't think I ever really picked it up until the last 0.1, though.  I was just so tired at this point.  I saw a girl in front of me at mile 12.9ish, and she looked like she might be fading.  I didn't expect to catch anyone with less than 0.1 left, but that provided extra fear/incentive to push through the finish. It turns out that there had been another woman who finished maybe 9 minutes ahead of me, so I was 2nd overall, but phew!  It was a great race that went better than I could've expected. 

Splits> 14:31 for 2 (7:16 ave), 36:37 at the 5 mi (7:19 ave for 5), 14:48 for 2 at the 7 mi (7:24 ave for 2), 7:39 at the 8 - total time now 59:05 (slowing down), 7:43 at the 9, 7:34 at the 10, 7:49 at the 11, 8:20 at the 12 (with the long hill), 7:36 a the 13 (was able to pick it up), 0:43 for 0.1... about the same as the kind of kick I can put in at 5Ks.

Total: 13.1 in 1:38:53, 7:32 ave.  (vs. 7:22 at Spinx 11 months ago, and about 7:20 at Greer Earth Day in March)

The race was $50, but I ended up winning $75 and a trophy, which was pretty awesome.  Maybe I can quit my day job, haha.  It's the first time I've really won money from a race.  I think I was supposed to have been mailed a $25 check for the Reedy River 5K, but I never got it.  So this is the first real time. 

After HM races, my body always crave pickles and sleep.  I drank about half a cup of pickle juice straight, since I had run out of pickles but still kept the juice.  My body was also like... sapped.  So since the race, I've eaten a lot (especally protein, which my body craved) and then slept immediately afterwards.

Also, stretching to work out the tightness.

1 comment:

lindsay said...

Nice!! Congrats on 2nd (and the $$!) and a strong race. I've wanted to run this race but it hasnt worked out with my sched yet. Hopefully next year I'll give you a run for your money :)