Thursday, November 28, 2013

RACE REPORT: iRecycle Half Marathon - 2013

Training:
Sunday, Nov 10: The day after the 4K race, I did a long run in preparation for the half marathon, which was 2 weeks away.  It was, by far, the longest run I've done since the St. George Marathon in early October.  My sinuses went crazy after the previous day's race.  My body felt tired/worn/drained during the first half of the run, despite a 4hr nap earlier in the day, but I got better and did a big negative split.  My left knee yoinked only once.  This was a confidence-boosting run, and I was glad to be able to pull out the 11.8 miler on demand.  My legs felt a bit used afterwards, maybe still recovering from the marathon.  The backs of my shoulders were sore from the previous day's race.

Monday, Nov 11: Bike session.  Legs were slow at first, but it got a bit faster towards the end.  Did the session after a night-time conference call.   Sinuses finally started improving some time during the workday.

Wednesday, Nov 13: 1 hr strength session in the middle of the night, after a nap.  Considered sleeping through, but my body felt like it needed the cardio.  It had been a while since my last strength session (2 weeks!).

Thursday, Nov 14: 3.5 mi speed session at 1 degree of incline.  0.5 warmup in 4:05, 0.75 mi @ 8.5mph in 5:18, 0.25mi @ 7.5mph in 2:00, 2 x [0.5mi @ 9mph in 3:20, 0.25mi @ 7.5mph in 2:00], 0.5 mi shakeout in 3:32 progressively faster.  So tired after work that I felt like I could cry and collapse.  Decided it would be easier to just stay awake (until dinner digested) instead of napping and then forcing myself out of the nap.   Energized by the run, which wasn't perfect, but was still good. 

Saturday, Nov 16: A nice hike (about 6 mi) at Paris Mountain in Greenville, with some new and old friends. 

Sunday, Nov 17: 4.0 on the 3 degree treadmill.  8:28 ave pace.  Splits> 8:51, 36, 25, 00.  = 7:48 effort.  Mentally fuzzy, downtrodden.  Body didn't feel like exercising, either.  Felt like a hamster forced to run on a wheel, as I was running.  Not much mojo this week.

Tuesday, Nov 19: 4.5 on a 1 degree treadmill, 8:07 ave pace progressively faster.  A decent effort towards the end.  Had a night conf call before.  Took the next 3 days completely off to taper.


The Race:
This was my third consecutive year running the race.  I thought it would be like the other times, when I got 2nd overall.  I did all the usual pre-run stuff.  At the start, I talked to a surprising number of people who said that they remembered me from the previous years.  I figured that with marathon fitness and the taper, I could pull off a similar time as last year's HM PR (1:36:00, just about).  At the gun, started at a comfortably reigned in pace.  Power-walked the hills.  I executed it similarly to how I ran the previous years.  It felt like a similar effort.  Volunteers and police were fantastic, as  usual.  I thought I'd be able to pull in my competitors, gradually.  But, after passing a few, I didn't see any more to pass... the others who I had counted at the beginning as being ahead, were never even in sight.  By the time I got to the final mile, I saw that I was going to end up finishing much slower than in the past... 1:40:25... 3rd slowest time ever, maybe.  It was hilly, but I'm a pretty consistent 1:36:XXer.  I was maybe 6th woman, 2nd AG, but I was pretty puzzled and disappointed by the performance.  I was even doing the post-marathon shuffle.  My right plantar fascia was clearly stressed, too, from the super-flexible Saucony Virratas that had been great during the marathon. 

So... what could it be?
- Been really tired lately
- Work's been psychologically stressful (along with the usual physical and mental stress)
- Still in post-marathon recovery?
- Not much training, although I should still have some marathon fitness left over

Eh... it's ok.  At least I got a good forced long run in.  Had delicious BBQ after the race (one of my favorite parts of the race).  And... I plan to be back next year, ready for redemption. 

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