When I signed up for the Y2Y Half marathon, my longest run YTD had been 8.2 miles, back in February. I was interested in running this first-annual race, though, and I figured it could spur me on to getting back into long runs, if only by force. It was a race with an interesting concept - run from the Middle Tyger YMCA in Duncan, to the YMCA in Spartanburg. You don't see many point-to-point courses.
Monday, Apr 14:
On the day I got back from Rio, I did a treadmill run on the new treadmills in our gym. They've been renovating, and now, instead of 1 treadmill with issues, they'll have 3 brand-new ones, plus 2 ellipticals. I did 4.5 in 37:33 at a 3 degree incline, 8:21 ave / 7:43 effort. My abductors and hamstrings were sore. I was originally going to do a bike session after my recovery nap from the long flight with poor sleep, but they had removed the bike. My legs ended up being ok during the run,t hough.
Wednesday, Apr 16:
55 min Strength session.
Thursday, Apr 17:
The past few days, my body has been craving carbs and junky food. I discovered too late that the new fitness room was again closed, for further renovations, so I was stuck running on the roads at night. I did Zombies, Run!, too, since I was outside anyways. I eeked out 6.4 in 57:40, 8:57 ave. I don't like night-time road running, though. Too treacherous with cars and curbs, too bangy on the knees, but I was desperate to get in some cardio.
Saturday, Apr 19:
This would be my one chance to get in a longer run to prepare for the race. I threw down 12.2 in 1:42:01, 8:22 ave, on the spongy part of the Swamp Rabbit trail. It was good to know that I could pull this out, despite a low-mileage first few months of the year. Did it with no need for food or water during the run. There was misty rain during the run. I was tempted to throw in some exercises during the run to prepare for the Spartan obstacle course races, but I decided not to stress my body too much, and to first get the HM over with.
Sunday, I decided not to run, to let my body recover from the shock of running long again, and to minimize risk.
Monday - gym was still under construction, so I slept instead. I took this week as an opportunity to catch up on much-needed sleep!
Tuesday, Apr 22:
My last run before the race. I made it outside while it was still light out. 6.0 in 51:07, 8:32 ave, at the park, doing Zombies, Run! It was so relaxing to be outside after being in the office all day, and there were lots of people out there, too. It was beautiful.
I had 3 full rest days before the race. I had more carbs than usual the night before, too. Sleep has been odd for me the past couple of weeks, but I had some catch-up, so it was ok. I had a hot shower in the morning, followed by a whole grain tortilla wrap with almond butter, cinnamon, and chocolate... haha. I drove out to the YMCA in Duncan. I had considered driving to the Spartanburg YMCA and taking the shuttle to Duncan, so that I'd have my stuff at the finish line, but I preferred to not have to worry about missing the bus. I took plenty of bathroom stops before the race and did some dynamic stretching. I didn't do any warm-up run, since I needed to save my legs for the mileage. It was in the low 50s, which is comfortable sports bra weather.
I met a guy walking down to the race start, and he asked what I planned on running. A number of people seem to remember me from the iRecycle Half Marathon. With my lack of long runs, I figured 1:38-1:40. We walked out to the race start, and soon enough, we were off! I ended up shooting out the gates like a 5-year-old in a mile run. It was just so exciting to race the roads again... the last time had been at iRecycle in November or something. I was probably going out at my 10K-ish race pace. I could've minimized the damage by slowing down, but I wanted to front-run and just let it go, enjoying the thrill of racing again, even if it would mean a blow-up later on.
(Photo credit: Pace Magazine)
One girl caught up and passed me a few miles in. The morning of the race, someone had said that this race would have "rolling hills". That can mean anything. To someone like me who grew up at sea-level and flat land, a few feet of vertical is a hill. The hills in this area are all similar, though, and it was "rolling hills", similar to how other courses have "rolling hills", although they were a wee bit more frequent in this race, I feel. Somehow, though, the 3 people, including the girl, started coming back to me, gradually, and I was able to pass them back, with a few miles left. At the 9 mile mark, I made my pass and was thrilled to be back in first. Despite a too-fast start, I had quite a bit of zip even at the end... maybe the hills actually helped, by slowing me to a walking pace and essentially giving me recovery and breaking it up into two shorter races. Anyway, I just kept chugging, and it was an exciting finish, with a police motorcycle escorting me to the finish, haha.
(Photo credit: Pace Magazine)
Having watched the 3-hr recap of Boston on Monday, it was kind of fun to get to live a mini-version of it, with our own "run to Spartanburg" and the win. This was a first-annual race, but it was incredibly executed, with tons of police, copious cones all along the 13.1-mile route, and a great crowd at the finish line, where the YMCA was hosting activities for kids. I didn't miss not having a gear check option, either, because there were oranges, bananas, bagels, and BBQ pork sandwiches at the finish. While waiting for the awards ceremony, I played around with a soccer ball with some little kids and laid down under a tent. It was relaxing, and the weather was great.
My official time was 1:40:06... very close to what I had projected. Not bad, considering the hills! The Finishers medals were very nice, and it's my first rectangular medal, believe it or not.
Splits> 7:07 (shot out of the gates!), 7:18, 7:14 (on track for an unattainable HM PR so far), 7:50, 8:06, 7:51, 9:05 (the mile-marker was placed too late, based on the next split), 6:33, 7:27, 6:50, 7:17 (where did this come from?), 7:30, 8:54, 0:58 for 0.1.
13.1 in 1:40:06, 7:38 pace.
So... next... getting ready for obstacle course races of half-marathon distance!