Sunday, November 15, 2015

Race Day!

I am linking up today with my friends, Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin and Holly @ hohoruns to share my half marathon PR experience. Link up and support other active women. Share your week!  ㋡ Check out the etiquette here
I am also linking up with others who ran Richmond. Check out the link up host Courtney@eatprayrundc.com

I know this a long one, and if you don't want to read it all I listed out some highlights!
These are my good luck shoes now 
  • Got a ride to the race chauffeured in a Caddy...run buddy goes in style.
  • lost my people before the race started
  • tears on mile one
  • happiness over the weather
  • had a sip of beer at mile eight (just a sip)
  • ran as hard as I could
  • had a PR finish
  • Honey found me at the finish line
  • had a beer at the finish before 10:00 a.m.
  • I got carded at the liquor store (yes, for real)
  • I ate TWO donuts...
  • had lunch at the Egg and I
  • seriously, Saturday was a good day
  • I also started to make funny noises coming down the stairs...
I really did eat donuts...I rarely splurge like this

I thought if I could match last years time, I would be thrilled - 2:10:06. I truly thought that was out of my reach, my goal was 2:11, I thought that was realistic. This training cycle I have struggled trying to sustain anything 9:30ish pace. A big part of that is, 90% of the training it was warm and humid. 

Race morning was perfect, 45 degrees! SO, crazy gorgeous out. As I rode downtown, I tried to tell myself running would feel easier, I could push myself today, don't be scared to try...the worse that could happen is that I would have to slow down.

We got to the port of potties (I know that isn't right lol) and I was freaking out, I went like 6 times, my nerves...
Then a man in line said, "Your wave leaves in five minutes"....I went into panic mode (picture the opening Titanic scene), we were a few blocks from the start.
I needed a warm up! I have been battling the tight problem and I was in a lot of pain earlier in the week. I needed to wake my muscles up. I ran up the street and would look back and see my group. They didn't want to jog at all, but I needed it :( The last time I ran toward the wave sign (F) I turned back and they were all gone. I hopped on the sidelines and looked for them as I pinned my bib on, and never saw them.


Found them at the finish - left to right - me, Kasey, Chris, and Robert (his 1st half) 
I was running alone.
I finally decided to go.
According to gun time, I was about 3 minutes behind them.

My legs hurt the first mile. I was so stiff on my left side, I even shed a few tears. SO much anxiety bottled up, losing my people, thinking I was going to end up walk/running...
I started to regroup after I passed the first mile marker.
I wanted to start at a good clip, set the tone, but I didn't want to hurt myself either. I tried to breathe deep and look ahead, and adjust my pace on feel, and thankfully the stiffness improved.

Mile 2 when my Garmin beeped, I peeked at my cumulative time to see if I was under a 10 minute pace. It felt like I was, but so often when I FEEL like I am pushing, I will look down and see 10:15. I just needed to know...

After that I decided I wouldn't look at my watch until I saw the mile marker 10 sign. I had those "good day" target times in my head.

Mile marker 3 and 4 came fast...
Legs and foot cooperating.
I had been carrying a disposable water bottle with 16 oz. of  Lemon Lime Nuun. Holly suggested I collapse it as I go, and it worked great. I had the bottle all smashed down in my hand. I swear it may be easier than my actual hand held. I tossed it by mile 4.

After mile 5, the course heads into a section called Bryan Park. This park is pretty, but the path is very tight.  You truly get stuck and can't pass unless you are willing to run off in the woods. I seem to have a talent at finding those walls of three or four, who are running side by side, who won't budge. 

In the park, I realized I forgot to fuel. I grabbed my sport beans and ate the whole pack between miles 6 and 8. I had intended to have them all gone by 10K point. I wondered if I had fueled too late...

The course comes out of park during mile 8 - it is the biggest climb on the course, a 65 ft elevation gain. My foot started to throb right before the big hill. I tried to take it easy and work on flexing my toes back and forth, my heel was burning. I knew I had slowed up, and I was feeling anxious. My foot kept aching, but my calf never got tight, so I tried to pick it back up.
Mile 8 is also where the beer family is...I took one good sip, the fizz is so refreshing.

Mile 9, I caved and looked at my watch, I was worried about how much time I had lost in the park. I was having a claustrophobic episode after being squeezed together like sardines, and feeling forced into slowing more than I wanted to. 
I was stunned at my cumulative time. I was on my PR 15K pace :) I told myself, PUSH and to stop worrying about what was behind me. Last year at the 15K point, I slowed down quite a bit. 
YES... I did obsessively study my splits from last year.
I ran hard. I kept asking myself can you do more?? I wasn't sure.

Mile 10
Mile 11 clicked off...
Oh, the mental part...
People will yell at you on this part of the course, "It is all down hill from here!" BUT it is not! Mile 12 you have a 30 ft. elevation gain and mile 13 starts with a 13 foot climb before it levels, and then downhill happens. I was trying to focus on not slowing down. My foot was really hurting in the heel area, and I felt like I was losing it. I didn't want to hear that when it wasn't true, but everyone yells it!

I heard Adam Lambert on my play list...My Heart is a Ghost Town...I thought, good song while I am tired, hit repeat when it is done, but I never did. My brain was all over the place, I couldn't focus.  I started seeing places on the course, and I would remember that last year I felt really tired when I was there. 
I told myself PUSH.

I kept wondering could I go faster? Try...
Mile 12, I glanced at my Garmin...I thought no way...
I kept wondering when the down hill was coming...I wondered if my Garmin stopped working. I started thinking, wait a minute, my watched beeped at each mile, right at the sign. Am I really going to finish with a big PR? I obviously was over-thinking things. I am bit frustrated as I look back, I did slow down on mile 12, and I don't think it was physical, as much as it was all the mental stuff. My brain couldn't accept how fast (fast for me) I was running. 

The downhill grade at the end is very steep, 87 feet down. It is a great way to end because you are tired, but you really have to be careful not to pound your legs. I did my best and let gravity do its thing...


The finish line area is congested! 

I crossed the line, collected my medal, blanket, and hat, but I could not process my finish time. I was overwhelmed. I had text alerts set up, so I could see my finish time, my avg. pace, but I still couldn't believe I had done it. I started to feel excited after I found Kenny and my group. It took awhile to sink in that I had run this course 7 minutes faster than last year.





Thank you Sweet Holly for my good luck skirt!

There it is! Half marathon number six, my new shiny PR :) 2:02:43

LocationNet TimeClock TimePacePace Between
10k58:181:11:369:23 /mi
9:20 /mi
Finish2:02:432:16:019:21 /mi

and my Garmin break down for you number junkies :) 
and YES, mile 8 really, REALLY, bothers me to see it.




SplitsTimeCumulativeDistanceElev Gain
19:19.19:19.11--
29:25.318:44126
39:15.828:00:001--
49:19.437:20:00116
59:26.646:46:001--
69:18.956:05:00118
78:58.11:05:0317
810:001:15:03165
99:28.71:24:3217
109:15.91:33:481--
119:06.41:42:541--
129:31.91:52:26130
138:42.32:01:08113
141:37.12:02:450.21--






























It was a good PR day for run buddy, too - 2:01:19 (9:15 avg pace)

I am curious about all kind of things, so tell me anything!

Do you ever go into a fog during a race and not really remember much?

Do you like to see your lap times as they happen, or do you try to NOT look?

Does weaving around people wear you down?

Did your PR happen completely unexpected? or after hard training?

59 comments:

  1. I loved reading your recap! Congrats on a new PR! It looks like you paced perfectly the entire race and had a strong finish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Debra :) I really feel like I didn't feel like I had much left when I got done! Those moments though...I think well, I could have just a little faster...but I need to stop doing that to myself lol

      Delete
  2. Great job! Congrats on the PR. I am both so happy for you & jealous at the same time. :)

    My PRs usually come after a lot of hard training. I usually only remember bits & pieces, as my race recaps show & yours wasn't long at all.

    Hey, mile 8 was a hill, so go easy on yourself - although I do gotta say, in theses parts, that would pretty much qualify as a flat course. My 15k had over 200 ft elevation gain . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Judy :) You know my neighborhood runs of 3 or 4 miles typically have that elevation gain, my neighborhood is very hilly! I guess that helped me. It is funny though, because some parts of the course are so tight, and a lot of the streets are older, they slope, so the body doesn't read it as a really flat course.
      Mile 8, I was in pain. My foot has been consistent. Each time it hurts it starts about mile 8!

      Delete
  3. I am beyond impressed. Wow! I loved reading the recap in detail (it was not too long, it was perfect). Super proud of you but also wondering how are you feeling today? How is the foot? Hoping it's OK, Karen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Susan :) I actually left a lot of detail out, it is hard to put it all together! My mind was in a blur...
      I feel pretty good this morning. My legs are fatigued and aching just a little, but improved from yesterday. I took a 5 mile walk yesterday with Kasey and it really helped to come home and stretch it out!
      My foot is still tender. I don't think that is going to be an easy fix :( everything I am reading says it could flare up in and off for months) Thanks for checking on me.

      Delete
  4. This gave me chills! I'm so happy for you, my friend. What a wonderful race. Oh my, I zone out so bad. It's like I can't remember anything and certainly can't do math. I'm so glad the crushed water bottle worked for you. Why are we paying for expensive handhelds? LOL. I think all that horrible summer running paid off. That wonderful weather felt great to your body! I'm going to remind you about this next summer. HA. PS -- You look very cute in that skirt! I appreciate you linking with us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Holly! You really get some of the credit :) That skirt is so comfy ! The bottle was a great idea, I may start buying the flimsy bottles all the time. I think getting some Nuun in me gave the mental boost I needed. You know I haven't felt like all the summer worked paid off, because I struggled so much, but i guess it did. It will hard, but I will try to remember that!
      The weather was amazing!

      Delete
  5. WHAT A GREAT DAY! You did so well, Karen! Mile 13 was an 8:42!!! You were flying, girl!!! :) I am so happy for you and your shiny PR. You conquered your anxiety at mile 1 and showed that course who's boss! I guess your next goal is a sub 2:00???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gotta that gravity!! Made that 8:42 possible :)
      I get the worse darn pre- race nerves...I wish I didn't but it happens every time!
      Ha! I had several others now who asked me about that sub 2 lol I have to have the right weather for sure, but I don't feel confident that I can do it.
      I need one of my speedy buddies to pace me for one.

      Delete
  6. AWESOME! Congrats on that PR! 7 minutes? Holy moley, girlfriend! Great job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Wendy!! Who knew?! I didn't think I had in me :)

      Delete
  7. Holy crap, Karen, 2:02 is an AMAZING time! Congratulations! It must feel so validating after all you've been through this year and how tough running was for you this summer. Fantastic job on the race of your dreams, you earned it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Hanna :)
      It seems crazy, because I know I can not run that fast!! LOL
      Man, summer running makes me want to cry just thinking about it.

      Delete
  8. wahoo!!! Great job! I often feel claustrophobic in races too. Sounds like you did a good job fueling! I would be super proud of beating those pre-race nerves and being separated from your friends. That is a lot of mental anxiety to overcome! I bet those donuts were the best! Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Cheryl :)
      They were good donuts lol
      Races that are so crowded are hard, the weaving is tough. After the park area, I just wanted to claim my own space for a few minutes :)

      Delete
  9. Wow! What a fabulous PR! And how great you ran most of that on feel, not relying on your watch!!!

    I hope your foot feels better today. Are you going to take some time off to heal and let your body recover?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes ma'am! I am going to try to rest this week. My foot has been tender today on and off, it does need time.
      I seem to have better runs when I try to push myself off feel....when the temps cooperate. I was afraid if I saw a "fast" mile, ( for me) I would slow myself down, being afraid of getting tired. I really have not run at that pace in months!
      Oh and thank you !

      Delete
  10. WOW! WOW! You rocked it!!! And you looked great doing it! My half marathon PR was shocking and I haven't come close since.

    Congrats!

    Do I see sub 2 hour in your future? Yes, I do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Darlene :)
      I think this may be it for me! It was tough and all the stars really aligned just right. It is hard to recreate all the factors I needed.
      I am afraid of a sub 2, this felt close to the edge! I do think I would be getting sick at the end .

      Delete
  11. OH MY GOSH - I am so proud of you lady! that is so awesome
    YOU DID IT!!!!
    I literally am doing a fist pump reading your recap!!!
    All the hard work has paid off!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Big smiles Rebecca Jo :) Thank you !
      I was pumping my fist coming down the hill at the finish line :) I looked really corny! But I felt really good.

      Delete
  12. Wow!! Congratulations on a huge PR. Perfect running weather, too. I love it when things come together and you have a great run. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so thankful things came together in such a great way!!
      Thank you so much :)

      Delete
  13. So proud of you Karen!!! What a gorgeous day to Run Richmond!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Robyn :)
      It couldn't have been more perfect, congrats on the sub 4!!
      A very perfect race day for sure.

      Delete
  14. Congrats on that great race and PR! And yay for getting carded (it's always a thrill when that happens and you are over 40!) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha! I could not believe the girl carded me. She said running must be good for you :) I had the commemorative race shirt on.
      Thank you so much! It is still hard to believe I did it.

      Delete
  15. Karen I am so very glad you had a great race and a PR boy that time is just awesome! See and you worried for nothing. All you hard work has paid off. What about this bottle what kind did you get that you could crush? I've got to order me some more Nuun for my upcoming long runs!!! Thanks for linking this up with our Weekly Wrap too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am pretty sure I am not capable of that time - never in my pie in the sky time, have I even thought about it. I was stunned, I do credit the absolute perfect weather :)
      I did really worry, having such pain just the week before was really working my nerves!
      I got a 16 oz. bottle that was super flimsy. As I drank, I would crush the bottom to conform to my hand. Holly suggested it and it worked great!

      Delete
    2. Thank you!! I do feel like Nuun helps me more than just water :)

      Delete
  16. Congratulations!! I am so happy for you, unexpected PRs are the best!! I go into fogs during every race I barely remember anything from my last half.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :)
      Girl, your last half was crazy! I may not have even made it to the finish line. Itvwas great you made it! I Get that fog a lot though lol

      Delete
  17. Congrats on the big PR! I like to see my splits, but I don't always look - sometimes I'm so tired towards the end of long races and looking seems like it would take too much effort!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tina! I know that feeling toward the end when that second wind doesn't really come...everything feels like too much effort lol happens often...

      Delete
  18. way to go! saturday was wonderful running weather :) congrats on that PR!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I have your link up in my blog now!! I was having a time trying to edit on my phone but was excited to see your PR day :)

      Delete
  19. Congrats on the PR! That's awesome! I ran the 26.2 at Richmond in 2013 and had a tough race. i was drinking the beer they were handing out in the neighborhoods to get me through the last 10K. And by golly that finish is really steep downhill. I lost a toenail after that race. Congrats again!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! 2013 was rain and humid, right. I would have drank the beer too lol
      That downhill is crazy, I have said it is almost too much lol I can see how it would do some tender toes in, my toes were tender race night, but everything felt better in the a.m.

      Delete
  20. I've never run Richmond but it's on my list for sure. Congrats on the PR that always feels good doesn't it?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a great race to consider doing. Yes, it felt amazing! If only all days felt that way :)

      Delete
  21. Wow, fantastic! I had a rough race this weekend and it was only a 12K. I have to look at my Garmin because my perceived pace and actual pace can be worlds apart -- faster or slower.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :)
      Some races just don't go as expected and that has happened to me a lot! It sure is nice when everything goes well.
      Since I run so many mornings in the dark I got used to not being able to see my times. I seem to do better when I am not sure.

      Delete
  22. You rocked it and you finished really strong! Yay for great weather, I love running in the 40s! I do find I get in a fog sometimes when running, but I think it is just due to being so focused! I admit I tend to always look at lap times so I can see where I am at and judge how I am feeling and whether or not I should speed up, slow down or hold where I am at.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Christy! The weather made the day for me :) I kept telling myself there is no reason not to push.
      I guess I was focused on moving as fast as I could. I couldn't keep my brain concentrating on much of what was happening around me.

      Delete
  23. Wow Karen!! Congrats! So happy to see all your hard work pay off. Great job! The weather sounds perfect! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great job, that is awesome that you got a PR, and what a great time too! I don't think you could have asked for better race temp conditions, the 40's are I swear the fastest temp times for races!
    Nice having your last mile your fastest time, you must have been totally motivated at that point to push through and get that awesome strong finish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I have been looking at IG posts and other recaps, a lot of folks ran a PR time. It was that kind of day magical day. The humidity was abnormally low :) finishing downhill helps too!
      Thank you, I am pretty excited I ran that time :)

      Delete
  25. Dang Karen, this was amazing! What a day! And a massive PR!!! I'm SO happy for you. I totally get the fog. I think you're right, the brain just cannot process the unexpected pace. Huge congrats to you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so Marcia! I have never ever managed a long run at that pace :) I still give the great weather a lot credit. As I read through recaps, it seems it was a PR day for a lot of folks! Thanks again :) it was a sweet day!

      Delete
  26. Congratulations on an AWESOME race!! I don't know what it is about Richmond, but I have always had great races there. There must be something magical about that race ;-)

    Although it's nice to have a downhill finish, that final downhill is so steep I have always felt like I was going to fall right on my face.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Omg, that hill is crazy lol
      There is news article I will probably post later this week, some poor guy dis do a face plant :(
      The weather the past few years has been great :) It sure helps. Come race next year!

      Delete
  27. Wow Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved your recap! I am totally going to try the collapsed water bottle trick. What a good idea. I'm so happy for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Heather!! I almost still cant believe it!!!! It felt so good to run that hard :)
      That bottle trick from Holly was a blessing. I have been so dependent on Nuun during training I just needed to get some in so mentally I wasn't worrying about it. I just never thought to crunch the bottle down till she suggested it.

      Delete
  28. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS, Karen!!! Way to push through and way to tear it up!!! YOU ARE AWESOME!!!

    OMG - I love love LOVE those gorgeous Brooks shoes!!! If I had shoes like that, they would be my good luck charms, too, for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! It was way out of the norm for me lol
      Thank you, the Brooks are the Ghost 7 model, they are my good luck charm now!

      Delete

I love hearing from you ❤