Sunday, September 19, 2010

PR for my Half Marathon = happy me :-)

To start, I decided to not fast for Yom Kippur (aka the day before my race). Driving up Friday to Philly, I inhaled a 32 oz bottle of water and was still parched. That made me think that if I go the whole day before without food and drink, I would not make it to the finish line. Not going to get into the religious debate about it, but that was my decision and that's that.

I made sure to eat a lot of yummy carbs yesterday, including a delicious rice bowl with Chinese broccoli and grilled pork tenderloin. I'm just drooling thinking about it. Made a pasta dinner and got in bed about 10:30 pm. Woke up around 6 am to get myself prepped. My stomach was all a mess and I worried that I might have to run to the porta-potties during the run, but I got lucky that it calmed down.

I met some other runners from Drexel and we all headed to the race. We checked in our bags, hit up the bathrooms, and got ready to race. Finally the race started! I think my issue to begin with was I was not really sure what I wanted to run the race in. I knew I wanted to run it faster than 9 minute miles, but that was about it.

The first few miles were weird because 1) having forgotten my banana at home, I was starting to get a side stitch, and 2) my Garmin wasn't picking up the satellites right in Center City so I couldn't exactly figure out my pace. I also felt like everyone around me was flying by, which was a bit frustrating. My Garmin was saying I ran more than I had, which was annoying, but it actually broke up the race because I had when my Gamin would say I ran a mile, then the actual mile about .3 miles later.

I found myself running around 8:30 min/miles and I was feeling like I was pushing it, but it was sustainable. I just kept making sure I was hitting 8:30 min/miles, even with the water breaks. The course was really really flat, so it was easy to keep an even pace. At this point, I knew that unless some freak thing happened, I'd PR the race, which was so exciting.

Around the 10 mile mark, I was starting to feel the Shot Blocks in at the bottom of my stomach and it felt so so awful. I felt so nauseous, but knew that slowing down was not an option. I just pushed harder and harder to the finish, which made my stomach hate me even more. Right before the 13 mile mark, surrounded by spectators, I started to gag and was very very close to throwing up. I was able to not toss my cookies in front of thousands of people, but it surely was a close call.

As I sprinted to the finish, I felt so awful and sick to my stomach, but I knew the race was almost done and I'd PR by almost 2 minutes! I'm exhausted, but I am definitely on the road to breaking 4 hours at the Marine Corps Marathon in just 6 short weeks. Ah!

Final Results (official)

1:52:09 (8:33 min/mile pace)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Moving back to school and Philly Rock n Roll Half Marathon

Training for the Marine Corps Marathon has been going pretty well. My ITBS *knock on wood* has been not as painful. I've been pretty diligent about about rolling it out after my runs, so I am happy that my hard work of building up a base hasn't gone to waste.

I got in an 18 miler two weekends ago and a 20 miler this past Saturday. They both went really well , surprisingly well. The biggest change from training from my ultra to my half and full marathon is speed and the lack of my walk breaks. This sounds pretty stupidly obvious, but golly, the change is pretty crazy. I will say I think I have been able to transition pretty well, even with four weeks off due to my ITBS. I have been training well and putting in some solid miles, but at some point, there's other stuff that comes into the equation. I've gotten my hopes up that I can finally break 4 hours for the marathon, but I have to realize that although I have a good distance and endurance base, I am running much faster than I have in a long time. I have been able to run the miles faster, but I wish I was just a smidge faster as I feel like I am just where I need to be to break 4 hours, without much wiggle room.

Friday, I move back to school (Drexel University in Philadelphia) and finish up my degree in Marketing. Friday night starts the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement in the Jewish religion. This requires fasting of all foods and beverages for 25 hours. You're probably wondering why this matters in a running blog, but this will affect me as I plan to run the Philadelphia Rock n Roll Half Marathon on Sunday. This means I fast starting Friday night and can then eat and drink again Saturday night, the night before the race. I am a bit nervous about not drinking at all the day before the race, but I'll make sure to hydrate a lot this week and have a very nutritious meal the night before.

Can't wait to see how my ultra training will affect my racing abilities for shorter races. I'll make sure to post a race report after I finish!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Kicking back into gear...with my new gear!

Got in my longest run in since my 24 hour race in a 14 mile run with the Road Runners club. I went to do it at 9:40 min/mile pace, but the coach for that group went to help another one, so we were with the 10 min/mile group. It was good to keep it slow for my first run back and it felt great! I'm really happy that my IT band didn't cause me issues, though my right hamstring is still tight, even months after my 24 hour race.

Okay, on to the main point of this post. Since I can probably remember, once I found out about Garmin watches, I've wanted one like nothing other. To be able to constantly check your pace, distance, and other fun facts. For someone who hates numbers and analyzing them, I am kind of obsessed with data and analyzing it when it comes to things I love like running. I have been keeping an Excel spreadsheet documenting each run I do with distance, time, pace, and the weather. It might be a bit obsessive, but it's nice to look back on.

When my new watch finally started acting up (it was $30 at the Nike outlet, so not a huge investment, but still annoying), I decided I might as well go for it. I got it with the heart rate monitor for a fab price at Amazon and it arrived yesterday! I was too busy to run yesterday, so I did my first run with it today. I did a 4 mile run, with one as a warm-up and the last 3 at tempo pace. I haven't done a tempo run in probably 8 months and I haven't done a speed workout in 3+ months, so I was a bit nervous. It went went well! I did the warm-up in 9:08, the second mile in 8:18, third in 8:35, and fourth in 8:17. I was supposed to aim for around 8:30 min/mile, so I'm pleased.

I'm still learning how to use the watch, but so far, so good. :-) I'm going to attempt an 18 miler this weekend, so I can't wait to use it then. I will be heading to Rehoboth Beach, DE for Labor Day weekend, so my runs will be there. Since I don't know the distances of my routes there so well, my new gadget will come in handy. Can't wait! :-)