I think this is a first. Two posts in a week! Here is my race report for Sunday’s 1/2 marathon. It will be my first race report so I hope I don’t ramble and jump around too much. Well enjoy…
The day before the race I had a LONG ride. I went for my first 100 mile ride. So after the ride, and during it, I kept telling myself that the race did not matter and I would just worry about the ride then figure out how I would run when I woke up Sunday. I ate some post ride pizza, took a cold bath, put on my compression tights, and relaxed. I tried to do everything I could to get my legs ready for the race but, again, I knew the race was not a big deal so I was pretty relaxed. The crazy thing about Ironman and 1/2 Ironman training is that 13.1 miles is kind of normal to me. I was not worried in the least bit about running the distance since I have done it tons of times before. So winning the mental battle before the race is always a great thing. And here are my splits if you don’t feel like reading!
I could not sleep Saturday night for some reason so I tossed and turned and woke up at around 4-4:30. I decided to get out of bed, drink some coffee (which I rarely do), and see how my legs felt. I was shocked that my legs actually felt pretty good. They were tired but they weren’t too sore. That was a nice surprise. I ate my pre-race bagel and drank water and Nuun then headed to the bus to head to the race.
The morning was basically perfect to run. It was in the 50’s and was overcast and not humid. I started to think of a goal time and thought 1:25-1:30 sounded good. So I was planning on running around 6:35-40 the first mile then see how I felt. About a half mile into the race I started running with this group of 4 runners and we talked a bit and were all planning on running around 1:25 so I decided to stick with them until I couldn’t anymore. Well luckily that didn’t happen!
First mile went well, I felt good but the first mile always does. Miles started ticking and my legs felt great and I was not really breathing that hard. Two of the guys I was running with picked up the pace but another guy I was running with and I kept the pace steady and let them go. For the first 6 miles we were going at a 6:15-6:30 pace then we saw one of the guys who sped up and decided we would try to catch him. We started to pick up the pace a bit and kept checking the time he had on us. 20 seconds, 17 seconds, 15 seconds…5 seconds…damn 10 seconds…yes! 5 seconds. Then we made the pass. He tried to keep up with us for a while but he told us he was just too tired and went out a bit too fast.
At mile 8, we looked at each other and asked how we felt. I told him I felt “surprisingly good” and he said “good”. We then decided to pick up the pace a bit. Mile 8 was at 6:06, mile 9 6:08, mile 10 6:03. Holy sh*t we were cruising! We hit mile 10 and looked at our watches and decided to go for 1:22. 5k left, during later parts of races I remember what Chris McCormick said in his book when he got tired late in races, “I can do this, I have ran ____ miles plenty of times.” 5k was nothing. So we kept pushing. We started passing a few more people. Mile 11 was 5:59, 12 was 5:57. Now it’s time to kick! With about a half mile ago we really started to push, there was a little uphill and I turned it on to make a move on the guy I was running with. But when we started to really sprint I felt him right there. This was my first real sprint to the finish, like a real sprint. And when I crossed the line I was DEAD tired. I looked at my watch and saw 1:21:16 for a final 1.1 miles of 6:31.
Now the only thing I was thinking about was getting back to my girlfriend’s place, get food and rest up because I still had an hour run and a 45 minute bike left to do Sunday! I have said it many times but this Ironman training is NO JOKE.