Another month or so of heavy training and taper begins for the Lincoln Marathon. I'm maintaining more miles and feeling good.
Since it has been forever (May 2008) since I have raced a longer event, i really wanted to do a tune-up race within marathon training. This is a "train through" event. Meaning, I'd be maintaining mileage and workouts. I'd cut mileage just a bit to rest but this isn't the key event. It's a chance to race and work hard, see where I am at, test myself.
I was tired earlier in the week. I'd gotten in the miles and even gotten in the speed work but was feeling it. I was looking forward to the bit of the break before the Mercer Island Half marathon. It has been 4 years since I last ran this race. At the time it was my PR in this distance and the first time I came under 1:45 which was a very significant event for me.
It's hilly! They've had a course change which I heartily approve but makes the finish of this race pretty difficult with a chug-worthy hill at the very end. But the start was at the nice mercer Island community center with good organization for a race that this year hit record numbers for all events (half, 10k & 5k). It was great weather! Low 40's with a bit of a breeze. A lot of the course is protected in teh trees though. it's a windy course and you just never really get a chance to relax as there is always an uphill or a downhill to contend with.
What could I do? I am not in 1:45 shape for certain. For that PR I was coming off of marathon training and was specifically trained for the half distance. That is very different than what I've been doing now. So? 8:15-8:25 seemed doable. It was consistent with the 5k time I turned in last month and in keeping with my goals for a marathon.
And? Wow. Was this a tough race. I went out at the right pace. The first mile is mostly downhill and i kept it in control at 8:10. I was pretty well on pace until about mile 7 and then a slow decline set in. Lungs were fine but legs just didn't have that half marathon gear in them. I can see now that I maintained pretty even marathon pace splits even with the hills. I did take a couple walk breaks to take in water and stretch out a hip.
NOT what I was hoping for and not what I was expecting. It shook me. I know i can finish a marathon but can i race it? Well I'm not certain. I was pretty upset by this race and felt pretty silly about it even when upset. Running is supposed to be fun, dammit!
And it is but sometimes there are setbacks that 'cause you to sit back and think a bit.
After some stressful family times (makes me really appreciate what I do have), some craziness at work (busy season, busy season, busy season), this week so far has been good. I've recommitted to the training plan i'm working from and just leaving race day to race day. it'll come and we shall see what happens.
Bonuses from this race:
I had gotten a new nike running skirt which i like very much. I got complimented on it twice while running. Even if i was slow, i was cute!
Seattle sure is a small place sometimes. About mile 3, i got to chat for some miles with a former employee of where I work. It was good to see him. I got a shout out by name at 12.5. I have no idea who it was! And a forum friend who i've not met in person caught a picture of me coming into the finish.
There were a lot of good stories from this race. RPD's is among the top of the list.