Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Buffalo Half-Marathon Race Report and.. GOALS!

 On Sunday, I ran the Buffalo Half-Marathon. Originally, I was supposed to run a spring marathon (Pittsburgh) - that was my plan for quite a while. This shifted around a bit due to scheduling and eventually turned into the Buffalo Marathon. However, we had a very long and terrible winter where people who were less than motivated to train (i.e. me) ended up not doing a whole lot of consistent running. I ended up registering for the half because I thought it was more realistic. I'm glad that's what I decided to do. Even after dropping to the half, my training was sporadic. Between work, my class, my personal life, and general busyness, I was missing at least 1 run per week. I missed a few long runs in there too (missed my last one due to a wedding in NJ - I SWORE I was going to run but a hangover dictated that I should not). LifeWine happens! The wedding was fun and I love seeing my beautiful friend Jessie so happy! I also surprisingly loved being in NJ (in Brigantine which is the island in Atlantic City) near the beach - the weather was so beautiful on Saturday and Sunday - I wish I could have stayed for a little bit longer.

Rehearsal Dinner AKA why I missed my long run Sat. morning
studying before the wedding: see I am a serious student!
some of the bridesmaids and the MotB after the ceremony!
I was a bridesmaid!!! :)
Race day rolled around after a stretch of 6 days where I did not run due to time management issues regarding preparing for the wedding and studying for my final exam (wedding was Saturday in NJ, I was in NJ Fri-Sun, final was Monday evening). Maybe a more dedicated person (or someone who is better at getting up in the mornings) could have managed this - but I could not. I did not run from Wed-Sun. I did start back up running on Monday before taking my final, and ran every day leading up to the race except for Saturday. I'm not sure if this really affected my race (probably missing the long run that weekend DID) but it's what happened and I can't undo it. I had a few late nights (Thursday I was up incredibly late, and Friday night I had friends staying with me who came to Rochester for the Color Run). Saturday night I was in bed fairly early for my 4 am wakeup call on Sunday.
Kerry and I at the Genesee Brewhouse on Friday night
after the Color Run, we took the convertible to Hogan's Hideaway for lunch!
 The trip to Buffalo was uneventful - I left at 4:30, got there at about 5:45, got my packet, got lost trying to find the parking garage that my car was in, but made it to the start line on time after some shady parking garage activities (peeing where I shouldn't have peed) because I was running a bit late. Up until this point I wasn't sure how fast I was going to try to run the race. Based on my 5K a few weeks ago, McMillan predicted a 1:44 finish time. My current half PR is 1:40:something. Could I PR? I wasn't sure if I could do it but I also wasn't sure if I wanted to give up on the idea of at least trying. Then I realized I forgot to look up what paces I needed to run for either of these finish times (sometimes I can be a little unorganized). When I got into the start area, I saw the 1:40 pace leader and said "f-it" and decided to go for it. If I couldn't run a 1:39 I was going to find out the hard way!

She started us off easy at 8 min/mile pace for the first 2 miles and then picked it up. I was generally feeling pretty good for the first half of the race. I wasn't comfortable but I was surviving. I had a shot block every 2 miles and had a sip of water at every aid station. Pace was definitely quicker than I am used to - generally I run everything at endurance pace and I need to stop doing this because it's a huge shock to go faster. Once we hit 9 miles, I started to fall apart a little. The pace group started to get a little farther ahead of me.. maybe 20 feet. I tried to keep up the best I could. I would say miles 1-9 flew by and I enjoyed them, but 9-13 dragged on and on and ON and were fairly horrible. I knew if I could stick with the pace group I could PR, but I just couldn't hang on. The last 2 miles I felt pretty bad - couldn't focus on anything, had some cold chills going on - not fun. Anyways, I finished out of sight of the pace group in 1:41:24 (7:46 pace).

finishing! (love that Saucony top btw)

yes, I suck, I stole copyrighted photos
I am pretty ok with this result. I need to work harder to see improved results. I know this and I need to follow through with it. But I ran my ass off on Sunday and I am proud of that. I didn't try to run conservatively. I went for it, and failed, but I still went for it! The fitness was just not there. My splits look halfway decent up until mile 11. The HR data is a mess; I think my monitor is shitting out on me so that information is essentially useless.

It is still very obvious two days later that I "over-ran" my fitness level as I still am hobbling around and my quads are sore to the touch. It probably didn't help that yesterday I went on a 2.5 hour trail ride which made my legs feel worse I am sure. (But it was such a beautiful day to enjoy on horseback!).

Cherry and I on a Memorial Day trail ride
 Once I recover it is onto the next goals: the Adirondack Marathon in September (goal time TBD) and hopefully a half-marathon in August. I think I can run a 1:35 half if I focus. I have been trying to break the 1:40 threshold for several years and haven't been able to do it. I KNOW I can if I take it seriously. Obviously I can run a 1:40-ish half-marathon without too much trouble (this is the 3rd time I've done it out of 6 total half-marathons) so I need to up my game if I want to run it faster than that.

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