I chose this race because: it was certified, I had remembered the area as fairly flat, and it was close for my parents. And, it was fairly cheap, if you registered early- which I didn't. :)
I got 5 hours of sleep, but I slept in the day before and took a rest day Friday before the race (not on purpose, just turned out that way). I also forgot to set my alarm the night before, but woke up at 6:15, which is about 15 minutes later than I had planned.
I took a shower (pre-race ritual), chugged coffee and ate a banana. Then I whisked the kids into the car (with Jon's help) and met my parents at Alton Baker Park (an hour away) by 8:15.
It was warm, first day of summer warm, so I wore a scandalous outfit that shows my current NON-race weight, hence the photo cropping :))
The race had a 9AM start and I had hoped to do a good, long warm up, but had to register and run back and forth from the registration tables, to the restrooms, and my car across the park a few times. I got in about a mile of slow running and then 4 or so sets of 100meters =/- at @ mile pace. I also took Ana-Maria's Roctane gel about 20 minutes before the race with some water.
Then I dinked around looking for the Daniels book in my car and gave up. Finally, I did a little mental math and chose to set my pace alerts on the Garmin to 7m/m just in case I needed it.
Race is ON.
The race director had the small group of people get behind some cones, explained that there would be course marshalls to help direct us, and arrows on the path. There were few people, so I got right in front.
When she rang the cowbell- YES, COWBELL- we started. There were a handful of men who got ahead of me and one was certainly quick- and wearing an Oregon Track Club shirt. I went out FAST and forgot to clear my watch for my running race time. Oops!
From there, it really is all just a blur.
Just so you can see that my heart rate monitor likes to hang out near my belly button.
Maybe it's confused. Maybe I have no heart.?
Here are some of the more relevant race details:
- There were no mile markers that I noticed..None.
- There was one water stop, with one person at it holding a cup out. Maybe mile 1.5? I didn't stop.
- I recall getting passed by a male near the water stop, but that was it for jostling positions.
- At several points in this race I thought of Amanda, and was hoping, praying, it was cooler on the coast for her marathon.
- Also thought of some other blogger ladies who have been very encouraging to me- and how blessed I was that I had an opportunity to race, but glad I wasn't running 26.2 miles. Too hot.
- At some point in the race, I settled on the notion that I wouldn't PR, but I would just do my best and see what that was. My thoughts were, if I could get between 21-22 in the heat, it would still be an accomplishment.
- My watch kept beeping at me, and I did not look at it. I had NO idea if it was because I dropped below 7 minute/mile, or because I was back up above it, or if it was just another mile on auto lap!
- There were a lot of turns on this course, especially after the one short, steep uphill to get on the bridge for the second river crossing. (This is the point- around mile 2.5- that I thought I might be blessed to get 21 minutes).
- After the last two loops around duck ponds, I found a bit more energy and zipped in to the finish, where there was no one cheering, but a sign read 19:something, much to my surprise! I hauled it in to make an official 19:55.
- My heart rate maxed out at 173 during this race. I think that might be tops...since I thought I might DIE several times.
- There was no water at the finish line. But there were some coconut juice things, and later, bagels.
- The awards ceremony was about 40 minutes later- pretty much on time. I received a nice medal with a blue ribbon, and watched a 5 year old boy, 2K racer, win a free entry to the Eugene Women's half marathon- worth $75.00. I'm just a little jealous of his opportunity. :) I'll take the PR though.
- I was primarily looking for a chance to bring up my VDOT training number after Boston, which had slipped from almost 50 in November to 45 in April. (In a nutshell, VDOT is a number given a runner, based on his/her most recent race performance, used to set running paces for 5 different categories of training.). Click here for VDOT calculator, or here for more explanation on VDOT training.
- A week after Boston, after much questioning myself, I settled on the fact that my training was NOT working and went back to the drawing board. The realization that I was training at paces faster than what *felt right* much of the time.
- I did two runs with 3 and 4 miles of tempo in them (respectively) and one set of 4x400 meter repetitions with long recoveries, to work on mechanics.
- Any speed work was done very close to Daniels prescribed paces, and the easy/recovery runs were done between 8:40 and 9 minute miles...though Daniels indicated 9:17 (based on my Boston performance)....I just couldn't go much slower than 9.
- Training between 8:40 and 9 minute miles, my heart rate was staying under 140 BPM, except for hills.
- I earned a new VDOT number from this race and am now back up to 50; but, I do not feel ready to train at the suggested easy paces, so I will continue at 8:45 +/- until it seems like 8:30 feels easier.
- I have a suspicion that I might be stronger at half marathon and shorter....but I'd like to do at least one more full marathon to be sure.
After the race, I met the boys at the park and visited with my parents, who so graciously watched them for me. I am SO blessed!!
Here are some photos from both of our park trips after the race:
OK... I am working on moving to WordPress, but with the craziness at home, I have NO idea how long this will take. Thanks for your patience and any helpful suggestions.