1st place female, 6th overall. 1:37:50 officially. 8 minute PR because the only other 25k I’ve done on the roads was perhaps one of my worst races. Recap of that here, if you’re looking to kill time.
I did this to help get me through a long run/MP effort workout. It was such a great event. Super low key (as evidenced by their $5 entry fee! Love it!), and most people are doing it as a workout for a spring marathon.
I latched on to a group of guys early on in the race and we cruised through the whole thing together. It was great. I actually felt really good, surprisingly, and loved hearing the pitter patter of my feet on the pavement (sign that my turnover is higher and I’m not running tired/heavy on my legs) and loved recognizing that I wasn’t really breathing. AHH, best feeling!
At about 4-5 miles into the workout, I wondered if I was going to be able to hold this as my MP. We were averaging about 6:15-6:18s, which is slower than my goal MP, but was the right “lung feeling” (I know that sweet spot! Plus, confirmed by my HR monitor). My concern, then? My quads. They were feeling a little cut up, since the course is SUPER HILLY. They warn about it on the site, but I was really surprised. We climbed a LOT, and not just little hills. Then there’s the obvious pounding down those hills. Not used to stuff like that at all.
I’m not a good hill runner, and that was confirmed on race day, but I could keep the guys around me within distance and chase them down on the downhills and flats. For some reason, I felt like I could fly downhills and my pitter-patter stride felt fast on the flats (not that there was much of that). I was surprised by how fast I’d catch those guys on the downhills (and fly past them!). Maybe they brake too much and I don’t? Guess I haven’t ever thought of myself as a good downhill runner before. Hmm.
Anyway, I averaged something like 6:17s. At first, I thought to myself, “What? Ug, that’s 2:45 or so pace, and I want to be (and know I can be) faster! Was I not pushing hard enough? (Answer: probably not, but I think that’s okay?)”. But then, I realized that 1. I’m still 5 weeks out from Fargo and usually MP comes down a bit in the last month before the race, 2. I don’t know if I’ve been strong enough to hold MP for 15.5 miles before (longest has been a half marathon, usually 2 weeks out), and 3. this course was freaking hilly, so to average something relatively quick on it is a definite “win”.
And yes, Jerry, I did try to bring it down for a couple of tempo miles. Not sure if the watch will confirm it, but the mental switch was there! Now just have to make more of a leg switch! I will die trying to find the ability to change paces and finish that last 5k of a marathon as FAST as I can. Sometimes I just think I’m being to much of a “protectionist” – i.e. not going now because I don’t really have to and it’ll just hurt. And you already hurt. So why hurt yourself more? I have to think through what to tell that voice when I’m racing. Because ultimately racing that last 5k all out IS what I want to do, it will hurt like no other, and I know it’ll bring me to my best possible time. After all, the reason I start a little slower in a marathon is to be able to negative split – so if I don’t ACTUALLY change paces, then, well… you get the point.
Oh – and check out picture 54 here: http://wkphotography.com/gallery/13_Season/RonDaws/index.html. I’ve felt this more so lately, but saw it here – my stride is more powerful than it was two months ago. Yeah, those striders and plyos and strength workouts ARE making a difference! (On a side note: hate underwear creases. Not sure a way around it in the compression CW-X, which I will not race without, but I still reserve the right to hate showing the world)
So, yeah! Another hard workout in the books! Now one last up week for me – yikes! We’re really just 5 weeks away from Fargo?!? And Whidbey Island Marathon is this weekend? Holy cow… 🙂