I will racing my first 70.3 in April, and I thought it would be a good idea to run a stand alone half marathon before. I had a lot of good workouts in December and January, until I pulled a muscle in my groin running 400 meter sprints at CrossFit. I was worried that the time I took off from running would really impact or prevent me from racing. Luckily this was not the case, and I healed up pretty quickly thanks to Dr. Kempe at Airrosti!
The afternoon before the race I gathered my clothing and nutrition and put it all in one place. I couldn’t decide between shorts or capri’s and I ended up going with the capris, a tee-shirt, arm warmers, and thin gloves that I would throw away during the race. I slept really well two nights before, but the night before I was a bit restless, waking up every hour anticipating my alarm going off. When it did go off, I eagerly got out of bed, and had my usual pre-race breakfast of applesauce, protein powder, a banana and sports drink (Sktratch Labs- lemon lime).
I timed everything out so I didn’t have to wait on the metro platform for 15 minutes, and arrived at the station with 4 minutes to spare. The metro was packed with enthusiastic runners, and I became even more excited and couldn’t believe that race day was already here! Time flies!
I got to the race at 6:30, checked my bag, used the porta-potty 3 times, and got in a good warm-up. I found a table full of hand warmers, and shoved them in my gloves. It was hard to warm-up because there were so many people, but I found a good side street to run on. About 10 minutes before the race started I found my corral and was ready to go!
I have a tendency in races to go out way too fast, and this is something I’ve been working on. I felt really good, but didn’t want to push it too hard in the beginning of the race. I ran into my Ignite teammate Dawn at mile 2. It was fun seeing her on the course, and I stuck behind her until mile 11.5 when I lost sight of her at a water stop. Thanks Dawn to pulling me through the course, it was really helpful!
The first 6 miles went by pretty quickly, and I had been anticipating the big hill that everyone talks about. I made it up the hill and felt pretty strong, those hill workouts I’ve been doing have paid off! After recovering from the hill I was still feeling pretty good, and focused on running with good form.
As the race went on, I was feeling a lot better than I had expected! Miles 9,10 and 11 were all at 6:51 pace! I was really surprised. After mile 11.5, the fatigue set in, and my pace dropped to a 7:08. I kept repeating in my head “strong body strong mind.” My 12th mile was faster at 6:48, which was my fastest mile split of the day! My mantra worked! The last 2.5 miles were the toughest part of the race for me, but I pushed as hard as I could until crossing the finish line. The time on my watch was a 1:34:20, and I ran 13.29 miles. (Splits are listed below) It must have been all the weaving especially in the beginning of the race when it was crowded.
After the race I found Dawn and chatted with some other triathletes. I enjoyed my post race recovery shake that I made the night before and checked with my bag. I met up with the Super Athletes, and we drove back to Rockville and enjoyed some Pho.
Going into the race, my goal was to run under 1:40, which seemed reasonable. I can’t believe how great I felt racing, I really surprised myself! It must be all the awesome workouts and advice from Debi! I am really excited for the triathlon season to start, and I want to race at least one other stand alone half marathon this year! I really loved racing this distance!