So I definitely wasn't MAJORLY pumped for this race, of late. It's been tough not feeling like myself/sluggish and not really sure why (probably not my body rebelling after over-racing this year). But I was amped on my cuzins coming down and seeing so many people from SDTC at the race. (As it turned out, the girls bailed -Erin got mysteriously ill, Alyssa had a work conflict.... even my own sister ran two miles of the race, ran back to the start, took my car to go get coffee and waited for me at the finish line. IS THIS REAL?!) When I realized it was going to be pretty cold in the morning, I was DEFINITELY not amped.
Morning of it was prettyyyyy cold and the portapotty lines were healthy. I got there ten minutes before the race started. (Was this my first race?!) And went to see what the portapotty lines were like- FULL OF PEOPLE. Ridic. I was superrrrr nervous that I wouldn't get back to the start and was panicking checking my watch every two seconds. Not starting at the right spot in this race would be like death since it's such a narrow path and it would not be fun to bob and weave for the whole race. Last year pacing was a bit of trouble with how narrow the path was. The 2 Hour Group was a pretty healthy size and it was a nightmare keeping us all together with how narrow the path was. (Maybe my group was happy to get separated from me??!) So anyways- I got out of the portapotty line RIGHT at 7:30 and bopped on over to the start line... only to waiiittttttttt. For 25 minutes to start. Not ideal. I was trying to stay warm because I remembered how not fun running on frozen feet was at Big Cottonwood. My toes definitely went numb but we did eventually start....
SOOOOO the race pro's/con's:
- great price (I think it was under $100- no Mexico race (i.e. GRATIS) but still...)
- race logistics were simple- they had a bus to the start- or a bus to the finish since it was a point to point- and this was included in the price (Nike makes you pay an extra $20 for the service of getting you back to where you started. Thanks, guys!)
- net downhill course (700 ft down, babyyyyy)
- bike path
- plenty of hydration on course
- nice long sleeve race tee's
- lots of pace groups
- SUPER simple race expo at RoadRunner
- narrow bike path (it can be a pro and a con)
- it's advertised as net downhill but there are definitely rollers in there. don't think it's ONLY downhill
- I am out of shape (just kidding - that is not the race director's fault... or maybe it is)
- I never saw a pace group in my time range- maybe I was in no man's land
- more portapotties would PROBABLY be a great idea
- not sure why start time was so delayed but it was a lil tough in the cold (high 30's/low 40's)
So the race felt hard from the beginning. That's pretty much how everything (speed-wise) has felt lately though. I wanted to run on feel for this race and that was my plan (that I formulated night before). But when I realized during the race that I may be embarrassed by my "feel" at the end of the race, I ended up babysitting my Garmin pretty hard. I would look at my watch and be like- you are not on this course to run THAT.
The downhills were nice- but I felt like I was working too hard on the uphills so when I went back downhill I was just recovering and not taking advantage of the descent. Anyways- I took two Salted Caramel Gu's during the race- one at mile 5 and one at mile 9- anything to get a lil burst of energy/save me from shame.
Having paced this race last year I remember it feeling a lot easier. That may also be because I paced the 2 hour group at a 9:07 min/mi pace. At least I kinda remembered the course so it made it easier to know what was coming. Well I sauntered into the finish at 1:38- not particularly thrilled with the time, seeing as months ago I was planning on PR-ing this race- but considering where I was this time last year- doing 1:38 at a race when I haven't been feeling like myself for some time is something I'm ok with. Great place to start Boston training from.
I am thankful for the opportunity to race and run healthy. I'm thankful for people who put things in perspective when I'm feeling off about my running. And I'm thankful for where I'm at compared to a year ago.
Post-race my quads and calves (mostly my calves) were on fire. I did a 7 mile recovery run on Monday with some strength stuff thrown in. After a full 4 months of doing ZERO strength- I'm back at it. Read this quote today which is SO true- "If you want to improve as a runner, you've got to do more than just run. You've got to make time to do the extra stuff, too." I'm ready to do the extras.
Have an amazing day- and hope everyone is starting to write out some goals and get ready for the big 20-15. It's gonna be a good one!