I didn’t do well practicing my race day preparations. I forgot to check my Gu supply until the morning of the race. I had only one packet, but needed two for a 13 mile race. I was hoping that, like last year, Gu would be handing out samples at around mile 9.5. I was in luck. Gu wasn’t there, but Honey Stinger was and I got the energy boost I needed for the last half of the race.
I left the house without my hat (and I always run in a hat), but it wasn’t disastrous. I did remember my watch and ipod.
I was planning to run the first half of the race at 10 minute miles, the third quarter at 9:45 miles, and the last quarter at 9:30 miles. This was to be practice for my Flying Pig marathon pacing progression.
I started the race next to Iain, from The Running Spot, who was the 9:55 pace leader. (There was no one representing 10:00 minute miles.) I was running comfortably with that group until I broke away, about a mile in, to use the port-a-potty. The wait was much longer than I would have liked. As I stood in line, I watched Iain run off into the distance. And I saw the 10:15 pace leader run by. Then the 10:33 pack passed me. When I finally finished my turn, two minutes had gone by and the 9:55 group was not in sight.
I shouldn’t have done this, but I started running a bit faster than I would have liked in order to catch Iain. At mile 4, my watch read 36:52. (I had paused my chronometer for the pee break.) I was running less than the 9:30 mile pace I had been saving for the end. Still, I kept it up until I rejoined Iain’s group, just past the turn-around.
When Iain told me that the group would be walking up the Terrible Torrence hill, I just shrugged and agreed. Last year, that hill was a total shock. I thought the run would just be out and back Columbia Parkway. Imagine my surprise when, with the city skyline looming ahead, we took a right, up an incredibly steep hill, only to turn around and run right back down it again. I remember feeling like I might collapse on the way down the hill. My legs had totally turned to jelly. This year, after a fast walk up the hill, I felt great on the downhill and was able to use it to my advantage instead of feeling like I might fall on my face.
I left the 9:55 pace group around mile 8 and started running at a faster, but comfortable, pace. I continued to push the pace for the rest of the race. I didn’t keep track of my paces for each mile, but I did descend the times. According to the chip information, I was running the following pace (for the distance noted) at these waypoints:
5K - 10:09 pace
10K - 9:52 pace
15K - 9:45 pace
13.2 miles - 9:40 pace
So, despite my foolish catch-up run, I did manage to, overall, build my pace over the course of the race. I hope to replicate that in the May marathon (but starting at 11 minute miles).
I’ll also be checking my energy gel supply in advance and wearing a hat!
My watch time was 2:04:15, but my chip time was 2:06:36. Damn my bladder
Sporty Sunday is a recurring feature in which I share my fitness routine and offer and solicit advice. While this content might seem a little out of place in an outfit diary, a healthy, strong body is the foundation of my wardrobe. I hope to inspire my readers to be fit as well as stylish!