AKA: I’m lazy and busy, sorry.
So I’m missing a couple of race reports. I ran a 5k in August and a half-marathon on Labor Day weekend. Each race should have received its own recap, but by the time I managed to surface from of all the work I had around that time, it was suddenly weeks later and I had other races to run/recap.
So here’s the deal:
Deschutes Brewery Twilight 5k: 22:06, 10th AG
I was mostly okay with this race. I’ve done a lot of self shit-talking about my speed in the last few months, and while it was nearly a minute off my PR, I was still content with a 7:07 average pace. But, at the same time, I’m still itching for a fast 5k…because I think it’s in me. While I knew this wouldn’t be “it,” I still wanted a little bit more. Oh well, next time. 5ks are hard.
American Discovery Trail Half-Marathon: 1:46:13, 8th overall female, 1st AG
I ran this race as a training run and as a way to see my friend Julia finish her 6th marathon. It wasn’t a goal race, I went in with very tired legs, and I had little expectation time-wise. I did, however, want to practice a few things— which I deemed the three “p”s: patience, presence, and power. I wanted to be patient in the beginning with my pace, present (“in the mile”) during the long middle miles, and powerful in the final miles. I think I executed this “plan” well, as I felt incredibly consistent in my effort and pleased with my overall place.
Equinox Half-Marathon: 1:41:32, 5th AG
As you can probably imagine, this was a little more encouraging. And this report will be a little longer than the first two, not because the time was more satisfying, but because it was 11 days ago so it is still fresher in my brain.
This is a relatively new race, but with a fast course profile, ideal seasonality, and beautiful scenery, it drew quite the crowd. Its price tag was a bit off-putting for a small, non-RnR race, but I bit the bullet and registered anyway. I can’t resist a fall half-marathon. It was also an excuse for my family and me to check out some wedding-related spots in Ft. Collins, so we made a weekend out of it.
This was a point-to-point course, so we were bussed to the start line beforehand. I presumed this meant we’d be freezing for an hour ahead of time while waiting around, but when we arrived at the start area I was pleasantly surprised to see we could hang out inside a lodge until the start time. Score! Not to mention there were lots of porta-pottys and coffee available.
The start was a little anti-climactic, but what can you expect from a smaller race in its third year? It was obvious, however, that there were some FAST runners there to race, and whoa baby did they get out of sight quickly. My plan was to try and average around 7:50s or so, which I thought would be do-able considering there was a good amount of downhill to capitalize on.
The first few miles clicked off well. My hamstring and glute have been ridiculously tight lately, so I was a little concerned about running fast on them. Luckily though, it was a non-issue for almost all of the race. The first 4-5 miles felt smooth and controlled, and I had a decent amount of company for the most part. Around mile 3, something happened that has literally never happened once before in a race…my shoe came untied! More than a few profanities were uttered, as I had double-knotted both shoes immediately before the start. Oh well.
The middle miles felt a little tougher. My legs were tired, as once again I was quite un-tapered and on my 6th day of running in a row. But, I took advantage of the downhills when they came, kept my head in the mile, and enjoyed the feeling of running fast.
I logged a few miles in the 7:30s, which I was really happy about. Not once did I do the calculation of my finishing time, but I knew that if I could stick around 7:50s, I would finish in 1:42ish.
The end was a mini-battle, which I’m finding is pretty standard in half-marathons. The course started a gradual upward slope which never really stopped. I was getting hot, my legs were beat, and I really just wanted it to be over. But all the while, I still felt in control and mainly happy to be out racing. It didn’t take long for the finish area to come into view, and as always I was so happy to cross that line.
Here’s my splits, which I’m pretty proud of in terms of even pacing:
7:42, 7:45, 7:43, 7:43, 7:31, 7:37, 7:32, 7:35, 7:39, 7:42, 7:54, 7:55, 7:55, 7:15 (last .1)
Highlights of this race:
-My dad and stepsister road their bikes up the road to cheer us on, and seeing them around mile 8 was a definite high moment for me. My dad road alongside me for a bit, and it was a nice distraction to have him there. He also managed to catch me about half a mile from the finish line, and while I may not have been exactly interested in chatting at that point, it was nice to have him there 🙂
-Pretty immediately after finishing, my dad and I got in the car and he drove up the course to where my stepmom was so I could run the rest of the race with her. She started the race with a big goal (sub-2), which I knew about, so I wanted to help in any way I could to help her get to the finish line satisfied. And oh man was it impressive, and a serious display of guts. She finished in 1:58, 11 minutes under her PR! Really fun to experience that with her, I was/am proud!
-Feeling like myself again (mostly). Not that my running is entirely correlated to the time on the clock, but I am certainly a runner who is motivated by speed. More than that though, I felt strong and in control during this race— which is a feeling I haven’t had in a long time. After a lot of clamoring to get back to where I was this time last year, I’m finally feeling that I’m getting there, slowly, which makes my ambitions for Philly seem a little less daunting.