Tacoma Narrows 1/2 Marathon: 08/18/2018

This is perhaps the most boring race recap there is but it does allow me to reflect back when planning another race strategy… soooo here we go.

 

Race Recap: Tacoma Narrows 1/2 Marathon, August 18th, 2018

– Woke up at 4am
– Breakfast: 1/3 cups Oatmeal w/ AB & chia seeds, 15grams (beans) coffee, 16oz nuun
– Clothing – Mini strides, volee bra, flyout tank, LUX gloves & racing flats
– Left house at 5am
– On the shuttle bus at 6:00 AM —- Depart 6:06…. Bus got lost for 30 minutes…
– Off shuttle at 6:40

Weather / Misc:
Temps were PERFECT for August, with mid 50’s and 2mph winds to start. It seemed so foggy in the morning and for the first half of the race, but looking back, that was more than likely a combo of the poor air quality & morning fog.  Haha.  I am glad I didn’t realize part of the misty charm was really just smoke.

 

 

Prerace / Warmup:
I checked my bag and started the warmup. Warmup was just shy of 1.5 miles and around 108 HR (WHOA, how was it that low!!) & 9ish pace, 4x20sec strides, and then off to the bathroom one last time.  All of a sudden I was standing on the line with 10 minutes to spare.  I felt calm, excited, ready to race but without feeling obligated to run a certain time.  I just wanted to do my best.

RACE:
Race started at 7:30 on the dot….

Miles 1-5: 7:12, 7:13, 7:32, 7:25, 8:00
The first two miles are nice, flat, w/ a slight downhill. My legs felt fresh and springy & my excitement to race had me reeling to go faster, but I stayed smart and stuck to the initial plan… I originally intended to go for 7:10-7:20 but I also knew that I would be running on effort due to large hills at the beginning and rolling hills until mile 11. My focus was on being conservative through mile 5 as the largest hill started at mile 4… I would run the flats well, be aggressive on the uphill, take the down as a fast recovery and keep grinding through mile 11 as the course glides straight downhill from there. Surprisingly, my legs felt pretty tired early on and just after mile 5 – I had already gained over 300ft at this point – but I knew that in 45 minutes I would be running downhill if I could stay focused. I had just listened to a podcast w/ Des Linden and she said, “It is not about how you feel, it doesn’t matter how you feel, on race day you just run and go…” So that’s what I did.

Miles 6-8: 7:22, 7:26 7:36:
I tried to not let any split get in my head… It was slower than I wanted, but I felt like I was running really well. My paces were all over the place but so was the course. No one had passed me, & I was essentially running by myself from mile 2 until the finish. I started taking in a Spring Energy gel from miles 8-9.

Mile 9: 7:35:
The course runs into Cheney stadium, the home of the Tacoma Rainiers minor league baseball team!! It was so cool to look up and see my face on the big screen, & even better was running a lap around the gravel outfield and not seeing a single female behind me. YAS!! I had a solid minute on my competition if I kept moving. After leaving the stadium, the course moves onto exposed bike lanes that run beside the freeway & the sun begins to feel hot. At this point the rest of the course was exposed, temps were low 60’s – not bad but noticeable – and the smoke began to move in… My lungs felt a little tight and my calves were fatiguing but I focused on each mile as I was in them.

Miles 10 & 11: 7:37 & 8:16….
OOOF, mile 10 was hard, but the goal was to keep moving and not see any ladies behind me. At mile 11 you climb again at a pretty steep grade (GPS says 22% for part of it???). It was a quick punchy climb, but then my side started cramping. I knew I could make up a lot of time running downhill if I could work out the side stitch early (sidenotes, I have been getting these quite a bit lately… WTF?). I let myself walk/jog for 20 seconds and focused on breathing calmly for the remainder of the uphill and then began to attack the down.

MIle 12 & 13.1: 7:15, 6:54, 6:23 (.09)
FINALLY, FINALLY the hills are almost done and I am running through the city streets towards the finish line!!! Just 14 minutes left, thats it. Don’t stop. Grind. Grind. Grind. I was tired, my legs felt beat, but I still felt strong! I had enough in me for a fast finish & my stomach kept it together the whole time. I gave it all I had and left everything on the course… I didn’t bargain, compromise, or let negative thoughts take over. I crossed the finish feeling like I conquered so much!

 

 

RESULTS:
Time: 1:37:55 – Not a PR but much harder course than my PR from spring.
Place: 2nd AG, 5th women, 28th overall
Ft gained: 538 on strava but 690 on garmin so who knows?

Race ribbon

The week post race:
I was TIRED! Calves were tight as sh!t, which I assume was a combo of the hills & racing in flats for that long. Overall I felt good, just didn’t have a lot of speed in me.  I focused on easy runs, recovery and letting my body bounce back.

Outcomes:
This half showed me that if I can string together some good workouts, I feel pretty confident going into Twin Cities. I am prepped for the distance & Summit hill, now it is about being able to nail the workouts… Sooooo, let’s see what happens – CIM I was confident, Twin Cities I am scared, but either way I am going in knowing I will give all I have on race day, and thats still a good place to be!!!

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