This weekend marked my 1 year anniversary of running a half marathon that I actually trained for. (my first half mary, Country Music 1/2, I didn't train for, needless to say it was a miserable experience where I temporarily said I would never run that distance again.... little did I know) Although my actual quest to run a half in each state didn't ignite till finishing Alabama in November, I consider the Nashville Women's Half when I started to get serious about running.
Up until the day before the race, I had ZERO desire to run it since I've already done so, I have a busy month ahead of me, and the course IS.HARD. Last minute I decided to have no expectations and use it as a training run to learn how to have a more consistent pace since I'm generally all over the place during majority of my races as well as just learning to run SMARTER.
Nashville Women's 1/2 - take 2
Half mary #22
Since the course is exactly the same as last year, I'll just do a comparison.
2010 Pre Race Photo
2011 Pre Race Photo
This year Dave Mari made an appearance so we had a half fanatic meet up!
Pointing anywhere but the camera
Traditional Dave sandwich photo
- Due to registering the day before the race, the closest corral I could get in was corral 4 while Becca and her friend Kristen she had been training with were in 3.
|This is massively zoomed in, trust me, I was back a ways.|
A few highlights:
- Last year was the first year for this race so they learned a little for this year. Case in point, we had staggered starts so its not a congested mess. It was a weird but a relaxing experience to be at the head of our corral due to the staggered start and actually crossing the line 4 min into the race near the head of our corral.
- Starting far back while people that are more your pace are ahead was great- the whole race it allowed me to constantly pass people, such an ego booster ;)
- Knowing there are tons of hills on the course pays off... big time. I told myself I would go out easy (hoping for 8:45 pace), although I still went under 8:45 I did conserve energy so I would have some for all the hills on the course (there is a hill in.every.mile)
Dave caught me after conquering the first major hill in mile 1
- I NEED to find some running sun glasses- it was so sunny I didn't know I had passed Becca (since she started before me I was keeping a look out for her, but didn't even spot her until after one of the turnarounds b/n mile 7-8ish maybe?? How could she not spot my sweet bright blue spandex amongst a sea of pink?!?! Sun I tell you.)
- It helps having a 'bunny' to chase. See that lady in blue behind me?? We played cat / mouse majority of the race until mile 10 where I either picked it up or she fell off.
- I hate being behind pace groups- it took me over a mile to get around the 2 hour mark- normally I'd just try to sprint pass them, but I told myself to keep it steady and gradual.. too many people kept getting in my way.
- If possible, I'm going to see if I can drive / preview every course. There was one point where I wanted to walk, but I knew that not far was Broadway which is a nice l-o-n-g downhill so I kept going so I could rest on the downhill- which brings me to my next bullet
- Hills- as much as I hate them, if I have enough energy I'm not terrible at them. I only walked twice in this race and that was part of two of the largest hills, mile 11 and mile 12 UGH. I make up some serious time going downhill though. I've perfected the art of letting my legs 'go' when going downhill, while at the same time not worrying about over striding and causing injury.
- It was neat to be able to see the top ladie(s) making their way back. None of them looked 'beastly' or were the opposite and stick figures- just fit women who had great mechanics and used the most of their stride.
- I know that for long distance my height actually hurts me (more weight on joints, longer turnover, and can't use my stride to full ability (due to being too far outside center of gravity thus making more susceptible to injury) , but I need to learn how to be efficient with my own bio mechanics.
- Last fall up until February I used to get debilitating headaches anytime I ran over 9 miles. I found out from the chiro that the way I was tensing up was putting pressure on my C2 thus causing headaches. Shortly after that I got injured and my form changed out of necessity. Now I'm getting back to my old ways and sure enough yesterday I got one that put my out for hours- FYI ibprofen + caffeine mimicks Excedrin migraine if you're ever need something stronger :)
- That's about all I learned during this particular race, I would like to add that I dominated in comparison to last year.
- A year ago I ran a 2:15- since then I've PRed to a 1:51:56, and completed 19 states off my checklist with big number 2-0 his upcoming weekend! It's been a great year!
Official Time: 1:54:07
Mile 1: 8:21
Mile 2: 8:21
Mile 3: 8:56 (told myself I needed to slow down- I NEVER do this)
Mile 4: 8:47
Mile 5: 8:41
Mile 6: 8:57 (stopped to take first gu)
Mile 7: 8:10 (gu worked)
Mile 8: 9:02 (had a goal to not have a single mile over 9- didn't realize how close I was to the mile marker)
Mile 9: 8:37
Mile .2: 7:22
In comparison to last year's medal:
Official time: 2:15:22 (10:20 pace)
Overall place: 1051/3883
Age Group 157/553
This year's stats:
Official time 1:54:07 (8:38 pace)
Overall place: 223/3060
Age group: 42/423