St Louis Half Marathon
Congratulations to Carol Wright for winning her age group in the half with a time of 1:33:21, and Jen Hine for coming in second in her age group with a marathon time of 3:27:21, while hubby Brad toughed it out with a 5:22:57 time despite his painful injury. Fantastic run by Janet Johnson who smoked her first half marathon with a time of 1:51:30 and coming in 6th in her age group. Kerstin Rompel had a great (IM training run) marathon finish at 4:47:40 and Pete Weigel came in 8th in the half among all those quick fellows in his age group at 1:28:38. John Lofton cranked out a 4:02:56 marathon, with Greg Doering behind him at 4:24:48 and Susan Doering did the half at 2:19:10. Thanks Janet Scobie for putting up with obsessive compulsiveness (I picked her up at 4:30am so I could get my favorite parking spot.) Janet decided Friday to run and turned out a 1:57:10 half marathon on no training. Josie and Katie I'm looking forward to our threesome running together again. I missed you both.
The half marathon race was all about following directions and trying new things. Going in to this half marathon I knew that I was not PR ready and this was not an “A” race for me. This was a race to experiment and see what works. First of all Liz was emphatic, “You are going to HAVE to find something that your stomach can tolerate before racing.” I never eat before races to ensure that I will not have to stop to go to the bathroom. Step number one-eat. I’d tried Eggo multigrain waffles before a couple runs and had no problem so I stuck with that and it worked.
Lately my racing strategy had been to get out with my desired pace group and see how long I could hang with them. My times improved, but I usually struggled towards the end –a lot. Today I would run the first three miles as a warm up, followed by the next 6 at a “feel good” pace and then pick up the next three, giving all I had left for the last mile. Liz also suggested that I run a 10 minute warm up. I was a bit leery of these instructions. For starters I had only done 4 runs over 6 miles (9.1, 11, 10.83, 10.83.) I was skeptical, where was this picking up the pace going to come from, and on top of that run more before the race? Could I do this?
The answer is YES. I held back running a slower first three mile warm up. The following six I found a nice comfortable spot and stayed there. Around mile 7 I ran with Kerstin and Ember chatting as we went quickly arriving at mile 9 where I turned toward the finish and they continued on the marathon journey. As I headed back I realized that I loved running and this was loads of fun. I could now pick up the pace disregarding my heart rate going up. I decided to focus on a faster leg turnover. I started passing a few people around me and it wasn’t long before I was starting the last mile. I gave it everything I had left amazingly reeling people in; I was shocked by how great I felt and that I had the ability to finish like this.
My time was about 17 minutes off my best time but I feel this race was a success. I followed all the directions, I practiced drinking while running and I enjoyed the day. My legs are tired and I’m curious, what would happen if I employed this strategy, trained and focused for a marathon?