Saturday, April 12, 2014

Charlotte Racefest Half Marathon and Training Update

APRIL 12, 2014


FINISH TIME: 1:38:43

If you're wondering why I hadn't mentioned this race, it's because I registered less than 60 hours before the starting time.  I had previously considered racing, but since it was just 3 weeks before my first half-iron of the season, I thought it wiser to save my money and focus on race-specific training.  However, when Earth Fare offered to give away a race entry on Facebook, I couldn't help but enter my name.  There's simply nothing better than a race that starts and finishes less than a mile from your house!  Sure enough I won, and next thing I knew I was crossing my fingers that coach wouldn't have a huge opposition to me racing.  

Monday thru Thursday I had enjoyed a recovery week and was beginning to see improvement in leg fatigue.  I was also coming off a busy weekend of call and definitely needed the extra time for some sleep.  The compromise to me doing the half marathon, was that I still had to fit my long ride into the weekend.  Since I'm working tomorrow, that meant the only option was Friday evening.  With the exception of a flat tire, the 45 mile ride was right on target with my planned half-iron wattage.  Saturday morning, in order to simulate a brick, I hopped on the trainer for a 90 minute bike BEFORE the race.  I was a bit concerned how those bike miles would hamper my running, but I generally tend to run well off the bike, so I was hopeful.  

My goal was to run the first 8 miles very conservatively and then build my pace based on how I was feeling.  In typical fashion, my "conservative" start was faster than I anticipated.  However, my legs were feeling good and so I stuck with it.  Since this race is literally in my backyard, I was familiar with the first several miles of the course.  Miles 1-3 were a steady climb and I intentionally tried to relax on the uphills to avoid burning matches early on.  Miles 4 was net downhill before climbing into mile 5.

Mile 1 - 7:21
Mile 2 - 7:29
Mile 3 - 7:35
Mile 4 - 7:14
Mile 5 - 7:33

Miles 6 and 7 had a mix of a couple climbs and descends, and we ended a long stretch on Providence Road and made a turn into some neighborhoods that I wasn't familiar with.  In some respects, I enjoy running on unfamiliar routes because it keeps me interested and I can't focus on knowing exactly where the hard sections will be.  The downside, however, is that I had no idea I was going to spend several miles on a nearly eternal climb.  I took a gel at mile 7 and grabbed my first cup of water.  Physically I was still feeling fairly decent.  The climbs, however in miles 8 and 10 really took a toll on my legs and suddenly I was feeling every bit of the 4 hours I had spent on the bike in the 12 hours leading up to the race.

Mile 6 - 7:22
Mile 7 - 7:25
Mile 8 - 7:58
Mile 9 - 7:15
Mile 10 - 7:39

Each time I assumed we were reaching the crest of the climb, we'd make another turn and keep right on climbing.  There were a few times that I legitimately thought I was going to trip over my own feet and had to refocus on getting through each half-mile.  Finally, just after passing mile 11, a downhill stretch was in sight.  Thank goodness!  As expected based on the rest of the course, that was short lived and the last mile greeted us with a 60 foot climb over one-tength of a mile and then another dreadfully long climb as the finish line came into sight.  Over that last mile my heart rate was hovering at 180 and I crossed the finish feeling as though I had truly pushed as hard as I could over the last 5k.  

Mile 11 - 7:49
Mile 12 - 7:34
Mile 13 - 7:40
0.1 mi - 0:44 (7:19 pace)

I finished with a time of 1:38:43, which is 8 seconds faster than my NC Half-Marathon from a month ago, but still a couple minutes shy of my PR.  

4th AG 25-29
Females  17 / 760
Overall  106 / 1305

Overall I'm fairly pleased with this race.  Considering I had no intention of racing this weekend and then not only raced, but did so 12 hours after a 45 mile bike and immediately following 90 minutes on the trainer with a couple race efforts, I think I ran a consistent 13.1 miles.  Hills are certainly my weakness with running, so events such as this are good both physically and mentally.  The goal I had set for myself was to simply run a consistent race sub-1:40, so in that respect I was successful.  Certainly if I can pull off a similar time in the 70.3 distance, I will be satisfied.  

For those tracking my weekly training, here's the breakdown of the past two weeks of swimming, biking, and running.  I've also included a few specific workouts.

Week 12  -  12 hours, 8 minutes
Swim: 10450 yards
20 x 100 descending every set of 5 with last set on 1:30
1000 yards for time (14:45)

Bike:  6 hours, 52 minutes
4 x 8 minutes power intervals were a struggle to maintain 190 W

Run: 16.7 miles

Week 13 - Recovery, 11 hours
Swim: 4100 yards

Bike: 6 hours, 45 minutes
45 miles at 176W

Run: 18 miles (including the 1/2 Marathon)

Only 3 weeks until my first triathlon of the season - North Carolina Half-Ironman in Davidson, NC!

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