I woke up Sunday morning feeling pretty flat. I slept like crap because of nerves and as a result, my stomach didn’t feel too good either. I still ate a piece of peanut butter and honey toast with water and coffee. The race didn’t start until 7:30, but I like to get there early, so parked the car at 6:00, attempting to get in the zone with some music and more coffee. I dropped my gear bag off at the trucks around 7:10 and consequently started my warm up run followed by some strides. I couldn’t tell whether I was going to have an “on” or “off” day. I said hi to my coach real quick, had a caffeinated Gu, and then hopped in Corral 1 to meet up with a fellow runner.
The gun went off right at 7:30 and I always have to use my watch to pace check myself. It’s so easy to fly right out of the gates from the adrenaline rush. Miles 1 and 2 felt great at 6:39. I decided to hitch on with some girls for the next few miles at 6:34, 6:31,6:31. This is where I wondered if I should push the pace. I still felt great, but it had been awhile since I’ve raced a half and wanted to make sure I didn’t blow up the last 5k. I wanted to finish fast.
We turned onto Fort Story base and fought the wind at 6:36, 6:39, 6:37, 6:37. I had another caffeinated Gu around mile 5. We left the base with a little under four miles left. I felt good and picked up the pace with a small group passing by. I had my last caffeinated Gu and got to work. The next three went 6:29, 6:28, 6:32. With one mile left I finished strong at 6:25 and 5:59. Could I have gone faster? Probably a little bit, but I was overall very pleased with the effort given and the results of yesterday’s race. Official time of 1:26:10, average pace 6:33 min/mi. 24th overall female and 9th in my 30-34 age group. Tells you how many fast chicks are out there on the courses!!!
I’m really satisfied with my performance. I must say I am really kind of shocked. I have been doing absolutely no speed and just one three mile tempo a week since my buildup for the Richmond Marathon this past November. It gets me really excited about my marathon potential once I start adding speed into my next training block. My coach and I discussed doing a micro block for a 10k or two after my 60k April 6. I want to start working on speed, so that I can incorporate that into my next marathon buildup without getting injured. I’m pretty sure I’m going to run Richmond Marathon again this year on November 16. I love the course and the crowds and have always had a good experience. This will be my third year running it.
Back to the ultratraining grind. Two more hard weeks and then a one week taper. I’m excited to run it as a challenge to myself, but I’m more excited to get back to marathon training. That’s my true love 😉❤️