I'm not really sure where to begin with this "race report". I guess I'll do the Good, Bad, and Ugly.
For those of you who are freaky blogger lurkers, you already know this. I invite you to skip ahead to the good stuff.
This race was not going to be a "race". I wanted to test nutrition and pacing (without a HRM). I fully intended on "Going out Easy and Maintaining". I started a different type of carbo loading about 3 days ago. I didn't have a goal time in mind, but I wanted to see if I could accurately judge my RPE (rate of perceived exertion). I wanted to try my hand and running this as a negative split. I have 2 PR attempts later this year: a half iron and a half marathon.
I felt great starting yesterday. Eventhough I had to get up at 3am in order to drive to this race, I felt great this morning. I had my normal race breakfast.
At the race, I was cold. I usually have tea in the morning, but I left my cup at home. One of the expo vendors was a coffee place....do I or don't I?
Well, being as chilly as I was, I opted to have the coffee. (See The Bad).
At race start, I started to notice that my stomach was cramping up. It wasn't too bad, so I decided to stick with my plan. (See The Bad). I did go out a little faster than I wanted to. I thought that an easy pace would be about 10:20. I was currently running at a 9:40. The 9:40 felt comfortable, but I slowed down to a 10:05 pace.
I maintained the 10:05 pace through 6 miles.
Right at the start, I knew the race was going to be a challenge. My legs felt great. I felt great. But, my stomach was starting to cramp up.
I was hoping that it would "stay high up" if you know what I mean. I knew that if it was just stomach cramps, I could run through it.
Before too long, I was.....started to taste the coffee again.
A short time later, Ineeded an outhouse......NOW. I had passed one at miles 2 and 4, but now I was hoping that I would make it to mile 6.
I made it to mile 6.
The outhouse line was 15 people deep, but I really didn't have a choice. There wasn't an option for going behind the trees.
After doing my bidness, I grabbed some water and started running again. I'd lost alot of time at the outhouse, but it didn't matter. I had bigger issues at hand now.
I picked up my pace where I left off, but I realized pretty quickly that I wasn't going to be able to maintain my pace and my clenching at the same time. One was going to have to go.
I slowed down.....I slowed down almost a minute a mile. (I don't have my garmin here).
When I got to mile 10, I wasn't sure I could take another 5k of this, but I decided to grin and bear it. Just get it over with.
I thought my final time would come in around 2:15-2:20, and the first half was on pace to come in around 2:10. I felt good. I wasn't fatiguing. Had the situation been different, I'm pretty sure that I would have finished right on target. As it was, I finished much slower at 2:28.
Lesson Learned: The pacing worked, and I learned that I probably want to avoid coffee pre-race. I used to drink it, but I've all but given it up over the past year. The carbo-loading plan went well. I felt energized and physically great this morning.
In roughly a month, I have another half marathon. I'll stick with the plan the next time around. No negative split today, but those things are going to happen.
After that, no more running races until my half PR attempt in Oct.