So I decided instead of streaking to an indefinite date in the future... I'd try something different. A COUNTDOWN to my race in September!!! :) It's more than a month away, but not by a whole lot. People can do challenges that are 30 days long and it gives a nice finite amount of time to manage, why not do my own challenge until my next half marathon???
My goal is to fuel with good nutritious whole foods, not overeat, avoid the sweets except for a max of ONE small treat a day (think 1oz dark chocolate), and no more than 1 splurge meal a week, but perfectly acceptable to have zero. If I don't track my food, I must stick to sensible foods and good portion control. I will not allow off tracking days to lead to nonsense eating. AND STRENGTH TRAINING!!! At least 2 full body sessions a week.
Every day I will assess how I have achieved these goals for the previous day and each week assess if I met my strength training.
My mileage really kicks into gear this month and I just need to do something to make sure my food doesn't go off the deep end with it.
Now, on to the good stuff - the race!
It's the Camp Chingachgook Challenge starting in Lake George, NY. Lake George is a proper touristy town with gorgeous lake views and whatnot. The half marathon (there was also a 10K and 5K I think) was a point to point course starting at the Lake George Elementary School and ending at the YMCA Camp Chingachgook (hence the title). This is my first point to point course and I liked running point to point. (I believe the other races started at the camp and did an out and back.)
I like the shirt, ran in it this morning.
Just took that! haha. Not a great photo, but as you can see, a pretty color. It's unisex and I got a Medium so it's a baggy fit, but it's definitely long enough, and the fabric is very lightweight. Plus no billions of sponsors on the back, so that's nice.
They said that the finish line "bling" was a closely guarded secret, but that all finishers would receive a "commemorative item".
Guess what it was???
Well, first the race...
I met my friend from a Runner's World forum, Matt, at the start and we took a picture:
Little did we know the torture we were about to face... even with "Challenge" in the title, I was thinking - at least it won't be as bad as the Mad Marathon. And it wasn't... but it was at least as challenging as Lake Placid - I think more challenging actually. The worst hills in Lake Placid were worse than any in this race, but the rollers in this race were much more significant than the slight rollers at Lake Placid. So they kinda even out a bit, but I think overall this one takes a bigger toll out across the board.
I wasn't sure how I was going to approach this race day. I have a PR goal race half marathon next month (the countdown race), but I also took two days off before this race so my legs felt realllly fresh. Matt said he was going to go for a PR (which would be an 11mm pace for a sub 2:25). I decided I'd try to go for that pace. Maybe chase him to a PR, and maybe crash and burn. HAHAHA. Soooo silly.
Begin the chase.
First views of the lake:
Mile 1 - 10:47 (woah! slow down!)
Mile 2 - 11:02 (perfect)
Mile 3 - 11:04 (right on!)
More lake views:
Sometime around this next stretch I ended up passing my friend but I heard him right behind me for a long time, so we were pretty much still running together:
Mile 4 - 11:06
Mile 5 - 10:59
Mile 6 - 11:40 (WOAH - big hill this mile, instead of just rollers)
Being ahead I was trying to keep his goal pace so he'd have a person to aim for, but I think that big hill took a lot out of both of us.
Mile 7 - 10:44 - mostly downhill so made up some time! yay!
Mile 8 - 11:27 - around here was a turnaround point, a little flat out and back. There was also a water stop that took my water bottle and refilled it, so I lost a bit of time I think handing it over, and I picked it up when I came back and lost more time... :P
During this out and back I saw Matt again, he was beyond hearing behind me at that point, but I saw on the out and back that he wasn't too far back. Snapped a photo which was just a blur so I will save that... hahaha.
Mile 9 - 11:19 - they kinda jacked up my water bottle hand strap so I had to fix it because I couldn't close the water bottle properly. :P But at least I had water.
Mile 10 - 11:28 - this mile I INTENTIONALLY ran slower (so I thought) because I was expecting a downhill finish for some odd reason.
Mile 11 - 11:50 - holy hills. Wow.
Mile 12 - 11:22 - fighting to keep pushing!
Mile 13 - 11:16 - push!!!!
Final 224 ft (short course) - 10:11 pace
So I dunno if you can see the photo, but it says 2:26:40. My Garmin is a little less even though I stopped it a bit late, because the start was not chip timed - only the finish. Avg pace was 11:14 per Mr.G.
I completely spent myself and now my calves are so tight and sore!!! Anyway.
The finish line secret commemorative item????
Well lookie there! It's a medal. HAHAHA
Finish line food was good - but I only could eat some watermelon and a few potato chips (for salt), and some strong lemonade. But they had hot dogs, grilled bbq chicken, baked beans, coleslaw.... I just... yeah. No food right then. hahahaha.
Then a fun school bus ride back to the start, during which I marvelled that I had actually run these crazy roads. Twisty, lots of camber (road is at an angle instead of level), and hills. WOW!
After the ride, a nice finish line photo and evidence of how I'm a giant.
Bottom line? The course is tough but I could imagine running it again... Lake George looks like it could be a fun place to visit, so if we went early and could stay - and then at the finish food was a free-for all for family and runners, just a huge cookout feel and a beautiful park. So a nice finish area for family to wait as well.
And the price was right - I think only $30!
But there are a LOT of races up here in this area, so I think I'll probably do more exploring before repeating a lot of races... :) We'll see!