I'll keep it short, I'm pretty beat but boy did I have a fantastic day at the Fall Classic Half Marathon. I got a chance to run the event with my Sparkfriends Jan Frandsen and Tracy ( ie Pixiemom13). Just getting the time off to be able to do this was a challenge then to top it all off we had the most awesome weather imaginable for an event this late in the year. It was cold in the morning, frost on the ground kinda cold, but by race time it was about 40 then as the race progressed, it was about 50, all under perfect sunny skies.
It has always been my goal to get my half marathon time under 3 hrs. My best chip time was 3 hrs 15 minutes and my best in unofficial time was 3:05 on a long run using my Garmin. I had mentioned it to Jan and he was willing to help me pace myself, I've never had anyone to run with in a race so I have never been paced before. Boy did that make a huge difference.
Push we did. He kept me on track with 5:1 run/walk intervals then late in the race we switched up to 2:1 after I started having some fatigue issues and cramps.
The wheels started falling off right toward the end but I pushed through it the best I could.
The funniest part of the whole race is where I was getting OCD about my time, pacing etc.. And was fixated on my Garmin. Somewhere around mile 9 or so, Jan mentioned he was going to take it away from me if I didn't knock it off... I saw the wisdom in that so I handed it over and was thinking " if I'm going to get my watch back, I had better keep up." All in good fun of course.
Like a true coach he helped me to remain focused and I really appreciated that. I was going at a pace that I was not used to... I totally PR'd my 10k time as well, I hit 6.2 miles in exactly 80 minutes which was 7 minutes faster than my best time of 87 min. I hit the 9 mile mark at around 1:56 approximately, shortly after that Jan took my toy away ;) but I can guesstimate my 10 mile time at around 2:08 approximately. I think that's probably fairly accurate. My average 10 mile time in a half is around 2:25-30.
In short my finish time was 2:59:47
I saw my time on the screen and got really excited and high fived Jan....I had no solid intention of actually doing it this race because my running has been pretty hit and miss at best...more miss than hit, no consistent mileage of any kind. Even the cramping was far better even though I was pushing myself much harder than normal which leads me to the next point.
I truly believe that the strength training, heavy leg workouts etc.. Really made the difference. I don't have the mileage or consistent running to back up the results. Rather, my mileage was low and inconsistent.
I experienced something similar to this when I got injured and my IT band was very inflamed. I couldn't run for months and it was a very tough time for me. During that period, I continued training doing squats, lifts, lunges and other various leg strengthening exercises. Only about a month before the Green Bay half marathon in 2011 did I actually start running somewhat. In spite of about almost 5 months of downtime, I only came in about 4 min slower than I did my previous race before I got hurt.
I convinced that there is a strong connection here that I am going to follow up on. I am becoming increasingly convinced that one can maintain a good deal of running fitness while injured or just unable to get the run time in by maintaining cardio fitness by other non impact methods and by going after strength and conditioning training not to mention lots of needed rest. Although it is distressing to not get the runs in as we would like, I seriously believe that much of the anxiety and fear of totally losing fitness is unnecessary. I don't think I'm simply lucky, I really think there is something to all of that.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on it.
Here are some pics from the event...
So proud of Tracy, she really worked hard during the race and did it in spite of struggling with bronchitis recovery. She really hung in there and did fantastic! We're proud of our buddy :)