Saturday, May 4, 2013

Provo City Half Marathon & Training Update

I have some major marathon training updating to do... but let's start with today- the Provo City Half Marathon.

Today was supposed to be my 18 mile training run. A friend of mine from church (who I've run several races with, including this same race last year) really wanted me to run it with her and some other friends, but I was hesitant. I know how hard I push myself in races and I didn't want to risk an injury a month before my full marathon.

But... I needed a downhill training run anyway, and I just love those girls so much, I couldn't resist. I signed up a few days before the race.

This race starts up Provo Canyon, and they make you get up there about an hour before the race actually starts. So I figured I would take advantage of that time to get my 5 extra training miles in. I ran up the road 2.5 and back. It was freezing, but gorgeous. This, I would learn at about mile 10, was probably a mistake.

The race started out great. I'm familiar with the first part of this course- I've probably raced down it 5 or 6 times. I like to start strong, so I kept up with the 1:35 pacer for the first mile, and then the 1:40 pacer passed me at about mile 3. I kept him in view for a while, but gradually lost sight of him. I felt strong, though, and knew I had a decent lead on the 1:45 pacer. 

By mile 7, I knew if I kept this up, I stood a chance of setting a PR (1:42:36), or at least coming close to it, which was exciting. But I had to pee. Really bad. I made the decision to stop at mile 8 and lost a little time there. It was ok, though, I still saw the same group of people I had been running close to the whole time not too far ahead. But in the back of my mind, I kept thinking how I had already run 13 miles now, and was wishing I had saved those extra 5 miles for after the race.

Mile 9 was when that all changed. Things started to get ugly. My legs were done. My entire body was starting to give up. For the first time ever in a race, I contemplated walking. This was the closest I've ever come to hitting the wall.

Take a look at my mile splits. Mile 9 was the slowest, and a pretty drastic jump from mile 8:

Mile 1: 7:32
Mile 2: 7:35
Mile 3: 8:10
Mile 4: 7:44
Mile 5: 7:37
Mile 6: 7:51
Mile 7: 8:07
Mile 8: 7:58
Mile 9: 8:44
Mile 10: 8:20
Mile 11: 8:22
Mile 12: 8:29
Mile 13: 8:05

I just barely looked at these mile splits (first time wearing my garmin in a race because I needed it for those first five. I never looked at it during the race, but I'm glad I wore it so I could see these splits. I will do that in the future). I'm actually really happy with how miles 10-13 look because I was DYING. Serious mind control tricks going on. I felt like a robot. Trying not to feel my body, just willing it to go with my mind. Crazy stuff. 

The end was brutal, no sugar coating it. Putting in an 8:05 pace on what was really mile 18, was HARD. During the end of that race, I kept thinking what a rookie mistake I had made running those 5 before the race. I was beating myself up about it. But now I'm kind of glad I did it. It was a really good test of my limits for the marathon. I know there is no way on earth I could maintain a pace like that for the marathon, but even if I took a minute or minute or two longer per mile, I would be really happy!

So here's the overall stats:

Time: 1:45:41
Average Pace: 8:04
Overall Place: 202 out of 1029
Division Place (Female 30-34- yikes! new competitive age group): 20 out of 130 (woot woot! Excited about that!)

Alright, that's enough blabbing for one day. I guess this pretty much sums up how marathon training is going. So far, so good! No injuries and feeling strong!

Here we are! Erin, me, Kimberly and Naomi
Erin is 5 months pregnant- yup! Kimberly set a PR by almost half an hour!! and Naomi (the one who talked me into it) had a really strong race and said it was one of her favorites ever. My next door neighbors ran it too, but we didn't get them in the picture- she set a PR, too! Great race day!