Happy Monday to all! I hope everyone enjoyed their first official summer weekend!
My weekend was lovely, but wait for it…too short. Big surprise, right?
The race was Sunday and in general we had a relaxed attitude towards it, so instead of doing nothing but relaxing on Saturday, we had a pretty normal (and busy) weekend day.
Saturday morning Minnie woke me up around 6a (not thrilled) but I decided to stay up and enjoyed knowing that I had nothing that I really really needed to do until later in the day. I haven’t been sleeping well, so I thought that perhaps the early wakeup would help me sleep that night.
Around 10:15a I headed out to a new running/biking/swimming store in town. I know the owner and wanted to show my support but also just check it out. I love my running store in Stamford, but this so much closer and quite honestly, convenience means a lot! I had planned on just buying some Gu type stuff and saying hi. Of course that didn’t happen!
I bought a bunch of Gu, and a few Clif products and then decided to try this.
While I wasn’t going to use it for the half, I figured it was worth trying. As a follow up, my sister said that some of them do still have remnants of the chia seed itself, so i’m not sure how the texture will be. Have you tried this brand?
I also picked up a new pair of Balega socks (Enduro no-show) since one of my pairs has gone missing.
As I was about the check out, I thought, what about compression. Because the store had opened only one day earlier, they had reps from the main brands there, so I got to talk to the 2xU rep, which was very helpful. I ended up going with a pair of compression socks and got a free running hat!
Yes, they are very smurf like, but they are so comfy! I had a long flight coming up at the end of August and figured these would do double duty.
I spent way more time (and money) at the store than I had expected and then headed up to Fairfield to pick up our bibs for the race. Pickup was quick and easy and then I headed home.
One Bro had an event that night, so I helped out a bit. I had agree to walk a neighbor’s dog, so I took her out around 3. And before I knew it, it was time to go to the train station to pick up my sister! Hooray! Once I grabbed her we did a few errands and then headed over to help at the One Bro event (which I never would have done the night before a race).
The party was a college graduation and it was a nice group. They loved the food.
Here’s the usual pizza eye candy. Two pies that made their debut on Saturday.
We managed to cut out of the party around 7:45 and went for sushi. I’m all about sushi as a pre-run food. As i see it, it’s a great mix of protein and carbs. Right? 🙂
And then it was time to rest up for RACE DAY!!!!
Forecast was sunny with low humidity and temps in the mid to high 80s. Start time was 8:15 which we all agreed is a bit late for a summer race.
So here we go….
I got up around 5:30 and we left the house around 6:45, getting to the train station (where the shuttle busses were) a little after 7. The process was easy. You picked up your clear bag check bag at the train station so you could leave things in your car. We were then shuttled over to the beach where the race would start.
We had plenty of time to hit the porta-potties and do some last minute hydrating. I ate my Sport Beans and then headed to what I would loosely call a corral. In this race, the men and women started separately and met up at mile 1. If you were running with someone of the opposite sex, you could start together in either.
My sister went to the front, my other half to the men, and I settled in towards the back of the women. My goal for this race was to go slow and enjoy. There were no actual time corrals although there were pacers. And then we were off. I was only a minute or so behind the start clock, so not too bad.
As I started, I had a few goals. Some were specific and some were more general.
- Go slow…not faster than 11:00/mile
- Enjoy the experience; the route, the surroundings, the people
- Go without music until at least mile 7
- Go without walking to at least mile 7
- Don’t walk the hills
So I started with an easy pace and pretty much stayed at a consistent effort level throughout. We started out in town and there was some nice crowd support. There were bands spread out every 1-2 miles. As we headed away from town it became quieter and more country like, but the route was nice and some of the views were gorgeous! It was a rolling hills course, so some decent hills, but always followed by some nice downhills.
I managed to run every hill, goal met. Since I was focused on enjoying the surroundings and experiencing the event, I actually kept my music off until mile 9. And even when it was on, I kept the volume a bit lower. Goal met. I kept going at my slow pace and didn’t take a walking break until a water stop during mile 11. Goal met. So overall I met all of my goals. I think a part of me had a hidden goal of improving on my last time, but once I was out there running in the heat, I did the math and realized it might not happen. While it would have been nice to improve my time, it really wasn’t all that important to me.
I had read about how much your pace slows in the heat.
Assuming an ideal pace of 10:30 and a temperature of 80, that means I’d be looking at a pace of 11:46 on the lower end of the range. Looking at it this way, my pace on Sunday makes perfect sense. My effort level was pretty much the same, I was just moving much slower.
The race organizers did a great job with the water stops. Every water stop had water and UCAN (yuck!). A few stops also had Gu. The water stops seemed to be about every mile or so, which was great in the heat. My favorite part of the course was definitely the sprinklers. Early on I didn’t really need them, but from mile 10 on, they became a life saver because it was HOT and sunny. Getting wet with cool water made such a difference! There were about 6 or so official sprinklers (manned by the fire department) but quite a few homeowners also put their sprinklers out for the runners, which I loved.
The last stretch had you running over some gravel (which I hated) but thankfully it was short and left me really appreciating concrete. We also ran under a huge American flag, which was awesome!
I didn’t take any photos during the race, but did manage to grab a bunch from instagram. (I obviously took the bib/medal one)
Overall I had a good time. It wasn’t easy, but I did it and overall felt pretty good for most of it. I think that with proper training I could easily have a good run and drastically improve my time.
I’m proud of myself for doing it even though I really wasn’t trained properly or ready. But, as my mantra band says…
Catch ya on the flip side with some other thoughts.