March 17, 2019 marks the first day I am starting to prove I am better than at 17 or 30. I ran the New Bedford half marathon today and felt great. I ran slightly too fast (11:18 mile pace) but still pretty slow so no wind blocking behind the crowds during the middle of the race windy stretch! Last time I ran a half, in high school, I think I ran a 10k the next day and somehow wiped myself out for the rest of the running season. I think it might have been the absolute absence of knowledge on nutrition, or just mental – who knows. But I’ve been afraid of this happening again and also what used to be the total unpredictability of how I felt running races. My vote is nutrition and I am way better at that now.
Except for the Friday night before this Sunday race where we had a scuba reunion and I had chips/queso and 2 glasses of wine. Somehow I’m now up 10 lbs over where I was pre-Bonaire – crazy and I hope water.
Pre-race nutrition strategy:
- Race at 11am. 6:30 breakfast of oatmeal, maple syrup, eggs, milk (normal) and one cup coffee.
- 10am fuel for fire (typically eat this before running)
- During race starting around first hour per hour, 1 endurolyte, 1 hammer gel
- Post race: Hammer recoverite
Followed except post race I had orange, banana, and chowder/fish sandwich provided by the race instead of recoverite.
Back/stretching Status: Back was a little crickety going in. Had done a few ROMWODS Saturday and stretched before the race. Post race I give it a 6/10 – feeling way better than I have in the past after my last 11 mi run months ago (where I was so crippled I couldn’t move the rest of the day). Working yoga today (Monday).
I carpooled down with a few of the local runners from the Nashua Gate City Striders running club and as I introduced myself and talked with them before the race had the following comments:
- “You’re wearing that?” My typical mid weight fleece vs this singlet thing everyone has to advertise their club
- “We all have garmin watches” with a tone when I asked about gear and mentioned I am using my iphone
- “Did you look at the course?” That would be a no! But I learned a lesson and about the huge hill evidently around mile 9 and had good advice about fueling up in advance of that and not just at it. Now this hill turned out to be a bump – had no effect on me.
- I cannot take this hair in my face all the time, it is going up with however many bobby pins it takes next time
- Love chocolate hammer gel, hated grape. Still couldn’t tell any noticeable change after eating them.
- Look at the course in advance to plan nutrition around hills and to set expectations for hills – don’t get caught off guard
- Trust clothing/layers you wore before in similar conditions. It seemed a little cold so I brought gloves when I might not have. Am not sorry but mostly they were in my pocket.
I did also go into my cookie jar for mental support for pre-race jitters – thank you David Goggins for this advice. Also read the book “Nowhere Near First” by Cory Reese (an ultra runner) and in one race he passed someone who had told their running mate “the race doesn’t start until mile 70”, which he later realized was true. So I thought of this as I finally passed for good the women in the sparkly (awesome) skirts who kept racing past me and then walking. This was no ultra, but good practice for staying to my plan, which was 11:45 avg miles.
Train on my friends! I am looking forward to a glut of strength training this month. I am also busy buying sandbags and finding hills to run up. Next race is my first Spartan May 11!