Friday, September 3, 2010

Post Race Thoughts

The Golden Gate Bridge on the drive back to San Francisco from Santa Rosa last Sunday. Oh, Fog. Where were you when I needed you up north?

The Race
  • Overall, I think Santa Rosa put on a very good event. I don't think they can support a much larger group, though, as the pathway is not that wide and there are a few areas with out-and-back action. As long as they don't plan to add thousands of runners more I would recommend the event. It has small race charm and I hope it stays that way.
  • I personally liked the double loop aspect of the course. I knew what was coming up and could gear myself mentally up for it. I think if I hadn't been out to PR it would have been a little boring, though, to do the second loop. It is no Big Sur, but there are nice things to look at like horses, geese, vineyards, etc.
  • The pathways are open to the public. The first loop I didn't notice many people out, but the second time around there were lots of bikers, neighborhood walkers, and dogs. Potentially an issue if they beef up participant numbers.
  • Decent swag. Two thumbs up for gender-specific shirts. They also ran slightly small so the small fits me great. Sadly, there was some strange thing going on with the seaming by the shoulders. They poke upwards like strange, slanty shoulder pads. I noticed this happening on a lot of people who ran the race in the shirt. So I'll probably never wear the shirt.
Hard to appreciate in the photo, but there is an upwards slant to the shoulder and the shirt never sits down nicely.
  • I've talked in detail about my disdain for the trail footing. I am not sure if they are planning to pave the entire pathway or not. Some people may like the trail area, though, to give your joints a break from asphalt.

My Performance
  • I am so happy with the way I ran. A part of me always felt that I ran a PR at CIM because I stayed with a pace group and it was 28 degrees out. To get a new PR by myself on a warm day is a really big deal to me.
  • In retrospect, I felt really good during Santa Rosa. During CIM I felt like I was pushing and didn't have much extraneous energy for talking or sight seeing. During Santa Rosa I had extra oxygen to cheer other people on and even looked around at the scenery a bit. I didn't really ever enter that zone where it is all you can do to just keep the pace and run. This makes me feel like I am capable of going a little faster.
  • I set a PR during the Year of the Marathon. A PR was on my wish list this year even with the high number of marathons I've been doing. It came a little early, but I'll take it! I guess I've answered the question for myself about whether or not multiple marathon running makes you stronger.

The Future
  • My original goal for Texas in January was a sub-4:10 marathon. I think that goal will likely not change with the Santa Rosa performance. Gone are the days I can run 30 or 15 minute PR's. I'll be whittling away a couple of minutes at a time from here on out, I think.
  • Right now, my stretch-goal, the I'll-die-a-happy-runner-if-goal, is to run a sub-4:00 marathon. I don't really consider this a realistic goal for me but it is something to strive for. A year and a half ago this goal was actually to run a 9:59 pace marathon, so I guess you never know what can happen. I once felt like running a 9:59 pace marathon would be really tough for me. To see that I've broken into the 9:30's amazes me.
  • I am pumped to train hard for Texas. Texas is a four loop course which I think will be awesome for a PR attempt as far as being prepared for what is coming up.

Other Asides
  • The night of Santa Rosa I actually got a little sad for a bit. How many PR's do I have left in me? I might possibly never PR again. I've had 5 marathon PR's (Disney 2005--first so default, NYC 2005, Napa 2008, CIM 2009, Santa Rosa 2010). I can't keep PR'ing forever. There is a finite number left. Optimistically I might have 4 or 5 more, maybe? That made me really sad. Am I the only person who thinks about it in these terms?
  • While running marathons I think about what I might accomplish and get really emotional. A few times I imagined finishing with a PR or thought about how strong I was running and got sort of choked up. But I have never actually cried at a finish line. I cross the line and feel sort of like, "That was neat. Now where's the water?"
  • I have atrocious running form. My arms stick out like chicken wings and my torso twists all over the place. I really have to fix that.
Thank you, everyone for all of the nice words!

I'm headed down south to run the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday. As I promised myself last week I plan to stop and take photos with all of the characters and walk whenever the fancy hits me. I was planning to run a 3 miler at some point this week, but ended up taking the whole week off. I figured I still have lots of running left to do this year and one week off can only help.

I also have a really exciting announcement next week!


Mica said...

Oh boy! An exciting announcement! I love those!

This sounds like a nice race. (Is it hilly? I bet it is.) Maybe I'd consider running it some day.

Ha, I haven't thought about my finite number of PR's. I guess if I raced as much as you do, I would though!

Nicole said...

:) yay!!!!

your a rockstar!!!! :)

you will get that PR again in Texas- i know it!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Seems like your training runs can be done at faster paces now and then. More miles, faster miles = faster races. Until it feels like too much.

Enough advice!

Have fun in the half - a "fun run".

Sarah Woulfin said...

I believe you totally have a sub-4 in you!! Have you checked out Hudson's approach:

zbsports said...

Those thoughts are very nice, I learn more things about the post especially more about race tips and thoughts.

the dawn said...

i absolutely think about PR's in finite terms. i know that my speed is limited both by my desire and determination, not to mention body mechanics. it's hard to know when the forward momentum is going to stop and the progress is going to wane.

since i'm hoping for a PR this fall, i've recruited all kinds of support for myself at that race. since you were planning to save your PR for texas, did you have the same kind of excitement around you for this one?

good work, once again!

Michaela said...

I think about PR's in finite terms also (especially since I'm injured right now, so I'm really questioning my ability/peaking/etc.). And I also wonder about running and how it might fit into my future. For example, what if I decided to have a kid? Would this mean no more running? How hard would it be to come back and would I ever be in the same shape again? Would I be giving up something I love? It's a lot to think about!

That said, congratulations again on your PR!

Tara said...

PRs always make me think and I have analyzed the ones I have had and although I had a lot last year..One big and a few small I have definitely gone backwards and am wondering if I will ever PR again...who knows, but I do know that I will keep on trying :)