My goal going into this race was to run it as a training run. I had run Santa Rosa two weeks before, Disney the week before, and had done some hard workouts during the week at camp. I knew my body was tired. I figured I'd go out at a easy effort the first half, and made it my goal to try to negative split the second.
Since the race fell on September 11th, they had a short segment of the course which was lined with servicemen holding American flags. We had been asked to be silent through this stretch. I was surprised at how emotional I felt running through.
The majority of the race winds around Detroit Lake. Very pretty!
I wore a heart rate monitor during this race for the second time ever (the first being the day before on a five miler). I had been talking to one of the camp coaches about heart rate and he had said for the effort I wanted to do I should try to stay in the 155 range. The majority of the race my HR was in the low to mid 170's. In fact, at one point the coach came by on his bike and asked what my HR was. I said, "I don't want to tell you!" Ha ha. But I told him by perceived exertion I felt like I was where I wanted to be. We calculated my zones based off my age, and he recommended doing an actual full-exertion run to see what it really is, so that is still on my agenda.
I hit the halfway mark mat and kicked it up one notch. The course is fairly flat but does have some nice rollers here and there.
The spectator support was surprisingly good. A young girl had a sign that said, "Don't slow down! People are watching!" And the Fargo Marathon had a water stop/cheer section that was so great it made me want to run their race one day.
As I approached the finish another of the camp's coaches was on the side cheering and running campers in to the finish. "Come on girl! Keep up with me!" she yelled. I tried my hardest and gave it the finest finishing kick I have ever executed. The last quarter mile I averaged a 7:25 pace. Believe me, I have never seen numbers so low on my Garmin before.
My final time was 2:10 and I ran a 2 minute negative split. Mission accomplished. After two weeks in a row of half marathons after so many marathons, I have to say, I can definitely get used to stopping at 13.1!
Thanks, everyone, for all of your comments on my previous post. I will still be doing many marathons "for fun" in the future. I truly believe you need to have a balance of race-effort races and enjoy-the-day races.
I'd like to be clear that a 3:30 is not my goal. Maybe this goes against everything I said in the last post, but I think that is some sort of ridiculous for me. Right now I think a sub-4 is a goal that would be really difficult for me but possibly realistically attainable and for now that is what I'm hoping to accomplish one day.
I think that what the pep talks I got gave me was the permission to dream a little bigger for myself. And also the reality check that if it is something I want, I need to get on it sooner than later.
I'm flying up to Portland tomorrow to run the Portland Marathon this Sunday. I haven't posted my Akron Marathon report from two weeks ago yet (trying to keep things sequential over here). All you need to know is that my body was super tired going into that race and my finish time reflected that. I took an entire week off from running after Akron which is something I don't think I've done very often this year. I've gone on a handful of short runs this week and all of them were less than stellar. I had a foot issue crop up at Akron and I am unsure how that will play out in Portland.
I didn't realize I had set myself up for this until shortly before Akron, but I am doing another 3 marathons in 4 week venture this month. If I am being completely honest, after Akron the thought of running Portland and Humboldt this week and next made me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry.
I feel as if my legs got wind of this 3 in 4 week development and said, "Wait a second. We did that in March. You said it was to celebrate your 30th. And now we are doing it again? W-T-F."
My optimism I can get these done lies solely in the people involved the next two weeks. I'm visiting Alisa & Justin in Portland and Boyfriend is running the half at Humboldt next week. This has added some happiness and excitement to the dread of the races. One foot in front of the other...