So I apologize for the late race report. I had a big oral argument project on school Wednesday that consumed my time.
Like I had mentioned, our friends hosted a "carbo load" Saturday night before the race - spaghetti, bread, salad and cookies for dessert. It was yummy and fun to hang out with them and some of their other friends we have gotten to know. Our friends are one of my girlfriends from college and her husband and her husband is actually running CIM as well.
I had also debated about "racing" this half marathon or using it as a training run. That night when I went to bed I was still conflicted with what I wanted to do and figured I would just play it by ear in the morning to see how I was feeling.
Our race didn't start til 9:30 on Sunday so it was nice to sleep in a bit. Usually Sunday runs start at 7:00 am so I am up at 4:45 so I got to "sleep in" til 6:45. When I woke up I instantly knew that the time I had spent sitting on the floor with our friends son had already caught up with me. My sciatic nerve had flared up. This is something I have been dealing with for over 5 years now - long before I ever started running. I have been pretty good at keeping the pain to a minimum lately but things such as sitting on the floor, wearing heels (SO SAD), make it flare up - usually within hours of doing said activity. I spent a good 30 minutes foam rolling, massaging with a tennis ball and just doing some generally stretching. I decided at that point this would not be a race day and just another long run at marathon pace. I was a little bummed but knew it was for the best.
Since we had a 1.5 mile warm up to do before the half marathon started, Kevin and I left the house at 8 and got to Clarksburg around 8:40. It was a fairly small race so we walked around, stretched and then ran our warm up up and down a few neighborhood streets. It was surprisingly warm too. I had my arm warmers on but took them off within a mile of starting. We lined up and at 9:30 500 1/2 marathoners were off.
Like I have mentioned I don't have a specific time goal for CIM (don't think I can be that particular yet) - this time the goal is to just be under 5:00. An 11:00 min/mile would give me a 4:48 marathon which I would be pleased with. However, I have been trying to train with a marathon pace of 10:30. Thus, my goal was to run Clarksburg at a 10:30 pace. The first mile was super fast and clocked it at a 9:27 pace! Yikes, I needed to bring it down. The funny thing was I didn't even feel fast but Garmin said otherwise. At that point I think Kevin was feeling good and decided he wanted to try and PR the course so he took off. Mile 2 was pretty uneventful. However, at mile 3 my back really started to hurt and I found myself to be really thirsty. I brought 2 bottles with me intending to rely on the water stations but at mile 3 I had already drank one whole bottle. 4 - 6 were equally painful. To top it off the course was not as beautiful as I had expected - just fields. I managed to keep my pace between a 10:30 and 10:40 though. At mile 6.5 we turned around and ran the same course back. Ugh, out and backs are never fun. I must have looked like I was in pain though because this really nice lady ran by and asked if I wanted some Advil. I said YES (I was kicking myself for forgetting to take it before the race started). At mile 7 I stopped at a water station because both my water bottles were empty and I was still SO thirsty. I stretched for a second and walked for 1/2 mile. At 7.5 I think the Advil had kicked it because the pain was gone! I picked up the pace to try and make up for the few slower miles in the beginning - trying to get my finish time to equal my marathon pace. I crossed the finish line in 2:17:52 - a 10:31 avg - EXACTLY what I was trying to do! Kevin finished with a new PR.
They were serving a hot lunch for all the finishers but I definitely didn't feel like eating - but I was drinking whatever was in sight! I think I was very dehydrated which was also probably also making my pain worse early on. I tried to think back on the week and realized I was not drinking enough water by any means. So far this week I have been drinking three 20oz Nalgene bottles a day.
Overall, the race was ok. It was nice to have a change of scenery from the bike trail (even though there wasn't any scenery) but I don't know if I will do it again. The out and back was not fun and literally there was nothing to see. Even though in the end it was okay, I was mad that my sciatica flared up a bit. We did about a 1/2 mile cool down so in total we did 15 miles for the day. On the schedule this week was a 4 miler, 6 mile speed work out and another 4 miler. Wednesday I got up early for an easy 3 (I ran out of time for 4) and then did my 6 mile speed workout last night. I was definitely not in the mood when last night but I did it and of course, like always, was so happy I did and felt so good. I was supposed to do 4 miles this morning but I am moving them to tomorrow morning since something came up and I had to be at work by 7:00 this morning. I am actually going to do 5 tomorrow to make up for my lost mile Wednesday.
This weekend is our last week of running before 2 weeks of taper. I CANNOT believe CIM is almost here!! The Sunday we are going 22 miles - thus the reason for the crazy hydrating and I have been trying to stretch every day like crazy. My legs have been feeling really tight all week.
Tonight I am taking a night off from homework and going with a co-worker to dinner at a culinary school in the area. Her friend is a student there and we get to go have a 4 course meal prepared by the culinary students for free! I have been so bogged down in the evenings with school lately I am excited to have a night out.
Happy Thursday! :)