Since I only ran 76.5 miles last week (insert sarcasm here), I thought I would go and test myself in a little race close by. My plan actually called for a HM, but running a non PR HM right now would be bad for me mentally, so I figured a 30K at MP would be a better challenge. Plus, Nahant is supposed to be flat, right?
Nothing unusual about the race prep. My tennis obsessed mom and husband stayed up late to watch prerecorded games, while I went to bed around 10pm. I had a race plan: start slow, see if Pineapple and Vanilla GU make you nauseous, and eat a bigger breakfast than usual. Yes, about starting slow, I never really follow race plans...
The race was small but well organized. We started at 8:30 sharp and immediately I felt my legs very heavy. My calved were hurting. Red lights went on in my brain, but managed to take some deep breaths and tell myself that maybe my legs will warm up and start working for me. They did, at mile 4 or so..right where the hills started and never stopped until mile 17.5. There was no flat between these miles. They had long hills, steep hills, short hills, inclines, but no flat. Once my legs warmed up I actually liked the hills. Why, because for every uphill there is a downhill. And I would fly on the downhills, watching my pace drop into the high 6s. I liked seeing that pace. I even ran a 6:30 mile somewhere in there. I felt really good between mile 4 and 12, so I allowed myself to run several high 6 miles. At mile 12 I started to enter the hurt zone. At that point, I kept telling myself that I needed to make it to mile 16, and that was all that matters (26.2K). I also reminded myself that I had zero nausea, which made me happy!. I was just beginning to lose power in my legs. When this happens, it is easy for me to slow down unless I concentrate hard on the pace. I was also running way below MP average by this point, so I was happy with that. Once at mile 16, a .5 mile uphill almost killed me. My legs were jello. I kept thinking about mile 17.5 when the flat would return, and once there I managed to get back to my previous average pace. Final push but no sprint left in me and hurray, finish line and a "good job girl" from the RD.
So here is the thing. My Garmin had me running 18.35 @ 7:05 pace. But I am listed in the results as 2:09:35, 6:58 pace. I did not run 6:58 pace. I have also ran less miles than the 18.6, and the course if certified. I do not really care, since this is a funny distance, but it is a weird discrepancy. Who cares, I am happy! Oh, and 15 out of about 200 racers (with men) and 5th woman out of who knows how many. Happy!
Now I need to recover. I can barely walk! Happy training!
Building a clock
7 months ago