Monday, March 17, 2014

Race Recap: Tobacco Road Half Marathon


      Thanks for all your well wishes for my half marathon Sunday. The rain held off in the morning and it was a brisk 50 degrees for the race which made for great running weather. I crossed the finish line at 2:11. Having a race built within my marathon training was actually harder for me than I thought. The competitive part of me  wanted to push myself hard and go for a personal best (sub 2:10). However, I knew that this week is the last build week for marathon training and I needed to save my legs because there would not be much time to recover.  I averaged a pace of 10:01 which is significantly faster than my long runs this training season which have been around 10:45- 11 pace. I feel like I ran my best without straining my legs too much.  Even knowing that I am still a little mad that did not shave off 2 more minutes to get it under 2:10.
At the Race Start
      Yesterday's race taught me several lessons. First lesson, the timing of your pre-race fuel is important. For training runs, I normally have a banana with peanut butter less than an hour before our run. At the race runners were dropped off at 5:30 am for a 7 am start time. I ate my snack in the car almost 2 hours before start time. By around mile 7, I could tell my stomach did not have enough in it and my body was getting tired. My Gu gels helped take the edge off and an extra cup of Gatorade for carbs helped me finish strong. By the time I made it home I was starving and Joe could even hear my stomach rumbling. That is never a good sign.       Second lesson,  wear a gps watch they are much more reliable than Iphone gps. I have been really slack about charging and wearing my Garmin lately. Several people I run with have watches and I just rely on them to set the pace. I used the Nike Plus app on my phone to help pace me this race since I forgot my watch. According to my phone, I was running a 9:30 minute/mile for the first few miles. I knew I was running slightly faster than my normal pace but it did not feel like a 9:30 pace. My suspicions were confirmed when we passed the 4 mile marker and my phone displayed we were at 4.5 miles. The mile calculations were way off. I spent the rest of the race just ignoring the pace and focusing on the time since I knew that would be a good gauge of how much farther I had to go.
      All together the race was a great experience. The course was extremely flat compared to training runs in downtown Raleigh which was so nice. The race is a local non-profit race that has amazing community support. It was around 40 degrees at race start with a high chance of rain. They set up a heated tent last minute for runners to wait in for the race to start. There were an abundance of port-a-potties which  is extremely important. No really. I am sure most of you know long distance running can create weird restroom habits. It was fun to see many runners and spectators dressed up for St. Patrick's day. The course was on a trail which made for beautiful scenery but had few spots for spectators. They planned it out really nicely with aid stations each place the trail widened so to not create too much congestion. Also, the trail was gravel which is so much better for your feet and joints. I look forward to running this race again next year and crushing my current record!



  1. WOW! What an accomplishment. Congrats to you, so admirable :)


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