This past weekend I ran the Roaring Run Half Marathon to see what 13 weeks of training and medication could get me. Well, it got me a strained right hamstring and a finishing time that didn't mesh with my goal time!
Three weeks ago, I ran the Cascade Half Marathon at a controlled effort for a 1:26:44 finish. I thought three additional weeks of training along with a "race day" mentality (including a bit of a taper and better pre-race nutrition) would allow me to run ten seconds per mile faster for a 1:24:30 finish (6:27 pace), for my second fastest half ever, which would be a good accomplishment in my book (my PR came in 2013 when I was running out of my mind and I am not sure I will ever be able to equal that effort). I actually think it was a pretty reasonable goal and in line with my fitness. Unfortunately, I got a little too fired up early on and deviated a bit from the plan. (That's a euphemism for "I went out too fast and screwed up the pacing").
Two women were out front together early, chatting away at 6:10 pace. I knew better than to stay with them, but I stayed a little too close especially as the first two miles went downhill. I backed off but only to about 6:20 pace - still faster than goal pace. By mile 7 my hamstrings were sore and cement like and the pace slowly dribbled into the 6:40 range for a 50 second positive split and a 1:25:18 finish. Oops! At the time, I thought my hammies were just suffering from the hot early pace, but afterwards it was clear something wasn't right. My right hammy and right foot were in a lot of pain. My planned five mile cool down lasted all of 0.2 miles. On the bright side, I was at the front of the line for the potato bar!
|Covered bridge over the Roaring River|
Saturday after the race, my kids were in a piano competition. Liam was up first and he totally choked. He left the stage in tears. Afterwards, I tried to tell him that we all have bad days and that I didn't have a very good race that morning. "Yeah, except nobody cares about running, Mom. It's just a stupid race!" So as you can see, there is no good reason for me to get too upset about my race! Megan didn't have her best day either, so no real shining stars in our family for the weekend, but we are getting out and trying and that's what counts.
Despite missing the goal, I am still quite encouraged. Aside from the hamstrings, I felt great. It was an "old lady PR" (PR post-40) and a master's win. (The two fast women went on to take 1st and 2nd overall). I know I could do better, but I am not a half marathoner and am not too hung up on what I could run. I think of endurance fitness as having two main components: a cardio-vascular component and a musculoskeletal component. With asthma, my CV fitness got so bad that I really wasn't taxing my musculoskeletal system and that fitness withered away. But with the asthma under control, my CV fitness has improved tremendously and now my musculoskeletal system needs to catch up. Strength training has always been an important part of my training because I think it helps so much in keeping the musculoskeletal system strong enough to endure the stress when the CV system gets in really good shape. And the weights don't lie: last time I was at the gym, I struggled to deadlift 155#; at my peak I could DL 200#. Now that this base/half-marathon phase is over, I know I need to get back in the gym and get strong again! But this week, I'll be babying my leg and not doing very much: ultra-marathon phase starts next week and I need a healthy hamstring for that!
|How Liam really feels about the Bach festival: "Sucks big time". Hahaha!|
|First Old Lady!|
|We ended the day with peanut butter pie for Mac's 42nd b-day. Pie is good for aging husbands, sore hamstrings and crabby little boys. :)|