Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013 - week 1 - 2 races

I started Jan. 1, 2013 with a fun local race.  The Steam Whistle 12k has become  a tradition for my husband and me.  Chad typically volunteers and I run the race.    It's a fun time to chat with running friends.  Most arrive Jan. 1,  eager to shed holiday lbs. and many have New Year's goals.  I personally love starting the New Year with a race with friends.   As noted my previous post, I typically have one, or several New Year's goals.  I find it refreshing to have revised or updated goals to work toward.  I also enjoy hearing what others will be working toward for the next year. 

This year, it worked out that I had 2 races planned in the first week of 2013.  This year, the traditional Steam Whistle 12k was on Tues.    The other race race was added as part of my training for Boston 2013.  I have little experience with "racing" on hills.  I train on hills, I've even signed up for hilly races, but I haven't "all-out raced" on hills, (except for Boston 2010)  The Blues half marathon in Jackson, MS definitely qualifies as a hilly race, so I wanted to race it.  I decided with the 2 races in one week that I would wait until the week of the races, and decide which race to "race" based on the weather.  As the race week arrived, it was an easy choice.  The weather for Tuesday's SW12K was predicted as warm and muggy.    With that prediction, I decided Tues. would be a tempo run by heart rate, and Sat. would be race day at The Blues half.

Steam Whistle 12k
the only goal for the day was to monitor my heart rate and run at my lactate threshold (LT) pace.   Monday night I had some not so typical tummy issues, so the day was a question mark.  I ended up feeling fine during the race, and finished the race with the exact goal heart rate for the day.
the data:
**running strictly by heart rate - (no monitoring of pace, or feel)
7.47 miles on garmin
8:12 avg pace
1:01:18 official and garmin time
7:58, 7:59, 8:18, 8:27, 8:09, 8:21, 8:27
**solid training run
**visit with friends
**met a runner who blew by me in the later miles,  and made it appear that I was running backwards.
 (C. if you read this, congrats, well done, and let's go for a run new friend)
**starting Jan 2013 the right way.
**master female winner

Three days of easy running, and on Friday, it was time to travel to Jackson for the Sat. Blues half marathon.
Kelly, Terri, Vicki at packet pick up

Vicki, Terri & Me @ the MS Museum of Art - art garden, & Jen Torres art pieces (the Running Artist)  
  We stayed within a mile of the race so we decided to jog to the start.  We timed it perfectly to get to the start with only a few minutes to stand in the cold air.  (low 40s at the start, with little change during the race)  The day presented us with excellent running temps. 

MS Blues half marathon elevation chart

Being new to hill racing, I wasn't exactly sure how to run the race.  In Nov. I ran a 1:46 (8:08 avg) half on a FLAT course.  In looking at the elevation chart, I decided the pre-race plan would be to go out around 8:20 for the first 2.5 miles and then,  I would attempt to pick it up to 8:15 avg., if it was manageable on the hills.  I ended the day at 1:50:10 (8:24 avg pace).  I missed some tangents and ended up running long - Garmin - 13.28 - 8:18 avg pace.  It's aggravating when I zone out and run long.  I considered this a "B" race in prep for Boston.  I find my tangents are better if it's an "A" race.  I seem to relax just enough to "zone out" when I shouldn't.  o'well......

Garmin 13.28
Splits - 1 -8:30 (a little slow),2- 8:08 (a little fast) avg of the 1st 2 miles, right on,  3-8:11, 4-8:23, 5-8:05, 6-8:25, 7-8:20, 8-8:22, 9-8:10, 10-8:24, 11-8:22, 12-8:16, 13-7:59, .28 - 2:13 (7:59)

Soon after the race, I realized I had not "raced" as hard as I should have.  In the early miles I ran reserved, not knowing how I would handle the hills.  During the race, I felt like I was running well, but upon my post race review, I realize I had way too much energy left at the end of this race.  In addition, I wasn't fatigued Sat. afternoon.   Part of the lack of fatigue was due to the cold weather.  Anytime I race in cold weather, I feel much better post race, and recover quickly, BUT, Sat. when I made it home, I ended up doing yard work and feeling fine.  I felt a little too good post race.  I realized I had not truly raced all out.  I'm disappointed that I didn't go sub 1:50, so close and would have been doable.  In addition,  today I looked at the results to find that I came in 2nd place in my age group.  I missed 1st place by 26 seconds which heightened my mild discomfort with NOT "leaving it all" on the course.    26 seconds faster, I would have placed 1st AG, and sub 1:50.  
EVERY second counts - refresher course at the Blues.....

The Blues half marathon medal - one of my favorites.

If you've been reading, you know I always analyze, learn, and then find the upside of my racing.  
So here goes:
1.  Garmin results - 8:05 avg on a FLAT course in Nov., 
                              8:18 avg. on the Blues hills - 
I have no idea how much time should be typical from flat to hills, but :05 to :18 seems ok to me ??
2.  having gas left in the tank will be super for me in my upcoming training - less recovery time. back to Boston training.
3. 1:50:10 is a solid race for me on the hills, but I have NO doubt I can do better, and will.... (just part of my learning curve.  I need more hill racing experience)
4. last April when I ran the Blue Ridge marathon, I left Roanoke with a new love for hill running.  Sat. I left Jackson, MS and The Blues race with a heightened love, and desire to figure out hill racing.  I love having the new adventure in running after many years of running. 

My friends also had good races at The Blues. 
we had a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and  9th (post flu) place finishes in various age groups. 
Good times at The Blues !

Oh, race review,  MS Blues half marathon - I HIGHLY recommend this race if you are like me and like a smaller race, and want to race on some hills.    

1 comment:

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Congrats on the races! I love how every race holds a lesson. Have fun training for Boston!