I ran the Caesar Rodney Half Marathon on Sunday in 2:02:02. It was a tough course-hilly and terribly windy as in 30 mph gusts of wind. It was no joke.
Back in December I ran the Rehoboth Beach Half in 1:58:40 on what I would consider to be a pretty easy course. It’s flat with a nice mix of terrain 1/2 road, half trail (but easy trail). The weather was perfect which to me means no wind.
Wind is my least favorite running condition. I absolutely cannot stand it!
So, why I was able to run a much tougher race in almost the same time as a much easier one?
First let me say that I was untrained for both races. For CR, my longest run was 7 miles. I continued to do my weekly mileage of about 20 miles or so. As for Rehoboth, I was coming off an injury and only ran regularly for about 4 weeks prior to the race with 3 long runs thrown in ranging from 9- 12 miles each.
- I ate! I ate a bagel and had my morning coffee. For Rehoboth I didn’t eat a single thing, which was just dumb. I get SO nervous before races and it’s tough for me to eat. I also can’t drink Gatorade at water stops; it makes me thirstier.
- I got up early. I have to have my morning coffee but TMI it makes me have to pee. So, for races I usually avoid it before I run. Sunday, I got up at 630 am so I could take my time, drink my coffee and eat.
- I was just coming off an injury for Rehoboth and for CR I was able to run more regularly.
- I started out too fast at Rehoboth. My line of thinking was-bank some faster miles early before you suffer. Big mistake! I blew up at the end of this race.
- I changed my thinking. I could devote a whole post to the fact that I am a terrible racer. Nerves and fear of failure are the two big reasons. I envision myself walking over the finish line every single race. This would kill me btw!
- Yesterday, I used a mantra for the first time ever! My mantra was-“Run your own race.” Simple yet effective. Normally, I feel pressured to “keep up” when people around me start to speed up. Around mile 7, I knew a big hill was coming and I was running with a girl for quite some time. She picked it up and I started to go with her but changed my mind. I wanted to conserve some energy for the hilly section and I just let her go and repeated over and over, “Run your own race.”
Moving forward, I need to actually train for these races. Sounds easy, right?! Not so for an injury prone runner like myself.
Part of the battle of racing is to get to the start line healthy. This knee of mine has been plaguing me for over a year. Yes, I am able to run consistently (as my very sweet fiance points out to me) but I struggle with adding distance or speed for fear of re-injury.
I want to really push it but just not sure it’s smart. In fact, at the end of the race my IT band was very tight and angry but my knee didn’t hurt at all. Weird, right?! I thought so until I met a Dr. who immediately pinpointed my sorest area and feels that my IT is the cause of my knee pain.
Makes sense to me which means hi ho, hi ho it’s off to more PT I go.