Running: It's actually more expensive than therapy
I completed my first marathon back in November 2020. Although I am mostly happy with my results, I was still 10-15 minutes away from my goal time. I've reflected back on my training and have come up with a few mistakes I made and wanted to share them with you and hopefully correct them on my next training block.
1. Running a 50k a month out from the marathon
Even typing this out is embarrassing. I really thought I could do it all. To go back a little bit everything shut down in spring 2020 so the first opportunity I had to race was October 2020, and that was a 50k I had my eye on. The marathon in November was my goal race however, I thought I could run the 50k just for fun and a long run. I mean long runs can be 20-22 miles so what's an extra 10 right? Wrong! This ultra absolutely killed my body. The course was so technical that it took over 2 hours longer to run than I thought it would. My body was so destroyed after that I had to take a week off of running completely and that's not something anyone wants to do a month out from a goal race. So running an ultra for a training run is not something I will ever do again and not something I recommend.
2. Long Run Paces
Okay I realize this is a controversial topic. I ran my long run paces at 8:30-9:00 so I felt that I didn't really have the endurance to run 26.2 miles at a pace under 8 minutes. I know that long runs are slower in order to avoid injury and stuff, but I am going to run them a little faster next cycle. I think maybe closer to the 8 minute marker. I felt during the marathon I was slipping back to my comfort pace which was around the long run pace not the marathon goal pace.
If you read my recap of the marathon, you saw that my nutrition was lacking during the actual race. I took a gel at mile 8 and immediately threw it up. I ran the entire race on half a gel. I couldn't even stomach having another way later on. For my next marathon, I will take a gel earlier on before I get sick to my stomach. This is tough because I really had no problems during training. The race itself is what got me probably from nerves. I also wish that I would have at least tried some small bites of a gel during the second half the race before I could feel the wall.
Those are my three biggest mistakes from my last training block. I want to correct them when I start training again in July for my next marathon.
Sunday December 20th 2020 was the Mount Dora Half Marathon. This race has been on my to-do list for a while now. I've never done it because it's a little far away and I've always had another race on the same weekend. This year however, was different since Covid-19 made races pretty scarce. Mount Dora Half is usually a pretty big event and it has a Christmas theme which I absolutely love (themed races are always my favorites).
Race morning I drove to Mount Dora and arrived pretty early since I read parking might be an issue. I think I got there an hour before start time and didn't have a problem finding a spot to park. There was a smaller field this year and they have the 5k race on Saturday instead of Sunday now so all of that helped. I got my packet and started to make my way to the starting line. Everyone was very safe and things were spread out pretty well.
The Race Miles 1-3 7:58, 7:45, 7:51
We went out in waves to help with social distancing. I went off in the first wave but in the back so I didn't start out too fast. I wanted to run a comfortable pace but not push myself too much. I wanted a long run pace not a goal race pace. The first part is uphill and they did warn us about all the hills in the beginning. I felt pretty great and downtown Mt. Dora is one of the cutest towns I have ever seen.
Miles 4-7 7:39, 7:42, 7:46, 7:52
The first part was through downtown and the middle seemed to be the residential areas which were also super cute. There were so many hills during these miles but nothing too crazy I think the worst one was at the mile 5 marker. I was running by feel and everything felt pretty easy at this point.
Miles 8-10 7:40, 7:40, 7:32
I wanted to speed up a little at the second half if I felt up to it which I did. Since the hills were mostly over I knew I could do some negative splits. I really enjoyed the views of Mt. Dora and the houses near the lake were beautiful.
Miles 11-13.10 7:37, 7:31, 7:44, 7:32
I was in the home stretch and still feeling good. I was able to eat my 2 energy gels and also had some water from the water stations. I wanted to get my pace down to the 7:30s since I was feeling so great. Mile 12-13 was the only one that felt kind of tough. The final part took us back into downtown and luckily we had a downhill finish.
I was super happy with my time I didn't push myself too hard but still had a good pace and felt great. I really enjoyed this race so much and cannot wait to run it again in the future. I loved the Christmas theme and also the medals/shirts with the reindeer wearing a mask because it was so perfect for 2020!
Overall 73 out of 670
1st in 30-34 females out of 30
Sunday 11/22/20 was the Central Florida Legends Skunk Ape Marathon in Debary, FL. This was a live in-person race and my first real marathon ever. I needed this. I needed this after the 50k race last month that crushed my soul. I had a goal of anything around a 3:30:00 finish.
I was so grateful to be able to run a live race due to this difficult times. The race directors did a fantastic job making this happen and really making everyone feel safe. Things looked a little different this year. First off registration was capped at a a certain amount then they implemented waves of 25 runners each to go off separately. The marathon had 6 waves going at 10 minute intervals starting at 6:30 am and ending at 7:20 am.
I signed up last year and was able to start in the 6:30 wave for the marathon which was the first wave. I was pretty stoked about that I like starting early. It poured on my drive over and I kept thinking "oh no this isn't ideal." I arrived to the race around 6am and parking was about a quarter mile from the race start. Because of the waves and social distancing, there were basically no lines for restrooms and packet pickup. (fun fact I was bib #1 due to alphabetical order). They lined up our wave right around the starting time and told us to stand next to an orange flag on the ground so we could social distance. I was think I got the very last place in line (note to self to allow more time to get there). That wasn't a bad thing though I knew I wanted to start off slow.
Miles 1-4 8:14, 8:03, 8:00, 7:56
I didn't want to start off too fast but being in the very back was a challenge. Things didn't open up for a little while and I had to weave in and out to catch a comfortable pace. Also, I was a little winded from running around the start at this point so that wasn't ideal lol. So finally I was able to get where I wanted and things really opened up. I knew that everyone would be pretty well apart from each other and without pacers it was all on me to get the timing right. I knew I wanted to pretty much run every mile around an 8:00 pace.
Miles 5-9 7:58, 7:46, 7:49, 7:55, 7:59
We entered the Gemini Springs Park area around here and it sure was gorgeous. I tried to take it all in and be thankful for this experience. I also realized I probably needed to slow down and not let the excitement get to me. I was pretty much running alone which I do like as an introvert. The aid station volunteers were super friendly and encouraging. I made sure to thank them for being there. They had Gatorade and water on the table to avoid contact so all we had to do was grab and go. I made sure to get Gatorade when I could because it had some calories in it which is something we will get to later.
Miles 10-15 8:05, 8:15, 8:24, 8:29, 8:21, 8:26
This is where things started to get interesting. The rain really started around here. It had been drizzling all morning but by now it started to pour. The sunscreen on my face started to drip off into my eyes and became really uncomfortable. I also had my first gel around this time I wasn't hungry but knew I need something. I sucked down half of it at once and let's just say it all came back up (I know tmi). So I was able to get the other half down with no problems but I was feeling so nauseas. At the turaround I tried to think about positive things like how I was in the double digits not how I still had another half marathon ahead of me.
Miles 16-20 8:23, 8:48, 8:15, 8:23
This is really where I felt the struggle. I've heard from other runners that mile 16 on is really the hardest part of the marathon and boy where they right. My pace was certainly slipping and I was really struggling. The humidity from the heavy rain was getting to me. I had this overwhelming thirst and needed a lot of fluids from every aid station. I need to get better at drinking on the run and not completely stopping.
Miles 20-23 8:17, 8:49, 8:29, 8:26
The 20s! I was very happy about this. I really felt tired and mentally exhausted at this point. I just tried to hang out and finish this out. Honestly, this was the toughest part for me. Something somewhat encouraging is the fact that I was convinced I was running a 10 minute mile and it was in the 8:20s mostly.
Miles 24-26.2 8:34, 8:31
The home stretch was here! We left the part and went back towards the finish line/starting line. It was cool to see the roads from the sidewalk where we were running. We also saw more half marathon runners and this was encouraging. My goal changed to under a 3:40:00 time and I knew with only 2.2 miles left this could be done. Finally, I saw the 26 mile marker and knew it was so close. I just had to hang in there a little more. I never knew just how long .2 of a mile could actually be... At last, I crossed the finish line and was officially a member of the 26.2 club and achieved my B goal of under 03:40:00.
I learned a lot from this race by making mistakes.
1 . Arrive earlier than you think you need to
2. No matter how good you feel don't speed up in the beginning it will only hurt you
3. Eat more gels (I still don't know how I was able to run a marathon on half of a gel)
4. Enjoy the experience and be thankful!
5. Something I thought of was maybe I needed to run my long runs at a slightly faster pace. I ran them around an 8:30 pace but I feel like running them faster would only help me (just a thought).
Official Time 03:39:53
2020- What a year it has been huh? I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. Unfortunately, all my races have been cancelled since March. Hopefully I will be able to run some towards the end of the year. I have signed up for an ultra in October and a marathon in November. I have been running and training for whatever does come next. I am just ready to race again!
Have you guys been running at all?
Friday night 3/6/20 was the Light the Night 5k in New Smryna Beach, FL. This was before everything changed with the Coronavirus and before races had been cancelled. I had not run a 5k since last June so I was a bit rusty. Now that I think of it that was probably the last time I did any sort of speed workout. I wanted to go by feel and not go too hard and try to negative or even split.
We started right at 6:15 pm. I tried to start off slow and not too fast like I can do then fade at the end. My pace felt steady and not fast but still not as easy as I would have liked. I saw two women in front of me and was able to pass them before the turnaround. The course was really easy just an out and back with a turnaround halfway through. The halfway point was when I felt worse and wanted to slow down. I wasn't out of shape but just exhausted in general if that makes any sense. My second mile was the slowest then the last was a little faster so I did negative split. It started to get dark at the end which was a really neat affect. I just love this race because of how different it is.
I was very excited to have an overall female win and I just loved the race atmosphere and awards. This was a very fun face and I hope I get to run it again and again!
Overall 4 out of 221
1st overall female