Monday, November 24, 2008

What I learned on Race Day

I met up with Heather W. at a local half marathon this weekend. She had a fabulous race! We ran together the first 7 miles, but then I started feeling sluggish. It was her first half marathon and she finished in 1:58. Way to go Heather! Wish I could have kept that perfect pace with you. I, however, had a less-than-stellar race, as they often are for me. (Finished in 2:00:25, and my goal was under 2 hours.) But since I learned a few things in the process, I'm sharing them with you. Maybe these things will help you to have a better race!

1. If I don't commit early enough to a race, I don't train quite enough. I wavered back and forth about this race for weeks, which made my training only so-so. I put in enough work to finish, but not to get the ideal time. I need to commit early with my $$ so that I can commit in my training.

2. Don't get me wrong, though. It is still amazing that I ran 13.1 miles in one session. My body is cool like that. I'm learning more and more about how important running form is. If you are running efficiently, you can feel like you're resting, not laboring.

3. I need to work more on the mental part of racing. I find it very easy to talk myself out of pushing hard. I guess I need to practice this every week or two by pushing really hard in a workout run. Any other ideas? I've done some of the positive thinking stuff with success, but I couldn't think myself past the three-mile wall I hit on Saturday.

4. My chest cold is not completely gone. And I need to address my asthma with my doctor. I had a chest cold for the two weeks prior to the race. And I definitely get tight and wheezy after a run.

5. I can look very dorky when I run. I picked out a cute outfit (not quite matchy-matchy, but coordinated). Then I realized the capris I chose didn't have any pockets. One pocket was necessary to carry snacks along the way. So I went for some longer shorts -- blue and black. They looked quite dorky with my green shirt. Then I had another shirt tied around my waist. Then I had to fix my headband mid-race. I got a look at myself later and my hair was all askew. Nice. Very nice. Can't wait to see the official race photos of that get-up. Good thing no one I was with brought a camera!

6. My husband and kids love me! They made some signs while I was gone and posted them. I felt very special when I returned home.

7. I love Sport Beans by Jelly Belly. They are awesome electrolyte-filled carb bites of yumminess. I'm sorry I dropped about 5 along the way.

8. Water is my favorite beverage. I think I drank a gallon today. Easily.

9. Too often I forget to stretch thoroughly after a race. That means I'm sore longer than I need to be. Make the time to stretch!

10. Being a Marathon Mommy is awesome! Thanks for running with me, Heather. Sorry I wasn't very good company. You were, though, and I appreciate it. We'll have to try again sometime.



Kelly(M&M) said...

I am glad (and a little jealous!) that you and Heather were able to meet up. It sounds like you had a great race, despite being sick and not as trained as you would have liked. I hope you are happy with how close you came to your goal, especially with how you were feeling. I wish I could have been there. So cute that your family made signs!
Congrats again!

Landy said...

Good job. The chest cold alone was probably hard to deal with. I'm running my second half in April and have the same goal you had. I am looking at various training schedules, and will probably use Hal's intermediate one. For those of you looking to beat your last times, when do you usually start your training? How many miles a week do you have for your base before you start your schedule?

Heather W said...

Finally. . .I have a minute to post! Amy, it was so nice meeting you as well. I really enjoyed visiting with you. . .sorry for the 20 (or more) questions I asked. I just can't be quiet sometimes! I have to say that this race was a great one to run. It was so beautiful. . .I loved running along the river and on all of the bike trails. You are so lucky to have access to a community that is so "in tune" with running and out door recreation. I really appreciate all of your insights of "learning" from a race. I so often just say it was good or bad and leave it at that. However, I think that I miss out on the growing experiences by not evaluating and taking a mental and physical inventory. Thank you for sharing yours and inspiring me to be more aware. Again, it was so nice to meet up with you! I would love to do it again!

Suzie Petunia said...

Hey, nice race! And you're not supposed to look too cool when you're running a race or else no one will take you seriously as a runner. :) Dorky is cool! I also love Jelly Belly's Sports Beans!

Suzie Petunia said...

The rest of the Moms from Oregon need to all meet up at a race sometime...

Heather W said...

I agree Suzie. . .that would be so fun to meet everyone!