Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rock 'n' Roll Dallas Half Marathon.  2012 Edition/Running Smart

Everything about this day was good.  I didn't change anything during the week that I usually do.  I prepped the same as I had for my previous 3 halves.  I hydrate like crazy all of the time, so I knew I had nothing to worry about knowing the day would be warm.  I'm no stranger to running in heat, I did it all last summer and had it all figured out.  I had a dailymile meetup planned and was about to meet some of my favorite dailymile peeps for the first time.  I think I may have been excited about that more than anything else.  As usual I had the pre-race anxiety.  I went to be at around 10:30-11:00pm the night before, but couldn't sleep a wink.  I think I got in maybe 4 hours of sleep.  Woke up on time, just caught the train on time and got to the race site just before the meetup. I did some meet and greet with the dailmilers which was awesome for those few moments.  My running 'mentor'  Blanca said it best when she said seeing another dailymiler is like seeing a movie star in person.  I would see a couple more along the route as well as some fellow members of the Dallas Running Club.    

Smart move #1 

At the start of the race I could tell the heat would be a factor, so I had to play it smart.  I forgot to bring my hydration with me like a dumbass.  So I planned to stop at as many water stands as needed and walk through them to make sure I got every drop that was handed to me.  During a long run with the marathon group I'm in at the DRC, we had recently discussed how walking through a water station has little affect on your overall finish time, in fact it should help it.  

Smart move #2
The start of the race was crowded, more crowded than last year.  I found myself weaving some but being mindful to not get excited and start out too fast, because  that's how I'm finding folk blowing themselves up at the end.  Since I have been training for a full marathon, I had no idea what my 'new' half marathon pace was.  My heart rate monitor on my Garmin wasn't working so I just went by what my body told me to do.  I ran at the fastest speed I could run and be comfortable.  I would do this for the first 3 miles. I knew it would be especially important today, with the temps probably shooting toward 70F by the end of the race and the sun was shining brightly.  Most of the first part of the race was through heavily shaded Highland Park.  I knew once we got out in the open on the busier streets of the commercial areas on Mockingbird, Skillman etc, the sun would be at a high angle.  

Smart move #3 
The other thing I decided to try that I never thought about until my last half is running the tangents.  That means when making a turn, measuring prudently close to the curb or edge of the roadway to ensure running the shortest distance.  I think some folks may have gotten mad at me for cutting them off trying to get to the curb  LOL!  I heard someone say once during a half marathon that they came to run 13.1 miles, not 13.2.  Well it worked because my Garmin was tracking notably close to each mile marker that the marathon crew laid out.  In previous races it had been way off

Smart move #4 
This course was not hilly at all, but there were a couple mild upgrades.  I have learned to take those slow instead of trying to gun up them and on the inverse side of that, when I'm going downhill I run faster than usual.  We'll see if that works out in my full marathon in 3 weeks.  The course is VERY hilly.  

Dailymiler friend Jen to my left who I met in person for the first time. Posing with her friend and dailymiler Victoria
So with all that in mind, it provided for a fun and almost easy race.  After mile 8 I actually felt myself getting stronger.  I was able to pick my pace up to about 8min/mile pace and some instances sub 8.  I was feeling pretty good, but in the back of my mind thinking about a leg cramp.  Why?  I don't know.  My legs felt fine at that point.  I thought I was hydrated enough.  Maybe I shouldn't have thought about it, I may have willed it to happen.  The Rock N Roll I ran last year I got a calf cramp and in the White Rock Half in December which follows the last part of the same course as RnR I got a calf cramp as well.  All 3 instances it happened on the same street at almost the same place.  I can't figure it out.  This time it wasn't too much of a factor because I had learned what to do when that happens.  Now it did come from out of nowhere and I stopped down and someone behind me almost ran up my back.  So I found myself to the curb to rub it out and another runner comes by and says "Come on let's go!"  He lifts me up, I'm running with my arm around him, limping but it did the trick.  He got me kick started again and I was on my way.  It was just enough to get me to the finish line.  I just don't understand what it is about 12.5 miles where I always get a cramp.  
Dallas Rock N Roll Half dailymiler meetup

Dallas RnR 2012 Finish line in sight

So now what?  I have 3 weeks to my goal race, the Big D Texas Marathon.  If the weather is like it was today, I think I'm good.  I have no other choice but to be, I've spent 511 miles so far this year getting ready for it.  Bring it on.

Avg Pace

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sleepy blog

Totally random blogging here.  So here I am 1:20 am awake Monday morning before a workday.  I should be in bed but no, I'm up trying to come up with a running/training strategy for the next month.  My target race only a month away, my first ever full marathon.  But I have a half-marathon to kill in just 6 days.  A milestone for me, because one year ago this same half was the first serious race I had ever been in.  So yes I want to just go out there and first, beat the previous time of 2:07 in the Rock N Roll Dallas, which shouldn't be a problem, but 2nd bust my overall PR of 1:53:25.  This race is sort of in the way, but I had to do it.  Now that I have been training for a full marathon, I have no idea or gauge on how fast I can finish a half.  The other thing is the weather.  In the routine training run this past weekend 18 miles felt worse than the 23 I ran last week.  Heat and humidity did a number on my legs.  What will the weather be on April 15?  Hell what will the weather be next week?  Gotta love Texas.  Then there is the thing with the mileage that I'm running.  This was really supposed to be my peak week for my full marathon, but I instead made last week my peak week with the 23 miler.  I ran only 18 miles this weekend so that I could have fresh legs for the half coming up.  So what do I do next week after I run the half?  There will be 3 weeks until the full.  I have several 20+ milers under my belt this winter, so maybe it won't be a factor.  I may be already there as far as preparedness.  Then too I figure I'll be running so hard on Sunday that it will be equivalent to busting out over 18-20 slow miles.  Eh... probably not.  Well, I'll figure it out hopefully.  Ok, I'm finally sleepy now.  Goodnight (-_-)