Every second counts. This is going to be my new mantra in running races. This year I’ve run seconds away from milestones.
Oakland half marathon @1:44:57
See Jane Run half marathon @ 1:49:01
CIM with a mere 23-second PR
And yesterday (I went against the textbook rule of refraining from racing right after marathon) …. I ran a trail half marathon @ 1:46:01. Five seconds behind 3rd place woman in my age group.
I’m not trying to win an Olympic or any race for that matter. Still…. Every. Second. MATTERS!
So I wanna recap about the trail race yesterday in Fremont. It’s called ZombieRunner Quarry Lake Run and they have distances from 5K to Marathon. It’s a “trail race” but very flat. And for half marathon, about 1/3 of the race is on asphalt.
I did not prepare for this race.
I didn’t carbload (had a pesto sandwich and ice cream sandwich for lunch and Chinese banquet meal for dinner with 12 courses but only one of them contained rice/carbs)
I drank a lot of wine at the banquet that I was woken up by thirst two times the night before race. I was horribly dehydrated.
I had a pop tart before race (who still eats pop tarts?) instead of my proper pre-race breakfast (bagel usually).
I also did not plan the race outfit well and was peeling off layers and repinning my bib a few minutes before the start of the race. It was a frigid drizzly morning in Fremont, I decided to go with a light layer of long sleeves with gloves.
Since I just ran a marathon two weeks ago, my body was still in repairing mode. I planned to go easy and run around 2 hour mark (9 minute pace or so.) But once the gun went off, the race got to my head. I did try to hold back my pace and was happy to be maintaining around 8:07 pace comfortably for majority of the race. It didn’t feel slow and easy, but it was not a hard all-out effort either.
I threw away my gloves around mile 3 because I thought it was getting warm. But it got colder in later miles with some head wind and it became drizzly. My fingers were freezing! I brought only one gel with me and took it around mile 7. By mile 10, I felt my energy dipping lower and I started to feel fatigue. But the race was almost over by then. I love half marathons! It’s so quick but not too quick!
Saying hello to my lover at finish line. I passed so many people in the second half of the race, and that felt GOOOOOD! The Man finished first in his age group for 10K so it’s a good day for him too!
When I crossed the finish, all I could think about was DARN IT, I did it again… I missed the minute mark by one second. But it was neither a PR nor a PR-attempt. I gave myself a good race and I was happy.
This race concluded the 2015 racing year for me. I will not be able to run long in the next few weeks due to travelling. But running will always be here for me when I’m ready next year.
Time for a summary of how things went down!!! I have read so many race reports on the internet but had never published one of my own, so here goes 😀
California International Marathon 2015
Finish time = 3:43:19. Chip pace = 8:32 average
My previous PR = 3:43:42.
So I did PR but it was extremely close. I did not know I would PR until a few seconds before crossing the finish line. Some pictures and then random thoughts of the race in bullet points:
How the race went for me:
- The rain was not as bad as expected. We started at Folsom Lake and the rain came down a few minutes before start and people started cheering. The light rain came down off and on for about the first 6 miles. Then the temps were in low 50’s and felt very comfortable for running.
- I started out slow as planned. I trained to start slow and finish fast. My training proved that it worked on my long runs….up to mile 20. The last 6 miles would be a gamble and I took it.
- I warmed up with 8:45 pace for a few miles and then ran the middle miles in 8:25-8:35 pace. I dropped down the pace to 8:10-8:20 pace from mile 13 to about 20.
- I averaged around 8:35 pace for the last 6 miles but it was all guts. It was mentally the HARDEST I have ever had to fight for in a race. Mental games!
- My legs started to feel major fatigue (stiffness and numbness) at mile 17. Usually I don’t feel it until mile 22.
- People were dropping like flies around me since mile 18, and I was extremely tempted to stop and walk. You know when you’re working out in a group fitness class and someone drop the weights to rest and it affects the flow of the class? Similar in the marathon… At least to me. I had to look away from the people stopping, stretching, and starting to walk.
- Filled my head with happy thoughts.
- Sacramento is really really beautiful in the fall!
Ah yes, finished!
I cannot wait to run another marathon! There is something magical and spiritual about digging deep into myself during marathons. I always finish learning a thing or two more about my mind and body connection after each marathon.
Til next time! And hopefully a BIGGER PR!