Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Race Report

I seem to have found a formula that agrees with me for nutrition leading up to a race.  In the day or two before a race, I limit my starchy carbs dramatically.  Breakfast the day before was a couple of eggs - not my typical oatmeal, no toast, no cereal.  Even Thanksgiving dinner for me consisted of just turkey, broccoli & carrots with my one indulgence of cheese sauce.  Also, as much water as I can remember to drink.

I have done this twice now, and both times felt fantastic the day of the race.  I think for my upcoming half marathon I will extend this to maybe 3 days prior.  It seems to agree with me.

Another thing that seems to bring me success is a good pre-race warm-up.  For Monday's race I did a good 2 mile slow warm-up.  By the start of the race I was all ready to go - systems cleared (wink), muscles warmed-up, core temperature warmed up.

I had no intention of going for a PR in this race.  It was a last minute decision to do it and was mostly about going out there with my friends and enjoying the course.

The Start

We started at the VERY back of the pack.  This was a new thing for me.  I've never started at the very back.  It wasn't a huge race, but decent ... about 1200 people.  We actually walked across the starting line.  Though right away I knew I had to break through the pack or I would feel frustrated - I don't like to shuffle.  I said goodbye to my friends and began the weaving game.

Mile 1 - 8:30

The first 1/2 mile I was weaving the entire time.  People were leaving room, but you did have to find it.  I only really got walled a few times.  It wasn't until after the first mile before I could run freely without having to dodge the whole time.  I think I could have picked up 45 seconds or so in this mile had I started closer to the front, but I don't regret starting at the back.  It was almost fun dodging everyone this time.

Mile 2 - 8:49

The only slightly challenging hill was a bridge.  It's a long one though and seems to go on for a while.  I've run it before and knew to pace myself.  Because I'd reserved a little there, as I crested the bridge I picked up speed and started passing people who had flown past me going up it.  I checked my time and was pleasantly surprised with how I was doing ... so, I decided to hold her steady and finish with a decent time.

Mile 3 & 4 - 8:26 and 8:29

It was an absolutely GORGEOUS route, the sun was shining and reflecting off the water.  I really forced myself to look around and enjoy the scenery instead of just focusing on my finish time.  I wanted to experience this run.

There was pretty decent support throughout the run.  For a small run there were quite a few people out there with bells and pom poms.  The people at the 5K water station were great.

Mile 5 & 6 - both 8:21

I was starting to tire here.  This is typically when I peeter out in a 10K and start to lose steam.  I wanted to push a bit harder, but my legs were feeling the after effects of my mountain climbing. 

This is when I remember a technique that some runners do.  I started picking off runners.  I'd look ahead and say to myself, "the women in the green, catch her".  Then when I did I'd pick another person.  This completely carried me these last two miles.  What a great way to occupy your brain.  Every time you catch someone you feel a sense of accomplishment.  Of course, there is a strategy to who you pick to pass.  It has to be attainable.

The Finish - 7:41 pace for 0.2

With 0.2 to go, I gave it my all.  I LOVE to finish strong.  Although this almost got me in trouble because I was weaving through some people and missed seeing a park bench until the last moment and had to hop the corner of it.  Whoops! 

Finish Time - 52:18

Just over a minute slower than my PR, but I'm totally happy with it.  I never intended to PR, wasn't prepared to PR, and given the course differences this will probably never be a PR type race.

What a fantastic race though!  Great support, the most incredible food at the finish (yes, I ate myself silly!  No regrets on that), probably the prettiest course I've ever run.  Awesome!

Sadly my husband couldn't run it as he is still nursing an injury, plus he had a job to finish that morning. :(  I know he'd love it and I really hope we both get to do it next year ... of course with our friends who took me there.

My friend has a great picture of me from after the race.  I'm waiting for her to send it to me and then I will share.

Race's are so much fun!  I wish I could do them all the time.

Speaking of upcoming races ....

My blog buddy Fran is hosting a virtual run on either October 30th or 31st (you pick) - the Virtual Pink Dress Run.  Conditions are that you must wear pink and post of picture of you wearing it.  Check out her blog HERE and join us if you can.  It's an international affair. ;)

Keep Active!



destination262 said...

Way to rock your Thanksgiving Race! :) I am glad to hear that you found a pre-fueling routine that works for you too. I'll be doing the Pink Dress run too! :)

Fran said...

Thanks Heidi for mentioning it, you're a sweetheart.

I loved your race report and well done on the time. I think it's fantastic.

I guess I'm the only one who can't tell how I did during a race. A lot of runners seem to know exact how they did at every mile. How do you do that? Do you remember it? Because I would love to give a better recap of my runs than I do now.

Marlene said...

Awesome that you have a pre-race nutrition strategy that works. But I don't know how you give up your starchy carbs! :)

Congrats on the 10K! Nice consistent paces and strong finish. Woot!!!

Marcelle said...


Wow girlfriend I would be one of those runners you would have to wave good bye to as I cant do it under 1 hour and 10 mins...but hey I am running so am grateful for that!!! :)

I loved the way you wrote this entry as I felt I was running with you and in a way this is what I will remember when I run my first race on the 31 october..a 10kl as well....

kimert said...

Way to kill that 10k girl!!! That is awesome! And I love your race recap.

Oh and about that cake mix...I guess I have just been too lazy to get it off the counter! LOL Maybe I will make that a challenge..haha

ajh said...

Don't you love running on gorgeous routes? It makes it alll so much better!

Kyle and Darci said...

What a great recap Heidi!!! Congrats on the great race and your new PR!!! You're one speedy rockstar!!

Syl said...

Loved LOVED LOVED the recap Heidi! I'm so glad you had such a great run and time as well as experience.
I know how much you love to do races and how rare it is that you can do them, so I'm so thrilled that this one was such a great one!
Hope Garry's ok!
Oh and so happy "all systems were clear" you are too cute ;-)

Syl said...

oh and I forgot re my bike.
I have a road bike, - I specifically did not want a mountain bike just because of the weight it would be hard to get in and out of the car. I love my bike, it's light and easy to ride, well except on gravel roads ;-)

Missy said...

Ah, sounds like such a good race! Your times are amazing. Great idea to keep your mind occupied by picking off runners to catch up to...and pass!!!!

Nej said...

Great time!!! And a great race report!!!! Awesome job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!