I picked up my race bib and shirt on Saturday. When I saw the Chipotle logo on my bib, I got really excited because I heart Chipotle. Unfortunately, I flipped the bib and saw that the Chipotle offer was only good in San Francisco and expired on July 8. Talk about a buzz kill.
Sunday morning was bright and sunny and a little warm. Not my favorite race conditions (I prefer cool and overcast), but I figured it would be OK since I would be done running by 10am. After making my way through the long porta-potty line, I found myself at the start line with a few minutes to spare.
My goal was to run the first half conservatively and then pick up the pace for the second half. My legs felt pretty good, so I was able to comfortably keep my pace between 8:20-8:30 for the first half, which was perfect.
(8:32, 8:18, 8:24, 8:26, 8:21, 8:26)
The only problem was the whole “picking up the pace thing” never happened. I didn’t feel awful, but I certainly didn’t feel great. By mile 9, I was hot, my feet hurt, and my legs were getting tired. I tried to to stay mentally strong and just focus on my breath and form. I definitely slowed in these final miles, but I mostly stayed positive and did my best to stay out of the dark place.
(8:34, 8:58, 8:28, 8:35, 8:54, 8:39, 8:29)
Unlike the RNR Half, as I drew closer to the end of the race, there was no endorphin rush. No surge to the finish. No “OMG I love to run!” moment. I was tired, hot and thirsty, and it was an ugly grind to the finish.
After the race, I did some Twitter stalking and found that other people had also run the course .2 short. UGH.
Pros: Had the race been appropriately measured, I would have finished in 1:52, nearly a two-minute PR. I also made it the entire run without any 9 minute miles — that’s a first, my friends!
Cons: No Chipotle coupon. Seriously, I’m still mad about that! Oh, and I got screwed out of a legit PR. Not pleased. Not pleased at all. SJR isn’t a cheap race (it cost $90), and for that amount of money, I expect a race to be properly measured.
Things to think about: I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m getting closer to where I need to be with my speed in order to accomplish both my goals this summer (sub 1:50 half and sub 4 marathon), but I need to teach my body to sustain those paces for extended periods of time.
Since the next four weeks are all about speed, the plan is to incorporate my goal half marathon pace (8:19) into my “long” runs. Once I transition to full-on marathon training, I’ll need to shift gears and increase the distance of my long runs. At this point, I’ll focus on incorporating goal marathon pace (8:50) miles.
With three months until Portland, I know I’m in better shape than I was three months out from Eugene. If I can continue to stay focused, consistent and smart with my training, September 2 and October 6 will be great days!