A Race Day Recap

I think this was mile 2
I think this was mile 2

Last Saturday I ran the Lexus LaceUp half marathon in Ventura. It was a lovely day and not too hot.

This race occurred 6 weeks after the Ventura Marathon. Back in August, when I signed up for the Lexus race I thought, “no big deal.” But then as my miles decreased substantially for my marathon race recovery I became concerned about my readiness for a half marathon.

It is at this point that I am thankful that I have been working with a coach on my training plan. I know that if I had been on my own I would have tried too much too soon after the marathon. But he had me easing pretty slowly (it seemed) back into a training routine.

Scott and me before the race. He did his first 10K.
Scott and me before the race. He did his first 10K.

My longest run prior to the latest half was 8 miles on October 17. During the week before the race I was a bit nervous as I wondered if I’d be able to jump from 8 to just over 14 miles (including warm up). I had to keep telling myself that this distance in my pre-marathon training was pretty easy, so I’d be good to go.

Race Day: this was my 5th half marathon and it was the first time I’d ever done a pre race warm up that actually consisted of running, another benefit of someone experienced giving me direction. So at 6:15am I ran a slow mile, hit the restrooms, did some dynamic stretches, followed by 4 strides. I was ready to go.

In lining up for the race I made the mistake of lining up towards the back of the pack (still feeling like a newbie?). The problem with this was that I had to start the race trying to get around a lot of people who were slower than me. This was a bit frustrating and totally my fault. Next time I will line up in a better position.

A strategy for my long runs and marathon is to walk for about 30 seconds every half mile. I usually do this for the first hour in an effort not to go out too fast. I actually did it for the entire Ventura Marathon because it was working for me in the heat (at least for 20 miles!). So I started my race with the same plan. I missed the first walk at .5 mile because it was too crowded to walk. I then walked at 1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5. Upon realizing that I was speeding up to make up time, I decided to just run.

This was a very easy course with a gradual uphill for the first 7 miles. When we returned (downhill yeah!) I was able to run at what for me is a pretty fast pace.

I started to fade at miles 12 and 13 and was trying very hard to stay on a good pace. It was hard but when I looked at my split times I didn’t fade as badly as it seemed. This is good as I’m trying to finish strong. In the last 100 yards I managed to sprint across the finish line!

After all this I’m happy to report that my official time was 2:13:11, almost 10 minutes faster than my last half marathon time of 2:22:56 (last December).

I’m doing another half marathon November 7th. Its another Saturday race. Yeah! It has lots of hills. Yikes!

The race included a coupon for a food truck item. I was able to enjoy an almond milk, banana, and date smoothie. Yum!
The race included a coupon for a food truck item. I was able to enjoy an almond milk, banana, and date smoothie. Yum!

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