07 April 2010

Shamrock 1/2 Marathon Race Report

Better late than never, huh? Yeah, the race was like 3 weeks ago and I've never been very good at writing up race reports. But, that is going to change this year. I will write a race report for every race. And what better way to start than with my first race of 2010 - the Shamrock 1/2 Marathon.

I had a chance to see my college friend Tricia and meet her husband the day before the race. Tricia and I haven't seen each other in 7 years, but we've kept up with each other on facebook and blogs, so it really didn't feel like 7 years. But she and Sean live in Williamsburg, not too far from me, and they are both very involved in the running and tri scene so it's definitely not going to be another 7 years before I see them again! I stayed with my friend Leighton and a group of her friends in a big house right on the beach. Fell asleep listening to the ocean waves - wonderful. Race morning came, ate on the way to the race site, found parking, and jogged towards the start, hoping to see the Team Z tent on my way. Once I dropped my stuff off, I made it to the start line (even having enough time for two bathroom breaks!) My coach and I had talked race strategy and I wasn't terribly confident I could keep the pace I wanted to - 6:50/mile for the majority of the race. My fastest average pace in a 10 mile race was 7:06, so it was kind of silly to think I could suddenly drop 16 seconds/mile for a race that was three miles longer. But we can dream, right?

I started off conservatively - 7:20's for the first couple miles and then knocking it down to 7:15 and sub 7:10's. I hadn't figured out how to make my Garmin display my heart rate while it was displaying my lap pace, so I was running this race completely not knowing what my HR was and only trying to stick to a certain pace - a new race strategy. I think it worked okay, but I do feel safer knowing what my HR is. However, it was nice to take a risk and go for a certain pace, heart rate be damned! Maybe a mix of both strategies will be magic in the future. Anyways, the first six miles felt pretty good and I was able to drop my pace with every mile. And then it became hard to maintain that pace and my average pace slowly creeped upward. I felt like I was working so hard, but just going slower. Finally, around mile 10, I just stopped looking at my average pace and just ran on feel. Mentally, I felt much better. I knew I wasn't going to get a PR (sub 1:33) or get my reach goal of sub-1:30. But it wasn't bad for the first race of the season. And I've done alot more biking than running this year. I've been so busy with things that I almost forgot about the race coming up. Thus, I wasn't as prepared mentally for the race as I would've liked.

So, here's the breakdown:
Mile 1: 7:26, 158 bpm
Mile 2: 7:24, 165 bpm
Mile 3: 7:11, 166 bpm
Mile 4: 7:08, 168 bpm
Mile 5: 7:04, 167 bpm
Mile 6: 7:11, 167 bpm
Mile 7: 7:05, 168 bpm
Mile 8: 7:13, 168 bpm
Mile 9: 7:11, 168 bpm
Mile 10: 7:23, 169 bpm
Mile 11: 7:27, 169 bpm
Mile 12: 7:19, 170 bpm
Mile 13.1: 7:06 average pace, 173 bpm
TOTAL: 1:34:58
I was totally in Z4 for all but the first mile of the race. Maybe that's why the wheels came off at the end, haha!

But, it was a gorgeous weekend, a good start to the 2010 race season, and I'm less than two weeks away from the first TRIATHLON of the year!

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