Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Race Report: New Hanover Regional Medical Center Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon

Yes I am a runner, but no, I have not been following a plan.  I am pretty consistent in my mileage each week between 20-50 miles per week.  My average mileage for the last 4 weeks (according to my Garmin Fenix 5s) was 29.3 miles.  My average mileage walking for the last 4 weeks was 12.1 miles (walking Miles ToGo).  I am getting mileage in, but it is erratic.  I can’t seem to want to bring myself to train for any races, although I am pacing quite a bit this year which is always fun.

Last weekend was a baseline run to see where I need to work.  I ran in the Wrightsville Beach half marathon and promised myself to run happy and strong and not push it.  I was good about pulling back when I felt my heartrate start to climb.  I did not look at my watch for pace or distance the whole race, but I did have it on my heartrate screen so I could just run by feel.  I was thrilled to be so consistent throughout the race.  Here is a  breakdown of the mileage:

Made the conscious decision that since I was fun running it I would not warm up at all and just try to start slow and work my way into the race.  Mile 1 was probably a little fast, but it felt really slow: 7:40.  7:40 on another day would feel fast but with the excitement, adrenaline and all the runners  surrounding you it felt slow.  I guess it felt slow enough that subconsciously I picked it up. We had wind at our back during most of mile 2 so it felt effortless at 7:17.

During mile 3 there are many people along the side of the road and it is always fun to read the signs, chat with people and thank all the people cheering for you.  I wore a St. Patrick’s Day outfit and received lots of extra cheering for my costume.  In fact, a couple of men that were right behind me said they wanted to stay near me as long as possible because of all the loud cheers.  They dropped off around mile 7 and I ran alone most of the way unless I was passing someone, or someone passing me.  Mile 3 was 7:29 which felt comfortable.

Mile 4 is a mental blur for me, so I will just leave it at my time for that mile; 7:33.

Mile 5 is in Land Fall where my friend, Josie, has a house.  My hubby and her hubby were supposed to cheer us on at the end of their street, but they never made it.  The pillow was just too tempting….lucky them!  I was anticipating seeing them so it pushed me along at a 7:27 mile.  I had one Honey Stinger Fruit Smoothie flavor chomp during this mile.

Mile 6 was still in Land Fall and the neighborhood residents are really great at coming out and cheering for us.  They had cute signs and many had cowbells.  Everyone needs more cowbells in their life! 7:29.

Mile 7 is where I took in nutrition with my salted caramel Gu.  Yummy.  I was wearing a costume, so I had no pockets.  I wore a wrist band that had a zipper compartment and I had my chomps in there in a small baggie.  Well….when I took out my Gu I did not zipper the wristband up correctly (while running, mind you) and the rest of my chomps all fell out.  I was certainly not going to stop in the middle of the race, so I hope there are some happy squirrels and rabbits feeling nourished.  I dismissed any negativity here because I like a couple of more chomps before I get to mile 11-12 to finish strong.  This mile was a 7:28 .6

Mile 8 was a blur probably because we were running around the circles at Mayfair Center;  7:28.5.  It is odd to me when you lock and load during a race and you remember nothing, but stay very consistent.

Mile 9 was a 7:28.6.  We started on the greenway and thus started the quiet part of the course.  I felt good here and kept pulling myself back when I felt my heartrate started to rise.  I was sweating so much at this point (cotton t-shirt, I  am looking at you) that I was starting to get concerned about not having any nutrition on me.  I cannot tolerate Gatorade because of the sugars so water was my friend on the course.  I am hoping maybe I can convince the race director to switch to Nuun….wouldn’t that be awesome.  

During Mile 10 a gentleman came up on me and I picked it up a little to chat and run with him.  He then picked up the pace and I wished him well as I wanted to stay comfortable.  7:25 was my pace this mile and to me it felt much slower.

At Mile 11 I had decided that I was too stinking hot and I wanted food.  Anything edible.  I focused on my heartrate a bunch during this mile because I could feel it creeping up.  7:27 was my pace during this mile but it didn’t feel this fast.  I thought I was in the low 8’s at this point.

Mile 12…this mile was the mile I felt.  I felt every blessed step.  I was hangry by this point.  I kept pulling back my pace because I started to get a little lightheaded everytime I tried to up the pace a little.  I knew I needed water and food.  I was trying to pick up the pace to get FINISHED. I saw the beer tent at the WVU water stop and knew THAT was not going to work, but I don’t remember any water from 10 miles on.  I either missed it or drank it and don’t remember.  Either way, this was my slowest mile since mile 1; 7:35. 

Ahh….Mile 13.  Heaven help me.  Loved getting to this point, however…….insert screeching sound here.  When my watched vibrated at 13, I was nowhere near the finish line.  I picked up the pace a little and finished this mile at 7:31.  The competitor in me would have really worked this mile, but it was actually nice to   f  e  e  l   good coming in towards the finish line.  The last .31 was an average of a 6:47 mile.

My watch and many others had this course as long.  I am the queen of ‘as the crow flies’ and know the roads to know when I should be on the left, middle or right.  According to my watch, my overall pace was a 7:28 average mile, and the results show a 7:35.  Either way, I was happy to be done and get food and drink! 

My official time was 1:39.24 and I placed first in my age group out of 104 runners.  This was a great starting point and now I get to start working. I need to work at varying my workouts.  I need more speed workouts in my life.  Who am I kidding…I need to START speed workouts again.  I love speed workouts so I have NO idea why I stopped.

I am putting my intentions out here in print and for the world to see.  Plan your work, work your plan.  I want to see where this goes.  I am excited to create a running plan!
Meanwhile, if you are looking for a fun, yet challenging half marathon the Foothills Brewing to Kick off NC Beer Month with the  2nd Annual HopSwap Half Marathon powered by OrthoCarolina is on Saturday, March 31st.  I am pacing the 1:45 half….please join me!