Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Grete's Gallop Half Marathon 10.4.08

Hi all,

Race number 25 was Grete’s Gallop Half Marathon. This race is part of Norway Day and honors the greatest New York City marathoner of all time: Grete Waitz, who has won it an incredible 9 times!!

Goals: to run between water stations and to run at marathon goal pace (somewhere between 2:10 and 2:15)

I had to stay home from work on Friday because of a migraine, but woke up feeling okay. I was a little concerned during the race about the effort causing a relapse, but, thankfully, that didn’t happen. I got to the Park a little early and wandered around the festival area, before dropping my bag and heading off for my 3-mile warm-up. My legs were feeling fatigued, but I got through it and they weren’t sore when I finished. I drank some water, then headed back to line up in my corral. I kept my eyes peeled for Roxy and Lou, but didn’t see them. I did run into Paul in my corral. We chatted a bit, but he was planning to run over a minute per mile faster than I was, so he took off when we hit the chip mats at the start.

We started on the east side of the Park heading south to run the loop clockwise. I think this is the most difficult direction to run, but this is the course where I set my half marathon PR, so maybe my legs like hills more than I do. I ran the first mile too fast, even though I felt like I was holding back. I tried to slow it down some, but after a couple of miles, I didn’t need to try anymore. My legs were so tired! I was struggling my way through. I took several walk breaks per mile. The hills broke me. Well, not the downhills. My legs loved the downhills. But I had to walk almost every uphill and not a few of the flats! After my first loop, I added two more goals: finish in under 2:20 on the official clock or just finish in under 2:20. I tracked my splits throughout the race and couldn’t believe that I was still hitting my goal pace (on average). It ended up being a half marathon of sprint intervals. I didn’t get my act together until the last mile. I told myself that I wasn’t going to walk at all in the last mile and that turned out to be my fastest mile. And I had to sprint to the finish to break 2:15, but break it I did (by 2 seconds, but it only takes 1).

I’m worried about how difficult it was to run just a half marathon at my marathon goal pace. I don’t know if it’s because I only ran a 5k last weekend, rather than a real long run, or because I walked nearly a marathon over the 2 days at Walt Disney World, or because I’m still recuperating from the surgery. I’m trying to think positively: this is my fastest half since the surgery, I hit my goal pace, my fastest mile was the last mile and I was able to “sprint” to the finish. I’ve decided to push my legs and only taper for 2 weeks. I think my legs perform better when they’re worked. They seem to forget how to run if I take any sort of a break at all. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, I’m happy to hear them. I’m at a loss and guessing, at this point.

Official stats: my official time was 2:14:58, for an average pace of 10:18. My splits were 9:31, 10:14, 9:43, 10:36, 10:31, 10:30, 10:07, 11:17, 10:18, 10:55, 10:43, 10:20, 9:18 and :59 for the last tenth of a mile (sub 10:00 pace). I was 3197 out of 3871 total runners, putting me in the 17th percentile. It was 49°F with 71% humidity.

Celebratory treats: I had a chocolate tasting scheduled for later that afternoon and some of the chocolate was really delicious, but it triggered the migraine and I ended up sleeping most of the rest of the weekend. I didn’t eat chocolate again until Monday.

Next up: Staten Island Half Marathon (10/12), Tower of Terror 13k (10/25), NYC Marathon (11/2)

Race pictures are available here:

Pictures from the chocolate tasting are available here:


Laura said...

I think it sounds like you did a great job! Personally I don't taper much at all before races, and my fastest marathons have been when running another race the week before. Just experiment!

I'll be at Staten Island but who knows what kind of shape I'll be in, as I'm running the Hartford Marathon the day before. All I need to do is get to the finish at SI so I can qualify for NYCM 2009 :)

Runner NYC said...

Wow! That's the Goofy in reverse. I'm very impressed that you could even contemplate running a half the day after a full. Good luck!!

Don't forget your "volunteer" stint!