Hello, as promised a report on last weekend’s race (just in time for this weekend!)
This was my first race in 8 weeks. Ever since I ran the 50 mile event, I’ve been having some glute and hamstring pain. I’ve really been babying myself with a lot of rolling and easier workouts. In fact, I haven’t done a double digit run since then! Truthfully, I wasn’t super excited to do this race for a number of reasons, but I had promised my friend I’d do it, so…as my mother says, “you have to be a friend to have a friend.”
Here are excerpts from the race description on the web-site:
Tear Drop Downhill Half Marathon
Lace up your sneakers, lean forward and get ready for the 2nd Annual Tear Drop Half Marathon! If you’re looking for a fast and scenic half marathon then join us on Saturday, April 30, 2016
The race will start on top of Fort Mountain at an elevation near 3000 feet and finish 13.1 miles away in Chatsworth, Georgia, for an over 2000-foot drop.
The race course features 8 miles of 5-10% (which should improve your pace :40- 1:20 per mile!) grade downhill and then a flat to rolling finish.
So, it actually sounded great when I first read about it and convinced my friend to sign up. She signed up early, and I procrastinated. As the event drew near, I thought of all kinds of reasons that I didn’t want to do it:
1. I wasn’t in shape for a half. My longest run for 8 weeks was 8.5 miles.
2. I didn’t want to make my hamstring/glute thing any worse.
3. The race started at 7, and it was a 2 hour drive away.
4. I had heard a few bad reviews from last year’s runners.
Eventually, I signed up and let some other running friends know about it through FB. That’s when the torrent of bad reviews came rushing in!
So, based on fear of injury, I came up with what I thought was a pretty good race plan. I decided that I would run/walk this race. My plan was to start out running, then as soon as the hamstring/glute thing started waking up, I’d walk. Or if in the later miles, I felt tired, I’d walk. My friend said she was out of shape, and her plan was to run/walk too. We’d be able to stick together!
Without pressure on myself to go fast I felt super relaxed! I slept like a baby the night before. And woke up before 4:00 without an alarm! As I walked out the door, I made the decision to leave my watch on the kitchen counter. A race without a watch!
At the start of the race, I felt smug while others were clearly nervous. I didn’t care about my time, and just planned to run until it didn’t feel good. The beginning of the race was a bit kooky. We took off on a 1.6 mile descent, made a U-turn, and came back uphill 1.6 miles to the start for another U-turn, and then an 8 mile descent.
During the 2nd 1.6 miles, which was back up the hill, my friend started walking. I’m sorry to be a bad friend, but I abandoned her. I just wasn’t ready to start walking even before mile 2.
So I ran. And one thing that I’ve always known about myself is that I’m good at downhill running. By good, I mean that I don’t brake. AT ALL. It’s where I’ve always gained an advantage in a race. In the downhill. It’s how I BQ’d. On a downhill marathon.
The scenery was beautiful. We ran down a mountain that was surrounded by other mountains.
At one point, we passed this scenic overlook.
And I kept on running. I never got any pain, or lead legs to make me stop. The descent ended at around mile 11. But at that point, I wasn’t going to walk. Plus nothing hurt. So I kept running. I got to the finish line and saw the clock. It was 1:51:19! My race plan had been to finish in 2:30 minutes!!
So there you have it…a great race plan, not followed. My son, and husband and friend all laughed at me when they saw the results. Each of them knew my run/walk plan was nothing but a fantasy.
We both want to do it next year. Imagine the possibilities if I was actually in condition to do a half!!