A Half and Recovery

Last weekend I ran the Air Line Trail Ghost Half Marathon and it was fantastic! I came off my marathon training last month still feeling incredibly strong & wanted to run this race because it is local to me and is a ton of fun. Despite a nagging hip issue, I figured four weeks was enough time to recollect myself and get some quick training in for one more big race. After the Hartford marathon I took one week of light running and rest, lots of foam rolling, stretching, and re-hydrating. Then I set up Garmin’s half marathon Level II plan in my calendar & went at it. I began the plan in the last three weeks of it, so basically a few good hard workouts and a quick taper, which was exactly what I needed to take me to race day feeling strong, but not over-worked.

I did approach the race with a PR in mind. I knew this might be a lofty goal having just come off a grueling marathon block & dealing with whatever was going on with my hip, but I was fairly confidant that if I adhered to a solid race day strategy I could achieve what I was looking for. Besides, I knew this course was conducive to fast times if you approached it the right way. My plan was to take the first mile or so very conservatively & not worry about the crowds, the hills, or the pace. From mile 2 on to the half way mark, I would aim for a 7:12 or under pace while riding the down hills and maintaining composure. I knew the second half of the race would be all up hill, so I wanted to have something in the tank. I planned on a surge at mile 8, where the serious hill climbing begins, and pushing out a strong last 5k. This should all have lead me to a sub 1:35 PR.

A rush of a crowd flew by me at the start, and I grudgingly let them go. The competitive side of me wanted to chase them down & assume the lead. But the intuitive side knew that most of them wouldn’t be able to hold the pace, especially once they started going up! I sat back to bide my time.

My pace was a bit faster than I had anticipated, but the miles ticked by with ease. I decided to skip the water stops and even my gel since it was a cool day (36 degrees) and I was feeling super. By mile 7 I was starving & really looking forward to the chili and coffee at the post race party. By mile 9 my arm began to cramp and it was extremely distracting. By mile 10 my hip completely gave up on me. However, I kept my sights on runners ahead of me and methodically picked them off, one by one. Though I certainly slowed (mile 12 was the hardest for me with a 7:20 pace), I was able to keep moving forward without compromising my goal. And, I am quite proud to say, that I was not passed along the way except my one young man right at the end. I came pounding through the finish with a 1:31:15! My best time by almost 4 minutes! Strategy really paid off and I walked away from that course incredibly happy.

I finished 19th overall and  the 2nd female, 1st in 30-39 age group.

Now, I am taking a breather. This week has been light. I’ve even WALKED. That’s right, I’ve been walking. And by the end of the month I just may stop running altogether. Recovery is important for getting stronger, and when I tackle my Spring marathon I plan on unleashing the whole Mazy monster! I have some really big plans for next year, which means that the rest of this year calls for rest, recovery, and rehabilitation.

Advertisements

One thought on “A Half and Recovery

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s