Saturday, April 29, 2017

Bridge Street Half Marathon & 10k Training

It's been a month since I posted to my blog! I need to get back into the habit because even if nobody else reads these posts, I enjoy looking back on them as a running diary.

Bridge Street Half Marathon

I did make it to the Bridge Street Half Marathon on April 9. I had originally planned to get a hotel room, but scrapped that and got up at 3:45 or so to drive down to Huntsville, AL, for the 7 AM start. It was chilly at the start, but I warmed up quickly.

At the start, near the 3 hour pacer

I started with the 3 hour pace group. This was the first time I'd been at a run that had a pace group slow enough for me to run with! Unfortunately, they were running too fast for a 3 hour pace, so I dropped back after a mile and a half and let them go on. I caught and passed them in mile 4 and never saw them again.

Super cool part of the run through McMillian Park and their double helix path! 

I really enjoyed the run. The first 9 miles were fairly easy for me, but it got a little harder for the last 3 or 4 miles. I was running around a large group. They were pleasant and not at all annoying, but I didn't like playing leap frog. We were going about the same average pace, but doing different run/walk ratios to get there. To get away from the leap frog, I sped up and dropped my walk breaks. I got a comfortable lead on them and then, around mile 11, there was a porta potty. I needed to pee and I hadn't seen a porta potty for miles and miles. So I debated and finally zipped into the porta potty. I lost my lead I'd had on the group and had to speed up once again to get my lead back.

Around mile 12, my right calf began to bother me. I didn't speed up any, but I also didn't slow down, so it didn't really help my calf muscle. The last 1/2 mile was a bit of a struggle as my calf was hurting and I was running faster than I should have been, but the finish was "just there" so I pushed to get it done. The finish line was in the middle of the open air Bridge Street Town Centre mall. Pretty crowded!

I got my medal and a water bottle and stumbled over to the closed carousel for a little breathing room, literally. I had hit my max HR just at the end there and needed a little room to move around to let my HR drop slowly. I finished in 2 hours 47 minutes, so well under the 3 hour mark.

My favorite part of the entire run was a father with his young children. They were clearly following a runner, but I never was able to identify which runner they were cheering on. But they certainly cheered me! The little girl was 5 or so and her little brother was maybe 3. Their dad had a wagon he pulled them in. Because the run winds around the streets of Huntsville, this guy and the kids were at several spots along the race route. The kids were giving out high fives! It was great fun to see them and I looked for them along the route. I saw them 4 or 5 times. The last time I saw them was just near the finish. They were crossing the street in front of me to reach the finish line (I still had to run around the outside of the shopping center first). The little girl ran to get in place to give me a high five. Her little brother was in the wagon pulled by their father and I circled around to get a high five from him as well. Really made my day to see them so often. They seemed to be having so much fun and I certainly enjoyed it as well. I did take a picture of them but I'm not going to post it here out of respect for their privacy, but they were great.

10k Training Starts!

I started my 10k training the week after the half marathon. Due to my calf muscle being a little tender, I took a full week off before starting training for the Nashville, TN, July 4th 10k. The 10k is a street run, but since I signed up for the Asheville Marathon next March, I'm spending a lot of this training cycle on trails. Since I'm not running nearly the mileage that I ran for marathon training, I figure this is a good way to ease into trail running with the shorter runs. Of course, it makes for slower runs. To boot, I'm also training to HR this cycle, so I'm spending a lot of time trying to find that sweet spot for the fastest pace within my HR limit for any given run.

Part of the trail at Smith Park in Brentwood, TN

Week 1 Stats 

Number of Runs: 5
Number of Trail Runs: 3
Training Mileage: 11 miles
Training Time: 2 hours 54 minutes
Training Average Pace: 15:47
Elevation Gain: 1,290 feet

Mill Creek Park parking area off Old Hickory Blvd

Week 2 Stats

Number of Runs: 4
Number of Trail Runs: 3
Training Mileage: 14 miles
Training Time: 3 hours 43 minutes
Training Average Pace: 15:54
Elevation Gain: 1,958 feet

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