Monday, July 17, 2017

Half Marathon Training & Bowie 6 Miler trail race recap

So this blog post is a little late. I meant to write it up yesterday, but forgot, so here I am doing it after work on Monday.

Last week, I was scheduled for 5 days of  running since I rode my horse for 4 hours on Sunday. But I only got Monday's tempo run and Tuesday's easy run in before calling it quits for the week. I had some left foot pain and decided to let it heal up so I could run the Bowie 6 Miler yesterday morning.

Monday's tempo run was my first tempo run of the half marathon training cycle. My target pace for my tempo runs is 11:50/mi. Each tempo run will consist of 1 mile warm up at easy pace, the prescribed tempo miles and a 1 mile cool down at easy pace. Monday's run was a 3 miler.

I remember my first tempo run last year. I was petrified of 3 miles! This time, it was a breeze, even in 88° weather. I was right on target for my first 2 tempo miles, but went faster (11:13) for my last mile. I enjoy knocking out the last mile a little faster if I can. Last year, I didn't do the extra 2 miles for warm up and cool down, so we'll see how I like that. I went ahead and did my normal walking warm up and cool down on top of the easy jog miles, so a 3 mile run clocked in at 5.6 miles. As my tempo miles stretch out, the double warm up/cool down will become less of a percentage of my entire run. That's the way math works! I think.

I did this run at River Park in Brentwood, so paved path with minor elevation for the distance. The water fountain at Primm Park wasn't working so I had to hop into the bathroom and drink from the sink. I'd forgotten my handheld and doing 5 miles with no water was not an option in that heat!

Tuesday, I went to my local track (my back field) and did 8 laps for a total of 2.33 miles. That didn't include any warm up or cool down as I just did chores before and after for that and didn't track it. About 1,000 feet of elevation gain in that 2.33 miles. Goal was an "easy" run, so I ended up hiking up the hills, shuffling down them and running the short flat-ish spots. Technically, I was supposed to do 4 easy miles, but I think I got a good workout even still. Going down the hills I was feeling it in my foot, so I decided to call it for the rest of the week so I could still make the trail race.

Bowie 6 Miler Recap

The race was a 6 mile trail race Bowie Nature Park in Fairview, TN. Put on by the Nashville Running Company.

I received some really bad personal news over the weekend, so I debated going to run this race at all. I wasn't particularly feeling up to running and was crying a lot. Hard to run and cry at the same time. At the same time, I hadn't run in days and I thought running might help clear my head.

So after debating it with myself, I finally left and showed up at the race venue at 7:30 AM. The race start was 8 AM and I hadn't picked up my bib yet. Fortunately, it was a small, local, laid-back race (about 200 runners) and I was able to walk right up to get my bib and t-shirt. There was a very short line for the bathroom (real bathroom with 4 stalls! And sinks and soap! No porta potties here!), so I was standing well back of the start line with 10 minutes to spare. I did some warm-up moves, still debating going back to the car and going home, but that was silly. I was there. I might as well run.

People gathering at the start.

I started dead last, or at least I think I was last. I was last of the pack. If there were others that started after the pack, then I wasn't last.

I jogged along behind everybody until the trail started to force people to spread out. I passed a couple of people, but nothing to get excited about. I wasn't really planning on racing this run anyway. My training schedule called for a tempo run of 3 miles on Monday, so I was planning to try to take it easy on the first mile at least and then maybe have 4-5 miles of tempo effort. Not supposed to be race effort.

A mile and a half out, I twisted my right ankle and had to pull off to let people pass me back. I walked for a couple minutes and then gingerly started running again until the pain subsided and then I was able to go back to a normal pace.

I passed a couple of people going uphill, even though I was walking. I started jogging again when my HR dropped too much and the incline leveled out a little.

At mile 3, another runner heard my GPS beep the 3rd mile and asked how far we'd gone. I answered and then fell into step with her, chatting about the trail left in the race since I train at Bowie and she had never run there. She was running all the hills and I was walking most of the hills, so at the next decent incline, I let her go on.

I caught her just before the aid station, but then I stopped to refill my handheld. I also picked up a mint chocolate GU. I didn't get a chance to try it during the race, but I am really interested to try it on my next training run that needs fuel. Probably my long run this week if I get to do it.

I managed to catch Suzanne after a little bit and we continued to chat until the last bit of the race which was on pavement, up a small incline.  She decided to sprint the finish and even though I knew I wasn't going to catch her, I chased her anyway. She beat me by 4 seconds. :-) Give or take! It was a small local race without timing chips. We high fived as soon as we slowed down and spent several minutes chatting and exchanging FB info before heading home. I really enjoyed running with Suzanne and chatting with her. Really made going to the run worth it. :)

What's next?

I'm going to try to get back to my training program. I missed my first speed workout, so I'm not sure how I'm going to adjust for that, but I have a few days to figure that out. For easy and long runs, I'm just going to jump into the current week and do those runs as scheduled as long as my right ankle and left foot hold out. Gotta do that strength work.

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