Happy Sunday afternoon everyone 🙂 I hope you’ve had a fantastic and relaxing (or fun and busy…!) weekend. This morning I ran in the fifth race of the Austin Distance Challenge – now all that’s left is the Livestrong Marathon in 3 weeks!
Prep truly began Friday as I opted for a two-day rest period before this 18.6 mile race. Yesterday was not quite as restful as I would have liked because of a busy day at work (thank goodness for that!) but I didn’t run so felt pretty strong today. Last night after the long day shuttling shoes back and forth to people, I was delighted when a good friend from Rhodes called and said she and the roomies had just finished a dinner of taco soup and I was welcome to stop by on the way home for some! A much better plan than stopping at the store for my usual pizza and waiting for it to cook once I got home. The taco soup was delicious – a mix of chicken, corn and beans with just a little spice. The beans and tortilla chips provided plenty of carbs for today!
A night designated for catching up on reading pretty easily turned into girl chatter and a chick flick. We watched Bridget Jones’s Diary and after laughing out loud dozens of times, I can’t believe I had never enjoyed that movie before. I’m still attempting to speak in a British accent as I type this…..quite fun, darlings!
This was the inaugural run of this particular race, and my personal first time running a 30K (guaranteed PR!!!). The race took place in north Austin in the Cedar Park area so I decided to carpool with my friend Lena. We underestimated the commute and knew pretty quickly we were going to be late….but we stayed cool as cucumbers – not much we could have done about it! It’s certainly not my first time tardy to the start of a race, and though I was bummed about giving up my chances at any of the prize money, I figured I should let some other competitors win sometimes….
7 minutes after everyone else started, we crossed the first timing mat (thank god for chip timers these days!). There were several other delinquents with us so we didn’t feel so foolish. We ran together for about .15 of a mile and then speedy thing took off in front of me. I knew I wanted to keep a pretty steady 9-10 minute per mile pace for the entire race. I was sweating within the first mile which almost made me wish I had considered Bridget’s running attire from last night’s show….(WARNING IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE AND PLAN TO – DON’T WATCH THIS!!! THE ENTIRE ENDING WILL BE SPOILED FOR YOU)
It wasn’t too long before I started to catch people. I had music this time and enjoyed a mix of up-tempo workout style music mixed with “don’t go too fast” country tunes. I focused on chasing down one pace group after another. My pace stayed pretty conservative for the first 9 miles and then I had a stretch of a few incredible miles. I was just rolling right along without feeling too fatigued or pained.
That speed was fine for today but it’s going to get me in trouble at the marathon – you can see my pace dropped off considerably at the end. I had to stop for a quick walk break at the tail end of mile 17 (18 on the chart) because my right knee and shin were giving me fits. That last .81 of a mile was tough! The water stops were very nicely spaced two miles apart and because of the humidity, I stopped at every one (except I missed one at mile 10, grabbing a Gatorade on accident and struggled hard to get to the next stop!). I had my usual bowl of oatmeal 2 hours before the race start (went back to bed for an hour) and a pack of Sports Beans at the 10k mark and 13 mile mark.
Despite the humidity and 60+ temps, we were blessed to have cloud cover with a little mist at the end. If it had been sunny, I would have been as crispy as bacon.
My efforts were rewarded with the 5th of 6 magnets for my distance challenge puzzle and a finisher’s medal. And now it’s time to taper!!!
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday…if you haven’t seen Bridget Jones’s Diary – put it on your list!