Alternative Title: How to run 15 miles with a 1/2 marathon thrown in.
So this post may be a little overdue.
The Giant Race was…. exactly 10 days ago.
Let’s just pretend it was yesterday.
After a Saturday spent hanging with this little guy (Rosie meet your new boyfriend), I lounged all evening and watched… approximately 6 hours of Friday Night Lights. And ate gluten-free pizza. And popcorn. Carbs, right?
My alarm went off bright and early at 5:30am. It was just lovely let me tell you. I fired up the Nespresso and made myself an Almond Milk Latte and my tried-and-true pre-long-run breakfast: gluten-free toast, vanilla almond butter, 1/2 banana, honey and cinnamon. I felt like for 15 miles I needed a bit more so I slathered on another half-jar of almond butter on the remaining 1/2 banana.
Since the plan called for 15, and a 1/2 marathon is…. exactly 13.1, I had the option to get the extra 2 miles in at the beginning, or at the end. I don’t know about you, but after a half-marathon standing is difficult, so running wasn’t remotely going to be happening.
I got dressed (in Giants orange of course), and called my UberX. I had mapped out a point exactly 2 miles from the start, exactly 30 minutes from the race start. I had Mr. UberX drop me off there.
I jogged the 2 miles to the stadium where the race was due to start. Stretched. And joined the masses at the start.
Going into this 1/2, my thoughts were simple : DO NOT RACE. I told myself it was a 15 mile training run, it was not a racing day. Keep the pace easy, don’t hurt yourself. Do you want another stress fracture stupid?
So when the starting gun went off and I started getting passed like crazy, I told myself to reign it in.
When a girl wearing Victoria’s Secret PINK sweatpants passed me, I told myself to keep it slow and easy.
When a 7-year-old sprinted by me, I was thisclose to just gunning it, but made myself keep it easy.
I’ve never felt like such a rookie.
I purposely didn’t wear a watch because I didn’t want to know my splits. I know myself and I’m extremely competitive with that damn watch. If it said I was running 8:50′s… well then I’d want to be running 8:30′s. And so on.
So the watch was a no-go.
Around mile 3 I ran into one of our family friends (and my brother’s roommate). He runs like 7 minute miles. At first it was like “YES I am on fire”. Then he informed me he got a late start and my thoughts immediately shifted to “BOOM! Owned.”
One day Stephen, one day.
I kept on going, keeping the pace easy (I think?) stopping at each water station and alternating water and Powerade. I’m not usually a Powerade fan (for literally no reason at all except I decided that I “was not a Powerade fan”) but I felt SUCH a difference after taking some electrolytes around mile 8 and mile 10. It was insane. Definitely happening more from now on. And during Chicago.
Fuel wise, I chopped up an Apple Pie Larabar (I was out of Picky Bars – usually my fueling go to) and munched on that throughout the race, starting at about mile 4 (which was really mile 6 for me). It tasted great and didn’t bother my stomach in the least… but I seriously thought I was going to choke on the little pieces of nuts in the bar. Picky Bars need to get back in my life.
I did Gu’s during the training cycle for my first marathon and they made me want to puke every time. But at the time I thought you “had” to tae Gu, so I sucked it up and did it. I find them repulsive and they seriously mess with my stomach. I prefer to stick to real food – a chopped up Picky Bar, GF pretzel sticks (SALT!), or honey packets for some sugar. Much easier that way.
Right around mile 9 (or 11 if you’re keeping track of the warm-up miles) I felt that end-of-race surge. For whatever reason, the last 3-4 miles of a half are ALWAYS my strongest. Which probably means I’m going out too conservatively. Or it means I’m a genius who has mastered negative splitting. But that’s a topic for another day.
I picked it up and picked a few guys in front of me to “chick” (pass) as we rounded the corner into the stadium (mission accomplished). As I was about to cross the finish line I heard my last name, and looked up just in time for my brother to snap a photo.
Thanks for throwing elbows to get to the front of the bleachers brother!
It’s gotten to the point that I just wave in the general direction of the camera. Don’t try to question it.
Finish Time: 1:56
Not bad for running “easy” and ending at 15 miles!
The finish line was SO organized. It’s my 3rd time running this race (I LOVE IT) and the first year there was considerable congestion/bottle-necking at the finish line. This year, it was perfect. My only qualm is NO CHOCOLATE MILK. Whyyyyy?
The bling wasn’t so bad either.
I grabbed some Greek Yogurt and met up with Lauren to walk another mile back to Plant. I also made the huge mistake of not bringing any dry/warm clothes and froze my booty off the entire time. The food was great and the company was better – perfect post-race!
After a massive brunch that did absolutely nothing for our hunger, Lauren’s friend gave me a ride home and I proceeded to lie on the couch in compression sleeves watching another 6 hours of Friday Night Lights. Clear eyes. Full heart. Can’t lose.
Overall it was a great run and a great race. I’m feeling strong and prepared as I head into a big week (45 miles!) of training this week – halfway to Chicago!
Thanks for another great race Giant Race!