Saturday, October 3, 2009

Measly And A 5K:
Non-Race Report from the Grete’s Great Gallop HM

(The title was inspired by a certain redhead running her first marathon in Chicago next weekend who referred to a ten-mile training run as “measly”…So I’m thinking a half marathon at MP should be measly for me too! )

The Course
Two full loops of Central Park starting from the east side of the 72nd St transverse and running in a clockwise fashion to finish next to Tavern on the Green, which by the way, will also be the finish line for the New York City Marathon. My personal best on this course is the 1:29:06 I ran earlier this year in the Manhattan Half back in January.

The Plan
In a nutshell, my goal for this race was, well, NOT to race! Instead, as mentioned in the last post, the main objective for running this race was for me to practice marathon pacing (which is ~6:50 min/mi for me). I wanted to establish my pace early on and maintain it throughout the course with as little deviation as possible. Although in theory this should not be that hard to do, in practice, it would prove extremely difficult to maintain a consistent effort and pace out on this hilly course.

The Digits
Mile 1 – 6:43; Avg HR 159
Mile 2 – 6:44; Avg HR 167
Mile 3 – 6:43; Avg HR 167
Mile 4 – 6:44; Avg HR 166
Mile 5 – 6:49; Avg HR 172
Mile 6 – 6:44; Avg HR 168
Mile 7 – 6:48; Avg HR 168
Mile 8 – 6:51; Avg HR 170
Mile 9 – 6:42; Avg HR 170
Mile 10 – 6:54; Avg HR 170
Mile 11 – 6:58; Avg HR 174
Mile 12 – 6:40; Avg HR 172
Last 1.1 – 7:14 (6:34 min/mi); Avg HR 179
Finishing Time – 1:28:40 (6:46 min/mi pace)

Gosh, this run turned out not to be measly at all! The rest of this non-race race report can be summarized into the good, the bad, and the ugly…

The Good
  • Met goal of maintaining MP pace
  • Attained a new course PR without even trying
  • Started slow and kept a consistent pace for 8-9 miles
  • Waved and smiled at all the spectating Flyers
  • Had a conversational exchange with runner26 at Mile 9 to prove that I was maintaining a conversational pace...sort of.
  • Found a long lost friend mid-race and gave him training tips for his first marathon at Marine Core.
  • Took Gatorade served by Mary Wittenberg
  • Carbo-loading after the race with burgers and beer
  • The BEST POST-RACE PARTY EVER (with my usual suspect of friends)

The Bad
  • Humidity was 97% at race start…97%!
  • Neglected to carbo-load even a little at dinner last night
  • Forgot to account for humidity in my hydration plan…okay, what hydration plan?
  • Clothes and socks were soaked to the bone by mile 2.
  • Dropped my only gel on second trip up Harlem Hill and had to sprint back a few yards to find it.
  • Mile 10 – 6:54; Mile 11 – 6:58; Need I say more?
  • Sort of forgot this was a points race and finished in 6th place on my team. Boo!
  • Ran with shoes that already had 450+ miles on them…Oops…

The Ugly
  • Did I mention the humidity for this race was 97%? Just checking.
  • Saw a girl slip and do a faceplant on the wet pavement at Mile 1. Ouch!
  • The climb up Harlem Hill the second time was the epitome of ugliness.
  • Developed blisters from slogging around in wet socks and shoes.
  • Saw quite a few runners cramping and limping around in final miles
  • Experienced a toe cramp during my cooldown mile. Wierd!

The Photo

Stay focused L, stay focused!

Final Assessment
This was a strange experience for me from beginning to end. From being nervous in the morning that it’d be raining or that it’d be really cold, to the stifling thick wet humidity which made running a marathon-paced run require much more than a marathon-paced effort, the weather really threw a curveball at us for this race. So after all the good, bad, and uglies, I’m not exactly sure how to interpret this run in the context of marathon training. On the one hand, I expended a lot of energy running this measly non-race…far more than I expected. (As an illustration, Avg HR today was 169; Avg HR for Queens Half which I raced was 162…) Therefore, I really should save my legs and not race again until the marathon. On the other hand, I really want to race my half in Staten Island next weekend to see where I’m at physically and whether I should even bother to think about sub-3 anymore. Did I mention I also ran 65 miles this week and will probably do 60 miles next week? Yeah, so throw that into the equation too.

I haven’t yet decided what I’m going to do. Maybe after my last 20 mile long run on Tuesday, I can strategize and reassess my situation. Congrats to all those who ran & raced in that crazy Central Park carousel yesterday! It was a stifler out there. And for all those who are racing and/or prepare to race in other places, best of luck in all your events! Now, get out there and race your heart out!


Robert James Reese said...

It was very, very humid out there. Almost like we were swimming, not running. You passed me right at the Mile 10 marker, but we were on the hill and I was struggling, so I didn't say hi. Sounds like you had a good solid non-race plan and it went well. Congrats! Hope the blisters heal up soon.

Anonymous said...

despite all the bad and ugly remarks i think you did really well. esp with that humidity, ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

Your times were great, especially considering the humidity! I know everyone is different, but I'd be hard-pressed to call that distance as "measly." Conrats!

Irish Cream said...

Dude! 97% humidity?! Are you sure you didn't go to sleep and somehow wake up and run the race in Orlando? That sounds like our kind of weather . . . only it would also be like 94 degrees out if it was here--so maybe not!

But seriously, way to go gutting out MP despite the ickiness of the humidity! Needless to say, that is VERY impressive. I think your legs will tell you what to do next weekend. Just try to listen to them throughout the week and then go from there.

X-Country2 said...

97%!? That's MISERABLE. Way to tough it out.

carpeviam said...

The blisters. Ugh. Coupled with high humidity. Ugh.

You made it. Yay!

Jamie said...

ugh 97% humidity! despite the bad and ugly you had a great non-race. congrats!

NY Wolve said...

Nice race, all things considered. Last several NYRR races I have run in rain or humidity meant big blisters, so I am glad I didn't do that. (I didn't make it to the race.)
97% humidity is crazy. When is it going to be fall? Crisp mornings? 50 degrees? Soon I hope!

lindsay said...

ya know, your first 4 miles coulda been a hair slower and coulda made up the difference with the slower-than-desired miles 10 & 11? that whole, don't go out too fast theory. although, i dunno, looks pretty consistent overall to me.

maybe your hr was up due to the humidity? what was the weather like for the queens race? also, weekly mileage comparison? (just things i might think about.) you're running these races on high mileage, peak weeks and not with a freshly tapered body. feeling a little off seems normal to me.

can't say what i'd do about this weekend's half. most likely i'd still try to race it, but sometimes that's the hard-headed answer. good luck deciding.

Morgan said...

I think I jinxed myself by dubbing it a measely 10 miles! LOL!

Humidity is one thing I def understand! Ugh 97% is killer.

As always... your speediness is outta control, race or no race. Great job all around L!

Ms. V. said...

Hey, thanks for your comments. I keep looking at that word, *measly*...can't quite figure out the spelling. LOL

You did great btw.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

97% humidity! YUCK!!!!! Great job on that- I think the effort is 100% the result of the weather, so be sure to consider that. And you did great staying consistent early on-- that's a great sign.

aron said...

sounds like a very solid MP run even with all those bad and uglies... great job! sometimes MP can just feel hard during training, ESPECIALLY in crazy weather like that. but you got it done and are getting closer and closer to taper :)

The Happy Runner said...

Great job! Especially in that humidity. We had that up here, too, although I don't think it was quite 97%. Yuck!!!

Hope your blisters heal well.

B.o.B. said...

Ugh that humidity sounds awful. I totally feel for you on the blisters! I love that your conversational pace is a 6:50. Must be nice. LOL!

Great job in tough circumstances. Kudos!

runner26 said...

hahahahahahahaha!! still laughing from the post-race "carbo-reloading" party...

and glad i was able to help with your conversational pace effort ;)

Running and living said...

Do you ever race with the Garmin set for the average pace? I find that it helps a lot with pacing - if I go slower than the pace with 1 sec I immediately push the pace, and if I go too fast when I don't want to, I go a bit slower. I think you are doing an amazing job running such great mileage, and running races. I think the high heartrate was due to humidity and also to tired legs. All of this will pay off, however, coming race day. I think you are prepared to run a sub 3!

sRod said...

Nice work & congrats!

It was a nasty day and I was glad for the race to be over. Although I think it only served to get me more nervous for the NYCM.

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