Happy Labor Day! Hopefully everyone had a enjoyable and relaxing holiday weekend! I packed the weekend full of running! I have to say it all seemed like a good idea at the time 5 weeks ago...
First up Saturday the first 20 mile training run of this cycle. I was tired, more so than usual, and took the run slow, as it should be done. It was tough, mentally and physically, but luckily the 2nd 10 miles seemed a little better than the first 10. Plus, Jacob met me on the path for the last 2 so that was a nice boost at the end. Saturday's 20 brought my weekly total to 55 miles last week! That is the highest weekly mileage I have ever done!!! Such an awesome feeling to get through that mileage and keep up my regular life :)
Sunday was a rest day at our friends house. We had ourselves a nice little Labor Day cookout. I wasn't that sore from Saturday (yay!) which was a relief because I had myself the Oak Brook half marathon bright and early Monday morning! Although because of the cookout and eating at a random time I didn't have the best pre-race fueling and was starving by the time we returned home. It could have been a lot worse.
I decided to run this half as Pftiz calls for a race later in the week. However, we have tickets to the BMW golf championship next weekend and I couldn't make the Chicago half fit in the schedule along with the tournament. I had my concerns running a half 2 days after a 20 mile training run but just decided to alter my race plan. Instead of racing all out I thought I would take it marathon race pace or slower for the first 5 miles, pick it up slightly the 2nd 4 miles, and race the last 4 miles. It didn't quite happen that way but whatever. I really suck at pacing myself...
The course was a mixture of streets but mostly bike path and crushed gravel paths. The first 3 miles were a cluster (as they usually are). It seemed a bit worse since there was a huge bottleneck as we merged from highway running to onto a bike path through the preserves. The path could fit 3 across and only in some parts. So I was either stuck behind someone or I had a lot of quick passing when the bushes and trees thinned then trying to find race pace again. It was a tough start. Thankfully it started to thin by mile 4. Between 3-4 there was a wooden bridge over a creek that was swaying back and forth as all the runners crossed; it seriously felt like it was going down! My legs felt funny after that bridge and a second around mile 5.5. Then there were the hills that I was so not prepared to run. Ouch! Who knew Oak Brook, IL had mad hills... not me! Luckily I wasn't expecting much from this race other than to get used to "racing" while tired.
Here are my mile splits according to garmy:
mile 1: 9:26
mile 2: 9:06
mile 3: 9:17
mile 4: 9:03
mile 5: 8:56
mile 6: 8:37 - Ridiculous hill at the beginning of 6 that I surged. We were told at 6.5 "It's all downhill from here"
mile 7: 8:57 - crazy hills! Downhill my ass (hurts!)
mile 8: 9:14 - even worse hills and steep declines (quad shredders)
mile 9: 8:53
mile 10: 8:49
mile 11: 8:44
mile 12: 8:38
mile 13: 8:27
last .1 - 7:24
action shot! Jacob caught me right before the finish. and yeah, I just chicked 3 guys!
No PR today but that's okay. I am really happy with my 1:56 (and change) run with minimal soreness. I passed a lot of people the last 5 miles of the race and that felt great! Also, the last half I ran was 2 1/2 years ago, on a flat, fast course with temps in the 50's. Tough to beat younger, flat (with a nice tailwind), and no humidity! In the past I never would have been able to follow up such 50+ mileage week with a sub-2 hour half marathon. I'm really proud and happy with how it all turned out today.
The race wouldn't be complete without the post race brew in hand :) It's five o'clock somewhere, right?