So, last Saturday a bunch of us runners had big plans to run the Wisconsin Half Marathon, billed as "The Cheesiest Marathon". We ran it last year, and had a freaking blast.
This year, I didn't feel super well trained going in. In fact, I had such small expectations that I didn't even right the requisite pre-race blog post can I/can't I/goals A-Z post. The horror.
On the 2.5 hour drive to Kenosha on the day before the race, I was feeling anxious. Super anxious to be away from home, to not be working, to do this great thing I had so looked forward to for months. Nine runner buds were all meeting and staying in a hotel together, and I couldn't get out of my own damn head enough to appreciate the days ahead.
Eventually, with the help of a Sea Dog and a walk in a driving rainstorm along a glorious and violently crashing Lake Michigan, I finally felt ready to enjoy the weekend.
After an early night, we woke up on Saturday morning to picturesque running conditions. Fifty degrees, barely a breeze, and a glorious lakefront course. Splendid.
As we lined up at the start, I knew I could PR (1:55:30, an 8:48 pace), but I was hoping to just squeak by with miles in the 8:30s or 8:40s.
Mile 1-3 - 8:27, 8:10, 8:05
Rough, rough, rough. I wasn't looking at my Garmin, so I didn't know my pace was a bit ahead of where I wanted to be, but these miles felt slllloooowww. I felt like it was a damn eternity between mile markers, and I even convinced myself I had missed the mile two marker.... until I saw it five minutes later. Ugh.
Miles 4-6 7:58, 7:46,7:57
I ate a little something something (Black Cherry Shotblok, just one) at 3.5 because I was dying for something to make this shitty race feel easier. I popped in my headphones, jammed out to a little Rage Against the Machine, and miraculously, my pace increased and my effort level decreased. A lot. All praise be to sugar and rap metal.
I glanced at my Garmin just once I think during these miles, saw a 7:20 real-time pace, and decided that was the end of my Garmin looking, because that shit was terrifying. That's my 5k, verge-of-hurling, gaspy pace. But it felt OK. I was going to run by feel, and that was that.
I remember running up a little incline, feeling strong, feeling awesome, when I made the decision to follow Plan Fuck-The-Garmin, and I thought, "This is going to make an interesting blog post." I wasn't sure if I would blow up in a mile or PR like a madman, but sometimes bad decisions make good stories.... which also happens to be my personal motto. When I'm drunk.
Miles 7-13 7:47, 7:46, 7:43, 7:53, 7:44, 7:46, 7:55
I won't even make this suspenseful guys. My pace was ridiculously fast for me, and it was strong and steady. It was a great, great race.
I finished with a 1:44:09. And that feels crazy.
Wisconsin Half Marathon
Post-race, we enjoyed brats, and beer, cheering in my super awesome runner buds, and general silliness at a brewery and then a craft beer bar.
|Sub 2s all around.|
|Sarah, Lish, Kathy, Rachel, me, Matt, Joan, Amy|
|Our love is majestic. And a little creepy.|
|So proud of my mom... half marathon #3!!!|
______________________________________________________________Something that I did completely differently for this race was fueling. Normally, I'll take three shot bloks over a five or so minute period at about 4 miles, 8 miles, and maaayyybe 10.5-11 if I'm dying.
On Saturday, I took one ShotBlok (1/3 serving) at 3.5ish... and then I kept eating. I pretty much popped one in my mouth each and every time I felt a big laggy. I went through six, so I'm guessing I took one every 10-15 minutes, and it was awesome
Have you ever screwed around with your fueling strategy? How'd that work out for you?