So, I’ve been running a lot of races lately.
I haven’t written many recaps because most of them have been low-key trail races or 5ks and there isn’t much to recap. But this past weekend I ran the Saratoga Palio Melanie Merola O’Donnell Memorial Race, a half marathon in Saratoga Springs, NY.
The conditions weren’t ideal, but I wasn’t thinking about that too much, especially considering how awful the weather was at the Shamrock half marathon this past spring. It was pouring when I woke up, but the rain stopped while I was driving up to Saratoga, and it didn’t start up again until midway during the race itself.
So I got to the race hotel about an hour before the start, jogged in to grab my number, and then got in a warm up-slash-shuffle. I was planning to meet up with one of my Willow St. teammates, but she was running late (kids… always making their moms late for races) so I slogged through the two miles by myself. I had planned to wear a hat since it was supposed to rain, but I realized that wasn’t necessary since it would just retain heat. Thankfully I had remembered to bring hairspray and a brush so I was able to pull my hair back. I felt like I was getting some judgemental stares from the other racers for the amount of hairspray I was using, but it was necessary.
My plan was to try to run 6:30s for this race, but I wasn’t going to look at my watch. I was aiming to make the first 8-9 miles feel like a tempo, and the last 4-5 feel like a race. When the race went off I felt good, but I also felt like I might be running too fast. Then when I saw the clock at the first mile marker it was still at 5:50-something, but by the time I ran through it the clock had turned to 6:06… but then my Garmin didn’t beep for the first mile for a few more seconds, and the mile split showed up 6:22.
(Does anyone else get extreme rage when their Garmin acts weird? Is it because it was raining and cloudy, or there were a lot of trees? I don’t get how my watch could be that far off when we ran in a straight line from the starting line up to that point. Okay, end rant.)
From that point on, I just ran and tried not to think. I ended up running a few miles with my teammate Erin (who is super fast and badass), but she was having an off day. As we crested the top of the only real hill in the race at mile 8.5, I started to feel the first signs of fatigue. I kept telling myself that it would get better soon but it took me awhile to get my legs back. At 10 miles I briefly had the thought “I wish this was a 10 mile race” but I managed to push that negativity out and recover. The last 5k I was just grinding it out, practicing some positive self-talk, and getting to the finish.
Mile splits according to Strava/Garmin:6:22, 6:31, 6:27, 6:35, 6:33, 6:18, 6:38, 6:33, 6:40, 6:52, 6:55, 6:29, 6:29 (total time 1:25:25)
So, I have a few more weeks until my next half marathon and until then I’ll be plugging away on the treadmill at the YMCA and pushing the stroller around town. Hoping for some cooler weather (but not too cold yet) like every other runner. Also hoping this post makes sense since I’ve been writing it during the nap time for the past three days, and it’s been kind of a funky week with naps.
I never know how to end blog posts. What’s your favorite pizza topping?