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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, thanks for the tips people gave me on my thread in "the race" section. Had two good racing experiences last weekend and this one. I'd asked about running a 10k a week b/4 a half marathon and was told "go for it," which I did and I'm glad I did.<br><br><b>The 10k</b> Philly's Northeast Road Runners 10k... this is a great race, and I recommend it if you're visiting Philly--flat out and back course, quality long-sleeve shirt, accurate and well-supported course: It was mildly chilly and a brisk but not unmanageable wind... goal was to run under 9 mpm pace if possible, but I'd take beating my age (57) in minutes as the second-tier goal. I was pretty much on pace to make the sub-9 mpm pace and thought I hadn't gone out too hard, got to 5k turn-around in 27:50 and felt pretty decent, didn't feel I'd pushed to the max... but there was a headwind going out that might have taken more energy than I realized. En route back, that headwind turned to a tailwind, and yet even though I thought I'd upped the effort level considerably, my second half split was slower by 37 seconds. Still, I managed to beat my age with a time of 56:17 for third in the women 50-59 age group! All good!<br><br><b>The half marathon</b>: Caesar Rodney in Wilmington, Del. Let's start by saying that despite or perhaps because of this race's challenges, I truly LOVE it: its hilly course, its often uncertain weather (it's a March race, which means anything can happen), the beauty of its park section, and that blast of uphill that greets you in the last half mile. And most of all, its surprises.<br><br>
Last year, I was barely over a very bad chest cold and my knee was gimpy when I ran it... well, in a manner of speaking... It was a reverse PR--for my slowest half marathon, 2:53 as i remember. The upside last year, though, was a nice Nike headband I found along the course, the beer I jokingly asked for and actually received at the Hash House Harriers' water stop, and ... a second place in age group award.<br><br>
This year, though, I was more interested in getting a time that at least reflected that I had in fact run the race, not limped it. All the same, my usual procedure w/ CR is to use it as a training run, not a goal race, which means start out easy, pick up the effort as I go along. But I did want to keep it honest, as it were... maybe not sub-9mpm, but at least somewhere in the higher 9s or low 10s. First mile was 9:40, and it seemed comfortable, so that in itself was encouraging, but I wondered if maybe I could have held back even a little more b/c later, when I pushed the effort, even 10 min. pace seemed hard to come by, especially on the uphills and into the 30mph headwinds.<br><br>
Oh yeah, wind... did I mention about the uncertain weather? <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> It was in the 40s but with a wind-chill sometimes in the 20s. Fortunately, it was not a constant. There were sections that were sheltered by trees or buildings or where I could draft off runners nearby. And there were the crocuses... and the park... my favorite parts of this race... and the hawk that flew overhead at one point and reminded me to "soar as on eagles' wings." The wind is your friend sometimes...<br><br>
The last few miles began to hurt--big toe developing a hot spot... neck and shoulders tightening up... knees protesting... but I could smell the finish... and kept repeating to myself what a friend of mine, a high school coach I knew from masters' track, had once said to me, "you're mentally tough." I kept repeating that to myself... "mentally tough... mentally tough." Surprisingly (or not... I grew up Catholic, yet have sometimes struggled with faith), I thought, now with Good Friday and Easter coming up, about how much pain Jesus might have experienced, and then thought to "offer up" the pain as the nuns used to tell us. And while it didn't make the pain go away, I'd redouble my efforts, push more... and soon enough, there was that Hill. The one that takes you huffing and puffing up it to the finish line. "It's three traffic lights away," a runner called, a guy who'd finished already. "That's three too many," I replied. <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> But kept on chugging. And two lights... and then a block... and push, push... and there I was, crossing the line!<br><br>
2:11:41 chip time, 2:12:53 clock time (actually earlier when I looked at the site it said 2:11:44 and 2:12:56, but whatever....) This was just about what I'd hoped for... I realized that the sub-10 I half hoped for would be tough to get in today's conditions, and so I was very happy to get as close as I did... pace was listed as 10:04, which I definitely was happy with.<br><br>
And then I learned that I was not second or 3rd in my age group... I was first... okay, first of three (as I'd been second of three last year), but even so, I'd never won my age group in this race... ever! Last year (ironically with my slowest time) I won my first award in a half, but I was even more excited about how it went this year b/c I felt so ready and healthy... And the award was another of the CR surprises: I went up for the lovely plaque and would have been happy enough just with that, but the person presenting the award told me I could pick a merchandise prize from some nearby tables. So given the freezing weather, my eyes fell on some jackets... I needed another layer... and now I have a very attractive wind protecting jacket that not only warmed my body but warmed my heart!<br><br>
So this is a race of found items, crocuses, hills, wind, surprising challenges and surprising rewards....<br><br>
And the jacket I'll wear proudly!
 

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glad you went for both lioness! great job on the back to back races. you're one of the first runners i've seen that admits to loving hills <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> thanks for sharing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks, rundangerously!<br><br>
Heh! I didn't always like hills--but actually it's all Jeff Galloway's fault that I love hills. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> (I say that kindly, of course.) I went to a clinic he was leading, and he talked about mental strategies for running hills. And he said that we should repeat to ourselves "I love hills!" And I remember thinking, yeah, sure! But one day, several years later, as I was out running on a hilly course, I was thinking how great a course it was and how much I was enjoying the hills. And then I had one of those "aha!" moments and thought "Brainwashed! Jeff, you rascal!" But I have to say that's brainwashing that has served me well!
 

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did he mention that running hills in training is also a form of speedwork? if you run hills on your daily training runs, you get a modest amount of speedwork built in.<br><br>
but loving them in races - that gives you a tactical edge over your competitors (the ones dreading them).<br><br>
what's your next race?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh I need whatever tactical edge I can get! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
My next race, however, is a relatively flat 5k near the end of March. However, it does have trolley tracks on the route, which require some careful stepping here and there. But it's a fun race that's put on by the university where I work, so I always make sure I do it.
 

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my next race, wurtsboro mountain 30k this weekend, has one big hill, then it's downhill the rest of the way <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sounds like fun! Have a great race! The downhill will be your reward! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
I'll have to try it sometime! I did Mount Washington in 2002. They had to set the finish line at the halfway mark b/c of conditions at the top. I was so disappointed not to do the whole thing, but wow, it was a beautiful race, no matter... the rain blew sideways as if runners were being hit with a steady cold water hose. But it was just breathtaking with the mists and trees all around. I hope to do it again sometime--the whole version!
 

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You rock Lioness! Never in my wildest dreams could I have ever pulled off what you did in a weekend! You were AWESOME!
 

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You are awesome Lioness!<br><br>
I had dinner with Jeff on Saturday. He does have a way of inspiring people with his thoughts on running. Train in the hills and they are not a problem during a race!
 

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congrats on two great races! BTW, I train on hills everyday. I'm constantly amazed at what gets other runners worked up as being Big Hills, and I'm like that's nothing just run up it and run down the other side. Piece of cake. Hills can be your friend if you make them. Congrats!
 

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Good to see you over here Diane! Congrats on the double hardware!<br>
Always enjoy your writing and this was no exception. Stop by Master's and say hi more often!<br><br><br>
Barb
 
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