Dave and I headed out to Gloucester April 8th for the Fools Dual half marathon. It’s called the Fools Dual because you can run a 5k then the half marathon if you want. Dave and I opted just for the half. I wanted to try to see how my training was paying off and didn’t want to run the two.
We both woke up around 6 am so we could get ready (even though I had most of my stuff ready the night before!). The race suggested getting there before 8:30 so you could park at the school. Our race didn’t start until 10 am but I would rather be there and hang out than get there late racing to the start line.
Fueling before the race:
- 7:00 am – water with Nuun tablet
- 8:00 am – oatmeal with cocoa nibs, brown sugar, raisins and some almond milk for us
- 9:00 am – more water with Nuun tablet
- 9:30 am – banana
Fueling during the race:
- water from camelbak
- 1 honeystinger vanilla gel (I didn’t eat it all at once but a little bit every so often
I wasn’t really feeling nervous for the race the week leading up to the race, but all of a sudden while we were on our way to the race and waiting before, I felt really nervous. I think that I was thinking, “This will determine if my training with a coach is working.” I have been putting in such hard work following “the plan” and I was hoping to at least get my last half marathon time (~ 1:40) and ideally better.
I didn’t meet my goal expectation and I was a little bummed, but I accomplished a lot in this race and really challenged my mental toughness. As soon as I realized that it wasn’t going to be an “ideal” race for me–I did let the thought seep in “I want to give up.” But I told myself how silly that thought was and that I had to keep on going.
I started off fast–Coach wanted me to start at 7:50ish pace and then speed up but I think it may have been more of the hills for me. I have run hillier courses in my past but many years ago. Boston Prep 16 miler is probably THE most hilly course I’ve ever run and did pretty well on…but I trained for it. The Fools Dual was not a priority race for me–the big goal is Chicago which is pretty flat. Because most of my runs have some pacing goals I’m aiming for, I have been training on mostly flat terrain so I can get a feel for that pace. I can’t really imagine trying to attempt my below/at/above workouts on a hilly route. Given that–I wasn’t very surprised that the hills were rough for me and my legs felt pretty heavy on the uphills (they started to feel better on the downhill).
I want to be clear–I didn’t quit my running coach because I didn’t do better at this race than my previous races. I always know that running can be a crap shoot. Yes it could have been the hills but it could have just been an off day of me. You put all your eggs in one basket and you sometimes just can’t predict how race day will go–the weather, your stomach, something being sore or a little off, etc. etc. So I try to go into every race with an expectation but also knowing that just finishing a race is something to be so proud of! And I was really proud of this race! I’m also excited about potentially adding it on the calendar for 2019 to see if I can improve my strength with hills!
More tidbits about the race:
- Parking was pretty easy! We got there around 8:30 and found a spot. We hung out in the car because it kind of cold.
- The porta potty line got a big long 25 min before the race but it moved pretty quickly.
- The start/finish is right where you park so it’s convenient.
- Streets will not be closed down for the race so be cautious if you are listening to music and passing others.
- The race is an out and back. I don’t really like out and backs for marathons but for halves I don’t mind them!
- I didn’t use the water stops because I wore my camelbak. There were 6 water stops along the course with gatorade and water. I heard one of the stop saying they had gels.
Next up on my calendar is Bostons Run to Remember which is a flat course (whew!). You should join me too! Get $10 off your registration if you use my code: lilmissrunshineRTR