Okay so LAST weekend was my double race weekend. I obviously needed a week and a half to unwind, or I have been incredibly busy with baseball games and watching the New York Rangers (who are playing awesome by the way)...you can choose whichever you'd like.
So as many of you have read, last Saturday was my first triathlon of the 2012 season which ended up turning into a duathlon.
Also, keep in mind that I chose not to reveal my race goals before the race because I was not sure how I would fare because of the race the previous day. My previous PR before this race was 2:45:31...
Okay so where was I... Oh right, I had just finished TriRock NY at Harriman State Park.
I wrapped things up at Harriman, packed up my transition bag, threw my bike in the car (I really need a car rack for my bike) and headed out. Amy and I drove back to her uncle's house in Larchmont to drop off my bike so I wouldn't have to keep it in my car for the weekend in Rhode Island.
After a short conversation with Amy's Aunt and Uncle, we hit the road and began our short journey to the Ocean State. This was the second race I have run in Rhode Island and I have to tell you, I have really liked everything about the state. Amy and I were staying in the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Providence for the night, so we checked in, dropped off our gear in the room and headed over to the race expo which was help at the Providence Convention Center.
As we were walking to the convention center, which was only three blocks away, we were passing a lot and I mean A LOT of young girls in cheer leading uniforms. I was a little surprised to see so much "spirit" but this feeling was nothing compared to what I encountered as we entered the convention center. There were by my guess THOUSANDS of cheerleaders at the convention center for some national competition. The building was so loud and full of energy. We picked up our packets and got the hell out of there as fast as we could!! Haha
We ate at Dave and Buster's in the mall, and went back to the hotel for the night. Amy's inner little old lady showed through when she went into the hallway at 10:15 to yell at some rambunctious little whipper snappers to quiet down! In reality i think she was just really nervous about the race, but I like the other story better.
This was the first time we decided to spend a little more money on a hotel room at a place which was very close to the starting line. The starting line was actually less than a block away from the front steps of the hotel. We finally got to sleep in at a race which was a beautiful feeling. At 7, we woke up and got dressed, strolled down to the lobby where we grabbed breakfast (plain bagel toasted with peanut butter for me) and then went back up to the room. We finally made our way down to race at 7:45 for an 8:00 start. Being able to use the bathroom in the comfort of our hotel room and not having to deal with the accommodations of a port-a-potty was incredible, I highly recommend trying to get a hotel near the race start!
We got out to the start line and stretched a little to keep the pre race jitters away. I had done a full stretch up in the room, so just needed to keep moving until the gun went off. Amy and I lined up together and awaited the starters pistol. I had thought about trying to move up toward the beginning of the pack. The race was using a single start time as opposed to a wave start, but there were some markers for different paces. Every :30 between 8:00 and 12:00 were marked out, but it was just too hard to get through the pack up to the 8:30 marker.
Needless to say after the gun went off, I had to do a fair bit of dodging and weaving through some traffic, but after the first mile, I found myself with a group of people who were running at a pace similar to mine and stayed with them the remainder of the race.
The course map and elevation chart made it seem like I would be facing some hills, but it did not prepare me for the hills I encountered during the race. I am in some ways surprised that I faced these hills so well, but with all of my run training over the winter paired with my weight loss and strength building, I am not as surprised now looking back on the race.
I really pushed myself hard this race, and maybe could have gone a bit harder, but I was definitely a little sore and tired from the duathlon the day before. As the race wound through the streets of Providence and the surrounding towns, I definitely felt more fatigue than normal because of my duathlon, but I decided I was not going to let myself succumb to this fatigue and mentally pushed through it.
This was the first time I had run an entire half marathon on race day. I had several training runs longer than 13.1 during my marathon training, but I never had been able to string 13.1 miles together for an actual race. So that was one of my goals for this race.
My goal for this race was to run under 2:11. Like I said earlier, my previous best was 2:45:31, and I knew that 2:11 was a 10 min/mi pace. Going into the race, I knew I could easily hit this goal, so I also had more of a reach goal. My reach goal was to run a sub 2 hour half and break 1:55:00. In some of my training runs I was able to hold pace to go sub 2 for between 6 and 8 miles and thought it could be possible to break that two hour barrier. I had heard a lot of stories of people who trained and trained but couldn't break two hours, and thought it would be a real challenge.
Here are my mile splits (Gotta say I LOVE having a Garmin Watch so I can track my paces and my progress):
Mile 1: 8:31
Mile 2: 8:17
Mile 3: 8:36
Mile 5: 8:33
Mile 6: 8:28
Mile 7: 8:15
Mile 8: 8:35
Mile 9: 8:45
Mile 10: 8:24
Mile 11: 8:59
Mile 12: 8:53
Mile 13: 9:19
Last .1: 8:39 pace
Official finish time: 1:54:16 avg pace 8:43 min/mi
A new PR by over 50 minutes!
So there it is! I apologize for the wordiness of this post, and the lack of pictures. Amy was also running with me in this race, so she was not able to be my personal race photographer. Next post will hopefully have more photographs!