Posted by: runawaynotes | November 5, 2012

Post-race thoughts

Now that some time has passed since I’ve crossed that finish line and all the adrenaline and the mixed emotions have worn off, I’m trying to look back on this Sunday’s DRC half marathon race and analyze it a little more objectively. Here are some of my thoughts of what went wrong on race day.

1. The weather. I’ve done 3 half marathons prior to this one, and only one of those 3 was in direct sunlight and higher temperature. That was also my very first half that I took extremely conservatively. So, I think I just pushed myself a little too far too fast given the conditions. Which brings me to my second point.

2. My pace. I’ve always struggled with staying on pace. I am not one of those people who can fall into a steady comfortable pace and just maintain it. When I run, I am all over the place. So I have to keep checking my garmin every few minutes to make sure I’m not falling back or pushing too hard. I don’t think I did such a good job of it on Sunday. I should have let the 2:10 pace group stay ahead of me and try to maintain a more or less steady distance between us. I also should have kept my garmin screen set to average pace instead of current pace. Every time I would look down at my garmin, I would see my pace at about 9:43. However, after the race was over and I checked my half way split, I realized that I reached that mark in 1 hr even. This means that I was doing about 9:09 pace for the first half of the race! That also explains how I was able to still finish in 2:12:47 even after slowing down significantly after mile 7. I definitely need to do a better job of pacing myself next time.

3. My overall health. Over the course of the past couple of weeks, I haven’t been as good about my eating as I should. Fat, sugar, and carbs don’t make for a happy tummy. In addition, I got a sore throat last week, so I’ve been drinking a ton of Airborne and other stuff to help my body fight whatever it was that was starting to make me sick. Ironically, things that make my throat feel better don’t make my tummy feel better. Go figure.

Now, there is nothing I can do about the weather. I’ll have to deal with whatever comes my way on race day. But I definitely can work on pace and diet. So, I think this is what I am going to focus on for the remaining 5 weeks before my race because I definitely do not want a repeat of the Sunday incident.

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Responses

  1. Learning to pace yourself correctly is a common difficulty. Track workouts can help with that, where you time yourself and practice running the same pace on each loop. You will also get better at pacing yourself with experience. I tend to start out too fast in races, and have had to learn to start slower and not burn out those last few miles.

    Another factor is the hills. Even though you’ve trained on them, and done hill repeats, they can take a lot out of you in a race, especially when it’s warm, and especially when you’re running faster than race pace.


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