For those interested, here is the race recap I posted at SparkPeople.com.
I wanted to keep with tradition and post a quick rundown of my most recent half marathon and share it with all of you. I didn't keep everyone here [SparkPeople] abreast of my training b/c it really wasn't all that exciting - and I've kind of fallen off the SparkPeople wagon since finding Paleo and MyFitnessPal.
Quickly, training was uneventful, really. Run, run some more, and run again. I did develop a minor injury while training - tendonitis of the foot - but The Princess of Pain, Dr. Lake, fixed me right up over a series of weeks - diet played a MAJOR role in my healing - specifically, grain/gluten-, sugar- and dairy-free. I trained in Vibrams and when I worried that the injury was caused by my footwear (or lack thereof) Dr. Lake suggested I keep training in them and that the tendonitis was simply my feet getting used to the new workload and that it would pass - like every one of my other injuries. She told me to focus on low-inflammation foods and epsom salt baths, and at one point had me eliminate all running except for my long run (for three week straight). The combined efforts made for a fantastic half marathon.
My goal was to run the entire half marathon. My previous six half marathons (and one 20k) were done using the Galloway walk/run method. I wanted to run one straight through, from start to finish just to say I could. I also wanted to beat the clock and finish in 2 hours, 30 minutes.
Given the setback I had during training, my confidence was a bit lacking and I was fearful I would not meet my goals. But, like they always say "trust the training", so I put faith in my training and went for it. During my training, though, I would stop, drink some water and start up again. I never actually ran a training run from start to finish - I always had a reason to stop midway for water, use the restroom, find some geocaches , something always stopped me. I was fully planning to use the stopping method while doing the half marathon, aiming only to beat 2:30 on my watch, and not really caring what my chip time was.
The two days before race day I ate really crappy b/c I was also gearing up for a Whole30 to start on the same day as the half, so I was easily succumbing to the Last Supper mentality. I had wanted Saturday to be a clean eating day b/c that would be the fuel I'd use during my run and I didn't want to fire up the inflammation furnace with all that crappy food, but I ate it anyway. I think my lack of confidence that I'd be able to achieve my goals for the race fueled my lack of dietary discipline. In any event, it sure produced some great carb loading.
Sunday morning, I rolled out of bed and got dressed. I grabbed my boiled eggs and bacon and a peach for the road. I was headed up to Cedar Rapids where I was meeting up with 3 people I knew - one I knew from the Army, one I knew from work and one I met online that I think I met indirectly b/c of this site [SparkPeople]. I also ended up meeting another person from here [SparkPeople] that I hadn't planned to meet - it just happened, which was cool.
The day was a bit steamy but not hot yet. At 8 am, the gun was fired and the chips started chirping. I don't remember a lot of details about the race, but I remember a few things. I remember my right calf having major issues the first three miles - I assume it was caused by the uneven surface of the road b/c as soon as I moved to the other side of the road, the pain dissipated. My left achilles started to balk during the first three miles as well, but I knew from experience this was a warm-up thing - that as soon as things were fully warmed up, the pain would go away. It did.
Cedar River mile 2.jpg
View of the river before mile 2.
I passed a lot of Galloway runners. One who breathed like a cow coughs - seriously, head out to a (grain-fed) beef farm sometime and listen to cows cough. Every breath he took sounded like a cow cough and was very distracting.
One gal had her headphones on and the whole time her Garmin was doing this crazy beeping thing - it wasn't beeping like it was time to change intervals or that she'd met a distance, it was beeping sporatically. I can only assume it was beeping to indicate something regarding her heartrate monitor. Whatever it was, the beeping was driving me mad so I was glad when I left her behind at her next walk session.
Then there was the singer... he was singing along with his ipod. I have no idea what he was singing, but wish I had. Knowing might have made it more enjoyable. - Can you tell that the first 5 miles were less than enjoyable for me?
Country Road Mile 3-4.jpg
Somewhere between miles 3 and 4.
Once I got passed the 5 mile mark, I hit my stride. I felt strong and confident and capable. I sailed through the next two or three miles. Unfortunately, those three miles were on a very sandy trail. I remember in 2011 when I did this race, I rejoiced over the trail, but I don't remember it being so sandy and I wore actual shoes then. Vibrams in sand is a lot of work!
Steel Bridge 2 - Mile 6.jpg
Steel truss bridge we got to run across
View from Steel Bridge.jpg
The view from the steel truss bridge
Me mile 6.jpg
Me just past the steel bridge - I really need to find a different place for my phone! lol
***Break*** Can only post 5 pics per post, so I'm breaking this post up to allow for all my pics...