Hi all! Thanks for your support since I joined this forum.
Yesterday was my big day. Like last year, it was sunny and warm, so I made sure I dressed a bit lighter than last year, and as well as my usual caps and sunglasses wore a drinking belt instead of a backpack - I had big trouble with the heat last year, and developed some scary symptoms. My husband and I always participate in races together, but he's had trouble with his left shoulder for several months, so he hadn't trained much - not that he ever does. Its's frustrating how little he trains, and how well he does. This time, however, I managed to run away from him!
My main goal was to outrun the 2:30 pacer, which took a while to achieve. I was determined to pace myself, and not start too fast, which I generally do. But I did want to run quickly during the first few hills down. Not too easy with people running very slowly in front of me, and not letting me past. Eventually I made it. I had decided to drink every 2 k, and to keep an eye on my heart rate, as a way of managing my pace.
This plan worked really well, and I ran through the first two drinks stations. I had brought an energy bar with me, but luckily there was an energy bar station at about 8 km, and I gratefully took one. By drinks station 3, I stopped to refill my bottles, but quickly picked up my speed. The first hill came at about 13 K, and I was pleased to manage it without walking, then a bigger hill at 15 K, which also went well. - I guess the hill practice I've had during the past few months has helped. There were no energy drinks at the 16 K drinks station, which was a bit of a letdown, but I was fine.
I had really worked hard on my mental strategy, and planned to run very short intervals from 16 K on, and I managed it! It helped that I had to run down the same hills I had gone up. Things started getting a bit tricker by 18 K, but there was a last drinks station, and I had a couple of glasses of energy drink and a bite of my protein bar. I felt I was doing quite well, but around 20 K I walked up a very slight hill for a bit longer than I liked. Luckily somebody cheered me on by name, and that gave me the energy to get going and resume my short intervals.
I managed to pick a few people to chase to the finish line, and sprinted in at 2:29, and improvement of 8 minutes over last year. Hubby didn't make it in til quite a bit later, but I think he did really well under the circumstances.
I'm really happy with the way things went.
Next on my radar is a HM in Central Park two weeks from now, when I'm on holiday in NYC. This will be a bit of a challenge, as I will arrive in New York less than 12 hours before the race. But I just couldn't resist - especially as the race is a tribute to Norwegian runner Grete Waitz.
Juju - could I have my badge now?