Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blessed Runner

Scenic Half Marathon 9-18-11

This was my first longer running race since heart surgery 10 months ago even though I've been training consistently and specifically since July.  I was really looking forward to this race and thought based on the training that 1:28 was very realistic, unfortunately my poor race execution cost me.  I appreciate the fact I was able to participate, although I feel this excitement led to my somewhat frustrating day. 

The weather was wet on the 75 min. drive to Sandpoint, however it stopped raining by the start of the race! The course is tougher than I expected with several short rolling hills during the first 6.5 miles, so after over 100 races and too much motivation to contain my patient pacing approach I went out too fast and paid for it. Here's my splits/HR, which obviously explain why I felt dizzy at mile 5 and had to walk to regain my senses. A little scary, but self inflicted!

1=6:27 @164

2=6:35 @ 176

3=6:45 @ 181

4=6:45 @ 182

5=7:51 @180 (dizzy and walking-Thank you Daniel Zwiesler for talking me into common sense)

6=7:30 @174 (Right calf cramping)

7=7:06 @ 179

8=7:02 @ 179

9=6:44 @ 178 (downhill HR still high?)

10=7:05@ 179


12=7:12@180 (HR still too high & right calf super tight)

13.1=1:33 (Average HR 178) (Ouch!) *2nd Age Group/17th Overall

*My hat award says "winner" on the back which definitely made me laugh/smile.

What did I learn? After over 100 races I still always learn something.  Even though I'm running tempo runs at 6:30-6:40 and track intervals at 5:30-6 min. pace on the flats since heart surgery I can't run the hills at that kind of sustained effort or pace. Today all the short climbs on the way out left me feeling really dizzy and somewhat puzzled as how my HR during 400 intervals could be 178, yet today my average pace was 7:05 and HR 178. I obviously need work into pace and be more patient during the Portland Marathon as I really feel the fitness is there to run a solid race, however I need race smart!

I need try to continue to not to focus on old best times, although I'll be honest it's really TOUGH. When I train consistently/specifically for something I expect to see race results that match up to the training and today it just didn't happen, although it's the individual mental/physical challenge that I love about endurance sport!

As I was driving back to Spokane from Sandpoint reflecting as I always do after every race I tried to remind myself that I need to be thankful I can still run at all as less than one year ago I was told I couldn't continue to do all this endurance stuff. I know I need to focus on new PRs, so I guess the positives definitely outweigh my internal competitive wiring which is completely based on my own previous best times. As I was driving back I thought to myself, wow, how did I ever run a 1:23 half or 2:59 marathon? Well, I trained consistently for 6 years to become a better runner and need to remind myself I'm in much better shape now than when I was 24. At that time I ran 1:50 half and 4:55 full marathon and weighed +200, so there is always some positive to be found!

Great job to all the Team Blaze athletes that participated today and continue spread the positive Team Blaze vibe! 

This is a very well organized event! Every athlete receives a nice medal and cool shirt. They had plenty of volunteers, consistent aid stations, tons of food/drinks at the finish and free massage!  It was fun to come home, ask my son about his cycling race today and then give him my medal!

I recommend this race as it provided me with the perspective I needed moving forward to the Portland Marathon on Oct. 9th and beyond.  It was great reminder of the fact I've made a great deal of progress in the last 11 months, yet I still need to listen to my body and race patiently! Most importantly I need to remind myself how blessed I am to be running, healthy, able to participate and help other achieve their goals. 

God has given me another chance to inspire others and help them live healthy lives which is much more rewarding now than it ever use to be.  At the end of my journey it is very important to me that I know I gave back more than I took.

Remember to enjoy the journey!

Thanks for reading and supporting!


Uncle David said...

Loved your detailed description of each mile of your race.

I loved your detailed description of each mile. You are a running laboratory!
Keep up the good work. I am proud of you. I remember your first marathon.
Have a wonderful time at PDX!

Spokane Al said...

Great job, although I suspect that this race, with your HR so high, had a bit less of the fun than that of others.

On to Portland!