Tuesday, April 22, 2014

race recap: corvallis half marathon

We did it! 

The TL;DR version is that we finished in 2:44:54 (definitely not a PR by any means) and I verged on the brink of heat stroke, but I am still super proud of how we did, conquering the Oregon hills and running the whole thing together. 

This was Gabe's first half marathon and my third, but I haven't consistently ran in about a year and a half. I also had an obscene time adjusting to running on hills; moving from Indiana terrain to Oregon terrain was not friendly. Gabe and I trained together which was a perfect balance; I helped slow him down so he didn't burn out on long runs (I mean, he's 6'3" and I'm 5'1", I'm fine with admitting that he's way faster than me) and he pushed me and motivated me. 

I was constantly checking the 10 day forecast leading up to the race and was really worried. As much as Oregon weather bums me out, it is usually perfect for running; the drizzle and clouds keep it cool and comfortable. The day of the race ended up being sunny (not even partly) and a high of 77. A gorgeous day, but not gorgeous for racing. I knew I'd have to take care to not overheat, especially since the race started at 9:30 (which is weirdly late for race standards) with the sun out in full force.

I usually only drink water when I fuel in races, but considering I was sweating profusely after half a mile, we decided to walk through every water station, every two miles, and drink at least a half a cup of water. This definitely impacted our overall time but I'm fine with that, because it kept me feeling okay (let's be real, I never felt GREAT until we finished) and our running pace stayed consistently between 11:30-12:00 per mile the entire time. We still finished with some serious salt deposits all over our arms (that can happen when you run and are sweating too much and losing electrolytes) but save for that extra long walk break around mile 8.5 (1:40 in the graph below), I never felt in danger of overheating.

There's also the problem of the hills. Not multiple hills necessarily, but the whole first 8.5 miles were uphill. No joke.

Rude. Also, I'm obsessed with the data that Map My Run outputs; it's so interesting to see how our pace changes over the run. You can see our walking breaks really clearly above, but how our running pace stayed pretty consistent even running uphill.

It's weird because I know that this time is not a great half marathon time; we placed around 1000/1400 runners, and I know both of us have it in us to run so much faster. It's a little disorienting to race in Oregon because everyone is so much faster here than I'm used to. But still, I've never been prouder after a half. I was so proud of Gabe for finishing his first, and I was so proud of myself for pushing through the heat and the hills. It was really cheesy and fun to run the race together; we crossed the finish line holding hands (barf, I know). 

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