Monday, February 27, 2017

Spring Thaw 10 Miler 2017 Race Recap

I've got BIG goals for my April half marathon. I'm aiming for an 8:30 // mile goal pace and therefore a new PR. I'm using a totally new to me training plan and putting in some serious hard work to make this happen. I wanted to use Spring Thaw as a gauge, could I really do this? Or was I crazy?

While technically I just finished week 2 of my 10 week training program, which called for a 6 mile long run, I have consistently been running more miles than that each weekend, so I felt confident I could finish 10 miles. This was the first long race I had done since May 2016, the Pittsburgh Half that hadn't gone so well.

The morning started out super gloomy, and was even raining when I woke up. I had originally planned to wear shorts and a short sleeved t-shirt, but feared I would be cold with the wind and rain, so I opted for a long sleeve - and that was a bad idea. Also, for I believe the first time ever in a race, I left my sunglasses in the car, the day was super cloudy and due to stay that way - and that too was a bad idea.



I knew within the first half mile that I wished I had worn sunglasses AND a short sleeved top. But it was too late. I will say though - I felt super fly when I realized my shirt and compression sleeves matched (BTW that link will save you $15 if you're looking to buy new compression sleeves // socks!).

Gretchen and I had talked about having similar goals and agreed to run the first 10 miles together, where I would stop & she would continue on for one more lap. We started off just in front of the 9:00 // mile pacer - with our ultimate goal being to negative split each of the 5 mile loops.

Miles 1-5 // 43:28 (8:42 average)

The first lap flew by and I felt good. Gretchen and I settled into a nice pace, and a good back and forth conversation, about pretty much everything. We ran the "Lake Loop" counterclockwise, which I do not enjoy. I typically run clockwise and feel as though it's more uphill counterclockwise. But, I was surprised with how well the first lap went, but I could tell as we came through the start line and went to start lap 2 that we had started out too fast, and that my goal to negative split the second half of the race was out the window.

Miles 6-10 // 44:42 (8:57 average)

By the time we crossed the line to start our second 5 mile loop by Garmin was registering 5.15 miles, so I knew this race would be "long". I had been taking water at each aid station, but avoiding the Gatorade, mostly sense I have ruined a lot of good workout shirts that way. Haha. I had not brought any sort of fuel with me, I am able to do 10-13 mile long runs sans fuel. I figured I would take something if it was offered, but did not bring my own. I had a breakfast sandwich with english muffin, fried egg, 2 slices of bacon and cheese for breakfast, along with a cup of coffee. However, all of that was eaten about 8AM for a 10AM race start, so by the start of lap two I could feel myself running low on fuel.

Luckily Gretchen agreed that we had gone out a little too fast on the first lap, and so we stayed together again for our second 5 miles. The last mile features a long, fairly steep after you've just run 9 other miles, uphill portion, followed by a matching downhill. The last quarter mile or so was lined with people who had already finished, cheering us on to the finish.

I split towards the finish chute and thanked Gretchen for our 10 miles together before she headed out for her last lap!

Chip Finish // 10 miles - 1:28.09 (8:49 average)
Garmin Finish // 10.17 miles - 1:28.12 (8:40 average)


All in all I'm super pleased with how the race went - our first lap was a perfect example of the HM pacing I'm trying to hold in April. For week two of my training plan with no official taper + a bike ride the day previous, I can tell I'm on the right track for a PR. I need to continue to work on my pacing - especially in the back half of a race, and remind myself it's never too cloudy for sunglasses. As well as practice taking in nutrition during long runs // races so I'm ready for April. A Gu or a few chews would have gone a long way around mile 7.

After the race I grabbed some Gatorade & pizza while waiting for a shuttle, that never came. I ended up walking a mile + to my car, which I was fairly grumpy about, considering I was short on time. I had places to be! I was KY bound to surprise my Momma for her birthday!

I made a stop en route to "fuel up" both me & the car, and got a Chocolate Shamrock Shake - would not recommend to a friend. It's not mixed. So the first bit is chocolate shake, followed by Shamrock Shake - and as a Shamrock Shake enthusiast, the chocolate merely takes away from the wonderful fake minty flavor we've all grown to love. And I forgot to ask for no whipped cream, womp womp womp.


I made it to Morton's in time to have a expensive fancy drink at the bar before my brother and I had a seat at the table.


We reminded the folks there that this was all a surprise and they did a fantastic job. The gentleman told my Mom & Dad their table for two was ready and then proceeded to chat with my Mom the whole way to the table, blocking her view of my brother and I. At the last second he told her he had a surprise & moved out of the way so she could see us sitting there. It worked & she was totally shocked!


Who else raced this weekend?
At what temperature do you run in long sleeves?
Hands up - Shamrock shakes, love 'em or hate 'em?

Linking up with :Holly & Tricia for Weekend Highlights
Linking up with Marcia x Patty x Erika for Tuesdays on the run to share.

22 comments:

  1. Yay for a good race! Sounds like it was a good confidence boost for your training for the half. And that sounds like such a nice surprise for your mom :)

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    1. Yes - it was a huge confidence boost for sure! Now I just have to work on my pacing!

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  2. Great job on the race - you are gearing up for a great half in April.
    I love you all pulled off the surprise for your momma! & you all clean up so nicely ;)
    BOO on the Shamrock shakes. I thought the whole thing was blended. Maybe its just a bad employee. Try again ;)

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    1. I saw one get ordered in front of me at a different McDonalds, I think that's just how they're supposed to be - it looks that way on their advertising I saw too. Silly!

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  3. Congratulations on a speedy run!! That medal looks pretty cool!

    I did my first Trail Half marathon, it was muddy, and rough! I need more trail running in my life before I attempt that again!

    Happy Birthday to your Mom!

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    1. I fell in love with trail running last summer, though I am so impressed you did a trail HALF. That would probably crush me - and take about 3 hours. Which, I don't know how people do trail ULTRAS.

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  4. WOW! That is seriously a wonderful pace Jessie! And I love that you got a Shamrock shake afterwards; McD's does great shakes!

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    1. It seems to be tradition with this race. My FB timehop reminded me I did the same thing the last time I ran this race too.

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  5. Congrats on a great race! You are definitely on track for a PR. I agree completely that it is NEVER too cloudy for sunglasses - I have made that mistake and seriously regretted it in the past too.

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    1. I even wore them in my marathon when it was actively RAINING. So I don't know why I thought I should leave them in the car. Especially since they stay on my head just fine when I run. Lesson LEARNED.

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  6. Is it bad to say that I have never had a shamrock shake? I think I need to try one though I love mint. Great job on the 10 miler! and fun surprising your parents!

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    1. People seem to either love 'em or hate 'em. I've heard people claim they taste like toothpaste. I love them, so I obviously disagree. Try one!

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  7. Yay for a great race!

    But what on earth is a shamrock shake? I'm guessing for St Patrick's Day? The whole layers not mixed thing would frustrate me too... which is actually kind of weird because i'm a doesn't like food touching kind of girl :P

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    1. Haha it's a mint flavored milkshake that McDonalds makes. They only have it this time of year. It's like the pumpkin spice latte of the spring.

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  8. OK, I couldn't talk about everything running an 8:40 pace. I'd be huffing and puffing and wheezing all over the place. Kudos to you and Gretchen! You should be very proud of your finish time! You are right in line to reach your half goal. Instead of long sleeves, I will wear arm sleeves a lot. It all depends on the sun factor, I think. How fun to surprise your Mom! Thanks for linking, Jessie!

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    1. Well - we got a little quiet on that second lap, so we clearly over did it on our first go round, lesson learned though. I've thought about arm sleeves, maybe it's time to finally invest!

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  9. Nice job on the race. I'd be sucking wind at that pace. My boys love the Shamrock shakes, but we haven't tried the chocolate/shamrock mix yet.

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    1. In my opinion it's not as good as the classic Shamrock Shake.

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  10. The only 8:50 paces I'm hitting are in speed drills and are not much more than 1/2 a mile with walking, I mean gasping for air! :)
    That is an amazing finish very strong for you! I think you're well on to that PR!
    I'm trying to decide at the very moment what to wear for my half this weekend. The start is upper 30's but expected to rise at a decent rate. I'm thinking shorts/skirt long sleeve and throw away gloves.

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    1. Ooh -races with weather like that are always tough for me. I think I would do the trusty garbage back trick & throw it away just before the start. That's saved me in the past. But I would always rather be a little cold than too hot during a race.

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  11. Awesome job! What a great feeling to know you're right on track for a PR--love confidence boosters like that. I feel the exact same way about running the lake loop counterclockwise. I feel like it's so much harder! All the more reason to be pretty stoked about how well you did!

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks counter clockwise is harder! I'm glad that JASR runs clockwise.

      But I will say it was an even bigger confidence boost knowing I ran that well on the harder way!

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