I'll start this off by saying running is not my strong suit at all-I seem to be very injury prone (shin splints, strained calf muscles, knotted calves-you get the picture) so I've been working up to this through the winter. PT last year helped with an increase in cadence which helped with shin splints, but seemed to cause calf problems. Lots of massage and a gradual increase in mileage got me ready for this race. I’d never run further than 8miles before.
Had a scare in the past few weeks with post-run faintness which landed me at the dr and the cardiologist. Thankfully my heart is very fit (yeah!), but needed help with maintaining blood pressure and hydration. This is where I question why I do these things?? Dr made me promise to drink only Gatorade throughout the race and take multiple salt tabs during the race.
Prerace nutrition: Ate a bagel with PB and honey and coffee 1 hour 15 minutes prior to race. Ate 2 salt tabs and sipped Gatorade until the start.
Started the race near the 10 minute pacer and had trained and planned to use the Galloway method- 4 minute run with a 1 minute walk through the race. Very hard to do the first walk in the excitement of the start, but know how important it is to stick to "the plan". Started off slowly as I was nervous after all the doctor's warnings-I planned to take it easy on myself.
This is a hilly course, but I've been training on hilly, so I was pretty well prepared for it until that killer hill after mile 6. I made it there in an hour, so just on pace for my 10 minute goal using the run/walk. Ate my Gu and took my 2 salt tabs. I decided to walk up most of the hill as I didn’t want to tire myself out too much for the remaining ½ of the race. Apparently I can walk faster than some of the people shuffle up the hill and know I was less tired out at the top. Stopped at every water stop and drank the Gatorade if available, plus I carried some with me. Felt pretty good until mile 11 and then was very happy that there was much downhill running until the last ½ mile or so. I’ve been practicing letting myself run quickly downhill and it really paid off with some made up time. Finished the race only a minute after my goal with a 10.06 pace.
I made sure to drink the rest of my Gatorade and walk around after the race which helped me cool down and feel pretty decent. My first half marathon!
I noticed a big improvement of how I felt which I think had to do with the salt tabs. I had been experiencing a “bonk” around 8 miles in my long runs before the faintness issues which I now think are all the same thing-one problem hopefully solved! Now I just need help with better pacing on runs…
I love Iron Girl events because the atmosphere is just so friendly and warm. Everyone is excited and cheerful and you don't feel all the competitiveness found at other events. Only complaint is they need more porta-potties. 2200 women and 20 portapotties leads to very long waits and lots of unneeded stress!
The MMTC tent was wonderful as always. It is great to have a place to go and yummy food to eat:) Thanks to all the wonderful volunteers-you guys rock!