Work on your long game to improve your short game
I trained for Green Lakes 50K this summer. After the GLER, I knew I had this on the race calendar, but had trouble transitioning from trail to road. I spent a couple weeks bummed out from post race let-down, then school started for the kids as I transitioned into my half training plan. It was the same plan that I used for Flower City Half in the spring, but I approached it with much less enthusiasm. I skipped a lot of the speedwork, and ran on trail every chance I got. But, I put the miles in, kept doing a lot of yoga, continued once or twice weekly weight lifting and started a swim class. I reached race day reasonably ready, albeit with an unhappy right hamstring.
Scott and I woke up at 4:30, had a pancake with peanut butter and watched a TED talk before getting donning my FLRTC singlet and getting ready for the race. As we drove, the temperature dipped down to 31 on the car thermometer. Brrr. We ate our bagels at 6 a.m. in the car. This would be my first cold weather run of the season. I’m a wimp with transitions, so this stressed me out a little. We arrived and hopped into the very long bus line. There are 3000 people in the half, and the first person we saw was our friend Tracy. We waited for the bus together. It always amazes me how many people you see that you know at big events! A short ride later we were at the start. We hopped into the very reasonable porta potty lines and then headed inside to take off our warm clothes before checking our bags with UPS. We sauntered over to the start line and said our goodbyes. Scott lined up near the very front of the pack, and I settled into a nice spot between the 1:45 and 1:50 pacer, hoping not to see either of them on the course (being near a pacer makes me anxious).
After a few minutes of waiting, it is clear they are going to hold the race to wait for buses still coming in. The bus lines were very long in the morning. As soon as I realized this, I knew it was time to hit the cornfield for a last minute bio break! I made it back to my “spot” and chatted with the folks around me for a minute. While waiting I start thinking, “I’m not so sure I am into this” and “I can’t wait for this to be over” followed by “I’m SO hungry!” I still have not figured out pre-race nutrition. Clearly eating breakfast 2 hours before a race isn’t working for me. (my stomach growled for the entire race)!
Before long the gun went off and all the negative thoughts left. I was running! It was great. My favorite part of the race is the weaving in and out of people in the first mile. I know it consumes energy, but it gives such an adrenaline rush and makes me feel happy. By mile 1, settled into an 8 minute mile average pace. I briefly considered dialing it back so that I wouldn’t crash. Ultimately, I decided it was a cool day and I may need the pace later as I hit the hill and water stops. It was a good decision. With my hunger, I opted to walk through every water station and have Gatorade. I held a sub 8 until mile 7.25, and I was proud about that. At mile 7, I saw friends Larry & Karen Glanton and they shouted my name. It was a spot where I especially appreciated the support and I really felt the pick up from it!
The Race Song
Every race has one, and one of my favorite parts of racing is finding it! At mile 8 we entered the park. Last year during the marathon this stretch was the lowest low of the race for me. My legs were tired, it was HOT and humid and even this short little downhill killed my quads. Today, it was GREAT! I was running in a cluster of five people, one of whom I had stood next to at the start line. I looked at my watch and said “5 to go folks!” and one of the women said “lead us in!” and then a man said “I want to know if the guy ahead in the kilt has anything under it?” Soon after we ran by a group drumming and we hit the next water stop. I felt like I could run forever and the song Break Free was playing on my playlist. Voila! Race song revealed!!
At the Cayuga Lake Tri, I ran by my friend Christina going the opposite direction and said “Hi! Great job.” She barely looked up, and after the race she thought she remembered me running by. Hmmm, I thought. I usually thank every volunteer and cheer every runner on. Clearly I could use some of this energy to race faster instead! Two weeks before this race, I went on a training run while in an especially focused and determined mood. I ran fast, and focused about 6 feet ahead of me virtually unaware of the world. Today, I had that same focus. I didn’t thank every volunteer, I didn’t see every sign, and while I took time to hi five some kids and thank some volunteers, I really felt like I raced this. I was in the zone for most of the run and I kept Scott’s mantra of “this isn’t supposed to feel good/easy” in my head and pushed harder than I normally would. I have never felt like I have a lot left to give at the end of a race, but today I feel like I really pushed every mile to what I was capable of doing. It felt nice!
Post Race Thoughts
I liked this course more than last year. I felt A LOT sad that I didn’t get this cold weather (35-42 degrees) for the full last year. I still don’t think I would have hit a BQ, but I would have been closer! I love that I didn’t see a pacer at all while I was on the course, connected with friends after the race and enjoy great pizza at the finish. The last mile the only thought I could keep in my head was “I’m running toward pizza” because I was SO hungry. I was especially excited for Scott because he won 1st Masters for the race. He got PRIZE money and we’re going to enjoy dinner out at our favorite Ithaca restaurant tonight to celebrate – Viva! Thank you Wineglass Marathon for putting on another awesome event. Thanks to Lisa and Ian of Finger Lakes Running and Triathlon Company and my FLRTC teammates for their support for my running! It has been a really fun season. Only a few races left before it is time to SKI!!! And the best thing is that my 10K split was FASTER than my PR 10K on the Skunk Cabbage. I’m pretty psyched about that!
Time 1:46:11 215/2449; 7/325 (age group 40-44), Female 77/1846 Masters 25/902.