Sunday, July 6, 2014

Women's Fitness Festival Half Marathon

In the beginning of June, Lauren, Leti, and I ran the Women's Fitness Festival Half Marathon. I'd been dreading running this race because of my lack of training. Our SacFit season ended in April, and I haven't run consistently since. I knew this was going to be a difficult race.

The morning started off well, wearing my new hot pink race shirt. I normally don't wear the race shirt until after I finish the race, but I broke my own rule this time.

I started the race running with Lauren and Leti, but I had planned ahead of time on running on my own the majority of the race. People always say, "train together, but run your own race", so I gave it a shot. I ended up leaving them after about half a mile. While I was running by myself, I raced with 8:1 intervals. I think this ratio of running to walking works really well for me, and I'll most likely continue this setup for future half marathons.

This was one of the hottest weekends of the year so far, and the heat made this a tough run. I did however love the course. It's my favorite half marathon race route I've completed thus far, running through downtown and East Sacramento neighborhoods.

A few weeks prior to race day, I started having knee pain after a short treadmill run. I thought my injury healed, but boy was I wrong. I started noticing pain around mile 3 throughout he lateral part of my thigh and down to my knee, which I quickly identified as IT band issues. I tried to run through the pain, but around mile 11 I couldn't take it anymore and had to walk for almost two miles straight. Even walking hurt at that point.

Even though I didn't PR, I learned a few things from this race:

1. DON'T STOP TRAINING
Had I kept up with my training, I'm pretty sure I could've PR'ed, and I wouldn't have dreaded waking up that morning to run.

2. I LIKE RUNNING WITH PEOPLE
I shouldn't have ditched Lauren and Leti at the beginning of the race. It's not like I'm trying to place, I'm just there to exercise and enjoy myself. It's much more fun to run with people you know, even despite my competitive nature.

3. RESPECT THE "NEW SHOE RULE"
I'm almost certain that my IT/knee injury started because I was running with older shoes. They say running shoes should be replaced every 300-500 miles, and if you surpass that, you're at a much greater risk for injury. I'm so stubborn and really wanted to make it to 500 miles with my shoes, but after 420 miles and pain, I'm throwing the towel in, sucking it up, and purchasing new shoes ASAP.

4. ALWAYS BRING WATER
Yes, there were ample aid stations and they didn't run out of water (as far as I know), but it was a hot day and I don't see how all of those runners and walkers finished that race without their own hydration supplies. I applaud you all, but thin you're crazy and strongly urge you o start carrying your own water and snacks :)

Even though I didn't PR, I liked this race. The course was great, the people were super cheerful, and it was fun participating in an all-female event. We also enjoyed the post-race food with the multiple vegan options (thank you Whole Foods!) and spent a ridiculous amount of time at Kaiser's large booth learning about different aspects of health and meeting two doctors who truly support a vegan diet!

My overall time was 2:21:19, and while I'm currently not signed up for any other races, I'm considering a 50K race in August...a new distance for me! I ran a 50 mile race in April, but skipped over the 50K. Also, sorry for the lack of photos, I'll do better next time, promise!