I ran the Salt Lake City Half Marathon on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Here’s what I discovered during the race. I hope to use what I’ve learned to better train for future races.
I finished just over three minutes slower than last year. As I compare the two races, I realized that I ran ahead of my target pace for the first five miles both times. Because I could. The race-day adrenaline was in full force, the weather was cool, and a good portion of the first five miles is downhill.
The difference? When I reached the long hill climb on South Temple I walked for a bit last year. This year I ran the whole way. And I noticed when I got to the stop that I had to consciously slow down because I could tell my heart rate was faster than it should have been. Maybe that little bit of walking helped me to make up time later in the course. Hmmmm.
My left hip started to bother me about halfway through the race. Of course, I kept going. Did it slow me down? Possibly. What was that all about? Hmmmm. After the race I paid a visit to my chiropractor and learned that my right leg was out of alignment and my left side took the punishment. The sad thing is that I had started to feel it a few days before the race and decided I’d just power through it. My bad.
I had read in one of the running newsletters I subscribe to that runners need about 45 grams of carbs per hour. So I tried consciously making sure to eat a sport bean and drink some water every mile. I’m not sure it was helpful. It felt like too much. I need to come up with a way to get sufficient nutrition without having to eat so much during the actual race. Hmmmm.
Even with my slower finish, my “graduation” into an older age group made my time fast enough not only for first place in the 60 – 64 age group, but for first place in the Grand Masters category! This was my first ever first place finish in a half marathon. And best of all, my daughter and her fiancé were there at the finish line, holding a large, neon-pink sign that read My Mom is Faster than your Mom! That made it the sweetest finish of all.