This week seems like it’s lasted two weeks! As I started looking at my workouts from the week, Monday seems like ages ago. So strange how that happens. All in all, it was a good week, even if it felt longer than usual.
MARATHON TRAINING WEEK 10 DOWN, 8 TO GO!
Thanks to a day off of work on Monday, I was able to get in a BP class in the morning and a smokin’ good speed workout after. I surprised myself with the paces I was hitting on my fartleks. I felt strong and confident after finishing that workout. All of my easy runs went well this week. Felt relaxed and tried not to push pace at all. Wednesday’s progression run was pretty tough for me. The temps and humidity were up high even at 6:30pm and I was ultimately pleased with how it went considering all that. I keep pushing and trying to do my best on these runs, just waiting for some fall temps. All this work has got to pay off! Today, Cara and I paced the Race 13.1 Fayetteville half, the 2:15 group. Recap to follow below.
We rocked our meals this week and cooked every weekday. That never happens! We enjoyed an awesome cookout on Monday and kept the food fun going throughout the week. We made Chicken Caesar Salads again on Tuesday. That meal has become a weekly staple; we enjoy it that much! We used some leftover chicken and make Chicken Alfredo on Wednesday, which worked out well since I was running late. A no fuss dinner! Nick made tacos for dinner on Thursday. We ordered pizza on Friday. All of us were really craving some pizza and salad. It didn’t disappoint! Since I was in Fayetteville on Saturday, I had researched some places to eat near where we were staying so all those meals were dinners out. The chicken nachos at Carolina Ale House were so good and all of us girls had a pasta dinner at Elizabeth’s as our pre-race meal.
Race 13.1 Fayetteville Race Recap
I sound like a broken record, but seriously, the heat and humidity were in full force for this one! Holy smokes! I knew that running a race in Fayetteville this time of year would be a challenge, but I thought surely with a race start of 7am, we’d catch a break. No such luck. Starting temp at race start was 76 degrees and 95% humidity. We were literally sweating just waiting to start. Check out the humidity in that pic! You can actually see it.
This was Cara’s first time pacing and I just knew that she was going to love it, but I was also nervous that with the conditions the way they were that it could become a struggle for us. It sort of did, but luckily we didn’t fall off completely. We had two other friends who were also racing the half and it was nice to have an impromptu girls’ trip!
We started out with 10-15 runners in our group; some we talked to earlier about our game plan (staying even, running through water stops, etc.), others we picked up as we started running. Some of the runners were first time half marathoners and we were so excited for them to take on this journey and to be included in it too! We kept a great pace for the majority of the race, but the weather quickly took a toll on most of our group and within 2 miles, Cara and I were completely alone. It’s tough when you have to keep pace, but lose all your runners. It tears at you a bit, one of the few downsides of pacing.
We ran through miles 3-5 solo and found some fellow runners who hung with us from miles 6-8, but we found ourselves solo again by mile 8.5. By this time, the conditions started to take a toll on both of us and we both really started feeling yucky. My earlier fear started creeping in that we may not be able to keep pace. We got quiet for 1.5 miles and finally started keeping each other “up” through mile 11. We walked through the mile 11 water stop. We were having a really hard time keeping our heart rates in check. I felt a bit worse than Cara by mile 12 and walked up a hill, where she waited for me at the top. I just felt yucky. No other way around it. Fellow runners around us were all feeling the same, suffering together and encouraging each other to keep going. We finally hit another downhill towards the finish line and I just kind of ran along, listening to Cara while she led me towards it. I was done. Seriously done. Once we hit mile 13, we knew that we were good on pace, thankfully! Surprised the heck out of me! I finished in 2:14:29 (gun 2:15:04). I am so glad I had Cara by my side to pull me along. I needed that. I was supposed to run 4 extra miles after to get my 17 miles in, but I just let that go.
We caught up with Nichole and Brittany (we passed each other several times along the course) to see how they did. Nichole met her under 2:00 goal! She’s amazing to fight through that mess. Brittany rocked her race and ran very smart by keeping her heart rate in check. She did awesome!
The medal and tee are pretty fantastic. I love a race that offers women’s sizes in shirts and they do it right. It’s my second Race 13.1 medal and they are all similar just in different color schemes. After Raleigh in 2 weeks, I’ll earn the special x3 medal for completing 3 events this year. Packet pick-up was straightforward and well organized. Because this is a smaller race, there is not an expo. There were plenty of volunteers along the course cheering on runners. Much needed on a day like today. The Cross Creek Mall was the venue for the start/finish line and there was plenty of parking close by. No need for a bag drop, which is nice.
Where Race 13.1 Greensboro excelled, this one failed. The water stops at the beginning of the race seemed off. There was one at mile 1.5 and then not another one until mile 5.5-6. That was a stressful few miles. On the course map, there was supposed to be one at the turn around on mile 3, but there just wasn’t one there. The course itself was pretty dreadful. We ran on one side of a 4 lane highway. There was nothing to look at, no crowd support and it was a slight uphill climb for most of it, just enough to wear you down. Over the course of the half there is only a 58 ft gain, but I would have preferred something hillier to give our legs a break. Cara and I loved the two hilly parts at the beginning and rocked it up those.
If I wasn’t pacing this one, I may not have run it otherwise. I’m happy that Cara and I were able to pace this one together and that was enough of a reason for me to like this race. 🙂