My experimental half marathon

When I decided to start racing after baby I thought this would be my first race and be my goal race. Prior to the race I had 3 goals 1) Beat the 1:52 I ran 3 weeks ago 2) Beat the 1:48 from last year when I ran this race 2 days after finding out I was pregnant 3) sub 1:45. Well I only acomplished one of the goals and prior to starting decided to make the race an experiment since things were not looking favorable. For some reason the night was not a good night of sleep, baby was up to eat twice and I was in need of a few more hours of sleep when my alarm went off.

After the last half I knew I needed to work on my eating before and fueling during the race to avoid the energy crash again. I started by switich up breakfast and ate a massive bowl of cereal with soy milk, a banana, and coffee. I then laced up brand new shoes and had a debate with myself until I finally came to my senses and decided to stick with my old pair. I continued to experiment as I took a Hammer gel before the race and grabbed Gu Chomps for the course. I know, what was I thinking doing everything different. How was I going to tell what worked and what didn't?

The first issue came when I decided to get out of the long bathroom line and start the race with a full bladder instead. This only resulted in an early stop at mile 4 to remedy the issue. I once again started out too fast, but was feeling great as I held a 7:30 pace for the first 3 miles this turned into 8:00 pace and eventually 8:30 pace as the many hills came and went. At the halfway point I was still on pace to beat last years time, but by Mile 10 I was passed by the 1:50 pacer and I knew that goal was gone. The race only got worse at this point, I have been having GI issues off an on for the past 2 months and by Mile 11 my abdomen was a massive cramp. Luckily these were 2 of the easiest miles of the course I knew I was close, the 1:50 pace group was still in sight so I just kept pushing along and made it to the end.

I beat my previous time by finishing in 1:50:21, but am still in search of the answer to the fueling question. I don't think the massive bowl of cereal was the answer and I now have no idea if the Hamer gel or Chomps were good or bad. Oh well off to the next one on Sunday with better planning and hopefully a better night of sleep and a better finish. I also need to spend some time putting together a better playlist for my iPod, I spent musch of the race flipping past songs to find some motivation. On the positive side, my child loves being outside and watching the runners and even better grandma and grandpa don't mind spending the morning with her so mommy and daddy can race.


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