Well, what a way to end the year. A half marathon in the city I’ve moved to. Also, I purchased the Race 13.1 season pass. So, this is the first race in that race series. I don’t think I will hit my goal I had earlier this year to improve my overall race time. But I will be using it set my goals for next year (and beyond to Boston Qualified).
So, what gear makes me go. A mini-series of sorts, I suppose. We will start with my running belt. It is my first belt I bought and the main belt I use for my half marathons. The reason I am also starting with this item is because of the importance of hydration, even during training runs. Even though we are getting into fall weather and cooler temps, preparation is till important. I start this with understanding that the belt is not currently available through Nathan Sports. It looks like the latest belts have more reflective areas, which is good for safety. For me, the two bottles the belt holds meets my needs. The bottles are 8 oz. each. The pouch in the back can hold my gels, while I use the front smaller pouch as my gel trash can. Inside the big pouch is a mesh lining that can Velcro shut. So, I can leave my car key in there and not worry about losing it on the route when I grab for my gel. I seem to have issues getting it to fit right when I first start out. It takes about a mile for the belt to stop shaking around or I re-tighten the belt. Which is easy to do, the Velcro holds very well for me. After the belt settles in, it stays there. The only thing, I think, is missing are straps or someway to attach a bib to the belt. Maybe this is intended/designed to be a training belt or something to take trail running. So, I have bought a smaller belt for shorter races. Like a 5k where I usually don’t need water or gels. And maybe it is time for a new belt that is more intended for half marathon races? To sum it all up, Nathan Sports makes a great product. It fits what I need the running belt to do.
Well, three days after the race. As great as I felt after that race, I couldn’t finish my 4 mile training today. Guess I have a longer recovery time to get back to half marathons that I first thought. Haven’t been challenged like this in awhile in my running adventures, which is good. It kinda of shows I had become complacent in my training before. No real time improvements. No longer runs added. Just… maintaining. So, now it shows that I have steps to take and what the training pain felt like and what I can take during training sessions again. Some of it could have been a lack of water. The route was in the sun more than I thought. It was warmer that I thought. And, I’m still learning how my body responds to humidity. So challenges all around. Which makes the long term goal feel farther away. But, I hope to be a better runner overall because of this process.
First race in over a month. Felt good. Didn’t prepare my race gear the night before, like I usually do. Woke up a bit late so didn’t eat my whole bagel. But I grabbed my needed gear and got to the starting line with time to spare. A slower pace than I was hoping for, but I finished and got my medal. And it was my first run in the new city. Some of the route was familiar. Some of the route was new to me. Wasn’t trapped by packs of runners. Actually spacing was really good. Didn’t feel trapped. Need to start carrying my ID more often, missed another beer tent. And the food truck rally. Guess I will have to try this run again next year!
So, I’ve recently moved. And hurt myself shortly after. It’s been almost one month since my last run. I did register for Bull City Race Fest. It will my third run this week. I am bummed that I can’t run the half marathon. But I’m happy to be racing with others. So I have no real pressure to finish with a stellar time. But I should still finish. I’ll keep working on running in packs of people and use it more as another training run. Also, at the expo, I did get a new race idea and a discount for the first run of a challenge medal. So, a goal for this weekend, broadstroke a 2017 race calendar.
So, a bit about me. The past five years I’ve lived in North Idaho, near Spokane. Every May, the Bloomsday run is scheduled. To help my health I committed a few months leading up to the event but then back-slid over the summer. Once I felt comfortable with the distance in Bloomsday, I questioned how hard would a half marathon be. Turns out, it is a challenge, but I can finish 13.1 miles. Now, I am working towards lowering my time. Also, to run some of the bigger events, like Boston Marathon, you need to qualify by completing in a set time. It’s referred to as BQ. For my age, it is listed at 3 hours 10 minutes. That’s fast! Faster than I currently run, so here is my journey to at least qualify for the Boston Marathon. Also, fun medals, meeting other runners, and traveling the USA will also happen on this journey.