Beachside Half Marathon

It’s a new year and a new season of running.  Yesterday we took to the streets of Vero Beach for the Beachside half marathon.  Would a cool and crisp 50-degree temp lead to a great start to the new year? Maybe a personal record (PR)?  Instead the day started out on the wrong foot, or should I say legs! I started out too fast and had trouble from the beginning.  Legs were stiff and sore, and I wasn’t feeling well.  I kept my consistent interval at 2 mins (run) 1 min (walk), but my pace for a 1/2 marathon started way too fast.   I slowed down around mile 9 and 10, and ended up walking the last 1.25 miles as my legs, foot and hip were troublesome.

I had two great runs the beginning of the week with two great paces, but the distance was much shorter, a 10K and a 5K.  I just didn’t seem prepared for a half marathon this morning Before the race I ate a boiled egg, and banana along with some hot cocoa.  I didn’t sleep well last night so I was a bit tired.  I did use an energy gel at mile 6.5 to give me a boast.  I did feel a burst of energy, but it wasn’t enough.   The GU (marshmallow/s’more) was ok, but it left a bad taste in my mouth, and I washed it down with water.  This was my first experience with GU, I guess I need to get used to it, and I didn’t push it as I do have some sensitivities to foods, but seemed ok.  I did stop for a bathroom break at mile 6 and that took off about 3-5 mins and my middle of the pack run was no longer.

I talk a lot about mindset and preparation and today both were shot.  Will you have days like this?  Of course, we all do.  So, what do we do about it when it affects performance?  Not all runs are created equal and not all days are either.  We must embrace the days we feel good and do our best, and the days we don’t feel good, just accept it’s not a good day.   Most times our bodies are telling us something and this affects our performance.  Today my body told me I didn’t get enough sleep and I didn’t hydrate enough the past two days.  The body knows everything about you and how you will perform, an
d you must listen.  I did not listen. Enough of my woos of this run.  I will count it as a lesson learned in preparation.

I’d like to talk about the event.    The event and course was fun.    It was a small field of about a little over 100 runners ran today.  Today the Beachside was in competition with more than 50,000 runners, running the 25th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend.  The group of runners and volunteers were all friendly.  I was prepared for the two bridges and the climb of about 240 feet in elevation change, which was a piece of cake.  The scenic route took us along the water both the intercostal and ocean side.  The small jaunt through a peaceful neighborhood made it a quiet 3-4 miles as no runners were in sight. I felt lost and behind, but I knew there were a few people a couple miles behind
me.  The course then rounded the park headed back to the finish line.   Indeed, a lovely course, nice medal, and towel.   All in all, I did finish even feeling exhausted and unprepared.  I will do better and be more mindful of a slower pace to start and use more gels.  I am beginning to see how important nutrion, hydration, and sleep effects performance.  I can run on a good mindset but if I’m not fueled properly I will run into a road block.  The Beachside half marathon is in the books as the first race of the season.  Looking forward to an improved 2018!