Wow, I have been racing a lot during the last week...3 races in 8 days. Race number 3 was the MDRA 7 Miler. I am really enjoying the MDRA races. This is the first year that I've run them. They are a great test of your current fitness
Early Saturday morning, the lightening and thunder woke me up. I grabbed my phone to check the radar, hoping, the weather would blow past before the race started. It looked promising that the rain would stop before I left for the race. I was relieved because it was going to be about 30 degrees so with some rain that would be chilly.
It wasn’t raining when I left for the race. Unfortunately, it started to rain as I was driving there. Luckily, there was a gym to use for prerace preparations. I got registered and headed out for a windy, rainy, cold warm-up run. I don’t think I warmed up much on my run.
We headed out of the gym at about 5 min to 9am. It was a chip-timed event, which was nice for the small event. The roads were open to traffic so you had to watch for cars. The race was 7 miles and it was a hilly course. This was my first time running it but I heard people talking about the hills.
I was hoping to run around 7:00-7:10 for my mile splits. I love having my Garmin set to give me half-mile splits. I think it helps me stay on pace sometimes.
Every time the Garmin beeped I looked down and was running 3:25-3:35 half miles. I was okay with that. I felt it was a decent pace for my current fitness level. Then at mile 2.5 the watch beeped and I looked at it…3:52. “What??? Pick up the pace Cuz. You are racing.” There were a few longer hills but nothing to slow me down almost 20 sec in a half mile. I did start to wonder if 3:25-3:35 was too fast for me for the course but I went back to that pace after my slow half mile.
I knew that I was in about 6th place at that point in the race. I wanted to stay there but I had a feeling there were some women close behind. I couldn’t hear them. The half miles were ticking by and I was starting to feel the effort then around mile 4.5 there was a hill…it was a hill that just wouldn’t end. I felt like I was walking, a few men ran past me. When I finally reached the top, I was exhausted. My Garmin beeped so I looked at it…4:17. What? NO…I slowed down almost 45 sec in that half mile. Not good. I started to worry my legs were done for in the race. I knew there were some hill coming up and that there must be a few women on my heels.
Could I pick the pace back up? I didn’t know but I had to try. Luckily, my legs responded and the next half-mile split was back at 3:28. Good, now only 1.5 miles to go. I could hear the breathing behind me but I managed to hold them off all the way to the finish line.
I finished in 50:45. I was hoping to be closer to 49 min.
I realized that I need to work on my hill climbing. I decided to start doing hill repeats 1 time per week. Yesterday was my first day of hill repeats. It was hard but I did it.
Workout: 2 mile warm-up; 6 x 400 m hill repeats into the wind; 3 mile cool-down
I am looking forward to running the hill again next week.