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Trenton Half Marathon - Run

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Trenton, New Jersey
United States
50F / 10C
Total Time = 2h 17m 52s
Overall Rank = 450/808
Age Group = F35-39
Age Group Rank = 36/71
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 6. Ate a Clif bar and a banana, drank half an organic sports drink. Drove over to the race at 7.
Event warmup:

Long walk from the car to the stadium (about 15 minutes). Visited the port-a-potties, then ran two laps around the little holding pond for a warm-up. I think I had just broken a sweat when I stopped running, which was the goal. Visited the port-a-potties again, stretched a tiny bit, and then they asked runners to move into the corrals. I wish I'd gotten a bit more stretching in, but the rest was right on target.
  • 2h 17m 52s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 31s  min/mile

I haven't been able to stick to any sort of training schedule since IMAC, so I went into this feeling undertrained. Like at the Love Run, I started the race trying to hold back and keep an easy pace. The first two miles were rough - I felt ok, but I was constantly checking my pace and the distance. It felt like everything was taking forever. Once we got into Mill Hill, around mile 4, I relaxed into it. I wasn't put out too much by the hills and I enjoyed running through the neighborhood, with lots of residents standing on their doorsteps and cheering. I had to take a quick pee break at about 40 minutes on the way out of Mill Hill, but I was able to catch back up to the people who had been running around me within minutes. I think my pace increased as I crossed the bridge and ran through Morrisville as I relaxed into it. When I got back into NJ and turned up 29, things got a little rough. I was running out of water and one of the water stations I anticipated never materialized. I started getting the dehydration chills around mile 7. I never felt like I was struggling to maintain my pace, but I started feeling like I just wanted to stop along that stretch, but I kept at it knowing that the big hill up Parkside was coming up and I didn't want to slow before that. I managed the hill fairly well, turned into the park, and got a full refill of my water bottle at the aid station near the entrance. I think I drained 1/3 of it before leaving the park, which helped even though I was having difficulty staying in it. I was pretty determined to PR, though, and I knew that at the pace I'd been running with the stops I'd made, it was going to be a near thing, so walking would basically mean throwing in the towel. I was also passing quite a few people - the runners were pretty scattered, but I was constantly gaining on someone or other out in front of me - so that helped me keep my head in the game. All was well when I got out of the park and down the hill - I ran by a guy who was playing good music, which helped me through. Turning onto 29 with 5K left, I knew I could handle it as long as my legs stayed loose. I kept going, picking people off one by one, until there was another split in the course and the half-marathon was sent off the highway and around local roads. I almost lost it at this point because I didn't remember this part of the course and didn't know what to expect. My pace slowed quite a bit. Fortunately, the route got back to the highway quickly and then I was able to focus on just getting home. I almost started walking with about a mile to go, but my goal time was slipping away and I knew I couldn't afford it - and also that it was ridiculous to be walking at such a late point in the race. The last half mile was tough, but I gained a bit of speed once we entered the finishing chute around the outside of the stadium. Jeff was there to meet me as soon as I turned into the outfield and I was able to continue running strong through the finish (though there was no burst of speed at the end - I had tightened up too much in the last two miles to do it).
5K: 32:01
10K: 1:04:43
What would you do differently?:

I did a really good job considering my preparation. Physically, I felt like I was in good cardio shape (though my average HR was over 10 bpm higher than at the Love Run, with nearly the same time). My legs just tightened up during the last few miles, which I think was related to undertraining. Mentally, I ran a super tough race, because I first wanted to start walking during the first few miles. Instead, I was able to run the whole race, even up all of the hills (where plenty of other people were walking), pushing through the hard parts by sheer force of will. That is something I'm quite proud of.
Post race
Warm down:

I met Jeff right after the finish line and walked around the field with him, then, when we were ready to move on, went up to get food and walked around the stadium while eating it. We didn't stick around for too long, but got our things from the gear check and walked back to the car. I felt like I shouldn't stop moving, so staying on my feet walking around for half an hour or so after the race was really helpful. Later, I took an epsom salt bath, wore my recovery socks, and did some foam rolling.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Undertraining. In the past six weeks, I haven't run more than twice a week. I did manage to get all the long runs in, but more activity than that would have been optimal.

Event comments:

This is a really nice race. The course is scenic and interesting, the hills were challenging but not too taxing, and it was well-organized and supported.

Last updated: 2017-03-26 12:00 AM
02:17:52 | 13.1 miles | 10m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 36/71
Overall: 450/808
Performance: Good
Course: Started on Route 29, up to Calhoun Street, then onto the streets of Trenton starting along State St and winding through Mill Hill before crossing over the Trenton Makes bridge into Morrisville. Along the river in Morrisville then back over the Calhoun St bridge and north on 29. Exited at Parkside Ave, went up into Cadwallader Park, around, and back down 29 (with one small detour) to the stadium.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2017-12-03 11:42 AM

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Subject: Trenton Half Marathon
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