First, let me show you a picture of my recovery dinner. (I had a pretty boring postrace brunch, simply because I was queasy from the run.)
That’s supposed to be a salad, guys. It was probably 25% lettuce and tomato, 25% buffalo chicken and egg, and 50% bacon crumbles and shredded cheese. There was too much bacon and cheese, and I don’t think I’ve ever put the words “too much” before “bacon” or “cheese” before.
On Sunday, I ran a new-to-me Lehigh Valley half, the Via Half Marathon. I’d never run this race (or the marathon that happens with it) before because race day tends to be humid and warm, and the course is almost entirely on a rail trail (zzz). But I figured I’d need some kind of goal to get me running again after my Spring of Laziness, so I signed up back in March.
I was hoping I’d be able to go sub-1:40. I finished in 1:39:40. Score! And I did it all without a watch. (Well, technically, I was wearing a watch—for the time, I didn’t want to miss the start—but I didn’t use the stopwatch function or look at it pretty much at all.)
Some thoughts on this race:
On the start. Is 15-20 porta-potties for 1,000 runners enough? I don’t think so. I arrived, waited for 10 minutes, and pottied. When I was done, I saw how long the line had become and immediately got back in it for a second visit. After that, I had just enough time to warm up. Luckily, I had used my new fueling plan the day before the race—that is, not gorging on dairy and/or gluten—so I didn’t desperately need to go.
Also, the starting “gun” was a blast from a firetruck’s horn that must have woken up everyone in a one-mile radius. Sorry, Bethlehem residents.
On not wearing a watch. It sure feels nice to just run what seems to be an appropriate pace without looking at your wrist every few minutes. To think of the mental energy I’ve wasted, especially in marathons, angsting over every “too-fast” or “too-slow” mile.
On the course. Now that I’ve experienced the half course (which is the second half of the full marathon) I can promise that I’ll never run this full. There’s an obnoxious hill right at mile 6.9/20 that leads onto an obnoxious fire road with potholes and occasional rocks that are just big enough for you to turn an ankle on. That’s where I developed a side stitch, possibly due to worrying about wiping out. (It went away with some fancy breathing.)
And in the final mile, you can see and hear the finish line…across the river. First, you must conquer an out-and-back stretch, plus a couple more hills. (I’m down with hills, but considering these are two of the just three on the half course, ouch. Poorly placed.) I considered swimming to the finish line just to avoid this B.S.
On my finishing time. I’m counting this race as a win. I’ve gone sub-1:40 twice before, but both times, I had done a half-marathon-specific buildup. My training right now is geared more towards marathons…and 5Ks, I guess, because my intervals are at roughly 5K pace. (Yes, I know that these kinds of workouts aren’t super helpful for marathoners, but they’re fun, so shut up.)