hey hey friends! This isn’t going to be much of a race report as I didn’t really race Grete’s Great Gallop (a half marathon if you’re not from NYC!). I wasn’t sure what do make of the race, as I wasn’t tapered to race it fully so I checked with Martina what she had planned for race day. She said she’d be doing 12 miles at Marathon Goal Pace (about 7:35 for her, I think I am closer to 7:45 but how do we know MGP until Race Day, huh???) and a total of 20. That seemed like a good plan to me, and at least I’d have company!
My A goal for this race was to test out another fueling strategy. Goal B was to have a good workout. Goal C would be to have a good time…
Thinking back, two loops of Central Park at MGP doesn’t seem like a good plan. It hurt. I was almost hoping I was doing the Tune Up, as that’s an easier pace to hold in the park for THAT LONG. But anyway, goals A, B, and C achieved and more! Let me tell you.
I started doing some major research on fueling on Wednesday. I spent 4 hours on this guys! I hadn’t had a good race where my stomach held out. Basically, I either run out of energy because I am avoiding putting stuff on my stomach, OR, I get stomach cramps for about 5 to 10 minutes anytime I put a gel or Gatorade on it. I can handle water, but not a lot. It’s a catch 22 really.
According to my gastroenterologist, I can’t handle anything with sweeteners on it (Acesulfame Potassium is everywhere guys!) ever, and gliadin (in gluten!) while I am running (which is also everywhere!). So, from that I moved onto finding out that I don’t do well with the maltodextrin/fructose combo (aka: most gels…). Anyway, if you want to read more, this is a good start about fueling with fats, but I made a list of things I should try and my plan for Sunday was:
- Pre Race: 2 cups of white rice, with coconut oil, and salt. Water.
- Race: 1 gel and LOTs of water
Gels I wanted to try out:
- Pocket Fuel
- Glukos Energy
in that order. The gel situation is complicated though, because there’s a lot of things about my stomach I still don’t understand so I have to avoid LOTS of things that might not even be a problem (like honey for example).
So, Sunday morning, I had the rice, but only 1 cup because 2 seemed like too much and I wasn’t hungry and apparently I am into boycotting my own plans… I was so not stressed out that I forgot to put my bib on and run out. Had to come back. Then, I run the 2 miles to the start. Yey, 2 miles in already.
I was supposed to meet Martina in the B corral and she wasn’t there… even though I was the first person in the corral! I waited and then the start… UGH. I figured she’d be catching up (or coming with the 1:40 pacer, 7:37 pace) soon so I took it as easy as I could in the first mile and kept my eye out for her. About a mile in, she caught up! Phew. I was running at 8:00 and already felt uncomfortable. Why is marathon pace SO uncomfortable??? It’s not SUPER EASY pace, but it’s not ALL OUT either… Plus, mentally, it’s a lot of work to balance in that middle ground. UGH. These workouts are HARD! Oh, add the Central Park course to the mix… by the time she got to me I was already sick of it!
Mile 1: 7:51 But I had Martina!!!!! Friends are always the super powers you need in a race. Aren’t they?
So we started trying to pace ourselves around 7:40. Which wasn’t so easy. But we kept ourselves entertained. Plus, I saw Juan about 1.5 in yelling!
Photo Credit: my husband, the tallest man on earth
We kept trucking and right before Engineers Gate I see Carolina cheering and taking more pictures. How could we get bored??? Mile 2: 7:50
Photo Credit: Carolina Pena. The guy in red is just amazing.
Right after, the 1:40 pacing group catches up with us, and Stephen tells us we’re chatting up too much! Ha. We let them go! Mile 3: 7:33
There’s to letting pacers go… Up Harlem Hill at Mile 4: 7:48 So crazy to have to do this twice in a race! Somehow our pace wasn’t as awful as it felt. Mile 5: 7:49
Right around here we had built a little pace group of our own, with this guy Tony, in orange below, the girl in the blue shirt next to him, and this guy Jeff, who’s right behind us in this picture, from GNY. So much fun to run in a group!
hey hey look at me! By then Carolina and Juan had joined forces cheering!
The Lower Loop of the park always gets to me, there’s so many turns… I don’t know but I don’t like it there (basically mile 1 and 7). Mile 6: 7:33 But we were doing fine. We were getting tired, but you know, pace was fine.
Mile 7: 7:35 I had told Martina, we could take the first loop easy and reassess after the second Harlem Hill, so I was saving a bit for the end as usual. Then we go up Cat Hill, which was ROUGH for me Mile 8: 7:51 as you can see in the pace! But the next one is the easiest stretch so we take it easy there! Mile 9: 7:33 Martina wasn’t feeling well so she said she was going to slow down up Harlem Hill, the Sequel. We did. I was obviously happy to take it easy up the hill. Though, as in any hill, everyone would take off and I’d be left breathing like a crazy person ways back!!! Mile 10: 8:11 Then, I started to feel my legs getting super stiff. I knew I needed the %^$@#@$ fuel. What to do, what to do?? I am just so scared these days, I rather fall apart slowly because I have no energy, than cramp up and have the pain for a mile.
But the point of this “training run” was to test out my fueling!!!! So I manned up, had the Huma, STOPPED for water for about 10 seconds or whatever, and dealt with it. I figured, if it didn’t help, it’s not like I cared much about my finish time. And what was I waiting for to try it? It’s not like I can try it in a long run at 9: 30 pace!!!! Mile 11: 8:00
I actually felt better instantly…. I had to rush to catch back up to Martina, she was like 30 seconds ahead (because I stopped for the water!). I pushed and pushed and got there. And when I got there… I sort of kept going… Oooops. I felt bad. But my legs wanted to move!!
Mile 12: 7:25 and Mile 13: 7:35
Right before the finish. Photo Credit: Steve Mura
Point 1: 7:16 pace
I was done! average pace was 7:44. I wish it could have been a bit more even but between the hills and the stomach things, I had a hard time focusing this time around. I waited for Martina and the rest of the little 2nd loop group by the finish and we caught with a few team mates at the finish too.
Young (in the middle) had a 1:34 PR. We met DURING this race a few years ago (so Sat was probably our runniversary!), and we run it together. We also run the second half of the NYC Half this year together.
Finish time: 1:41:12. Average Pace: 7:44
Previous PR: 1:36:03. From: March, 2016
Age Grading: 67:12%
Overall Place: 464 of 4177
Gender Place: 69 of 2015
Age Place: 5 of 258
– NYRR Grete’s Great Gallop (13.1) race results
Training run, done. New fueling protocol tested with positive results. Mission Accomplished.
Now another 20 miler (while you all race Staten Island), then a taper, and then another Half! Can’t wait!!!!
Check out this picture from a few years ago at the same race!!