Monday, February 22, 2016

Davis Stampede ½ Marathon: Veni, Vidi...NO Vici

Me and Brian "The Beast" Goldman
My first ½ Marathon race of the season is in the book. This is the second time I’ve done the Davis Stampede and my hope to redeem myself from a “not so great” result back in 2014. I tapered the last week by doing easy run / cycling and rested for two full days. From training to pacing to nutrition, I think I did what I could in preparation for this race…the last thing to do is the execution. I was really stoked when I got to the race and the fact that this was also my first time running with Team SLS3 and sporting my new Opedix Dual-Tec™ 2.0 3/4 Length Tights gave me that boost and adrenalin. Maybe it was the caffeine I had at 5 am or maybe the excitement of all runners in the air, but I was pretty hyped. It was such a beautiful day to begin with and a cool temperature of 40o F… ideal race temperature.

Speaking of training, I did a 7-week training program using the Smart Coach from Runner’s World. Unfortunately, I was not able to follow the whole program as intended due to the injury that I sustained at week 4 of my training and I have to alter some of my running days with cycling instead. I alternated the running and cycling just to give my injured right heel enough time to heal but I still stick in running my long miles on the weekend. It helped me a lot and my right heel was feeling better when I toed the line yesterday. The only thing that I was not able to accomplish before the race was my weight, I was not able to lose the 7 lbs that I intend to shed. Not sure what happened on that part since I didn’t indulge myself on foods (no Brocks Ice Cream this time) that I know wouldn’t help me. I came in weighing at 167 lbs and I know that those extra weight will somehow find its way to hurt me during the race…it sure did!

So how the race unfolded? My whole plan was to stick with the 1:40 group and ran the last 3 miles with whatever I have left in my quest to PR with a time of 1:38 (7:28/ mi). So off we went at 8:00 am and I was with my group for the first two miles. I’m not bashing the pacers but I’ve ran with them before with almost all of my ½ Marathons and Full Marathons and one thing I noticed was that they tend to bank on time…meaning the pacers will hit the first half on a faster pace and tend to settle down in the second half (or vice versa), eventually dropping the runners. I felt that the pace was a bit slow so I decided to bolt off and went ahead of my group. Since I’ve done this race before (this course also overlap with the Davis Moonlight ½ Marathon), so I’m a bit familiar with the turns and loops along the course. I was doing well and then I entered the first gravel section, I spent so much of my energy just to get a good traction and maintain my pace. I survived that section miraculously and since my head was getting hay wire, I totally forgot that there’s still another gravel section that I need to cross. This is where I accidentally hit an uneven ground and totally messed up my right heel and there’s nothing I could do but to slow down. The 1:40 group caught up with me after that section along mile 8 and I tried to keep up with their pace but I just couldn’t. The pain in my right heel was getting worse, and they were running faster than they should, making up the time they lost on the first half. I knew right then that my goal has slipped so I just I switched to survival mode and just maintain a decent pace. Most of the people I passed on the first half slowly caught up with me on mile 10 and that feeling really suck. There’s so many things going in my mind that time and it’s really hard to say or control that things will go the way I planned it, it only took one mishap and it destroyed what I trained for. But that’s just the reality of this event, I cannot guarantee that things will go my way at a 100%. So live and learn.

After the 1:40 group passed me, the only thing I have in mind was to finish it in 1:45 (8:00/ mi) and just endure the pain. I crossed the line at 1:45:29 (8:03/ mi) and here’s the breakdown per mile. I was 7 min and 29 seconds behind my goal (1:38) which equates to 1 mile of being slow. My time might not be that great but it’s respectable (I would say) and comparing this with my previous run back in 2014, I still beat it by 4 min and 24 sec. So I guess it’s not a total loss after all. 

Thanks for reading and I hope that those weekly training logs were helpful to you. I surely did enjoy this moment. My next ½ Marathon race will be the Davis Lucky Run on March 19. I'll try to keep you updated so stay tune for more. As always, have fun but be safe. 

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