Friday, March 14, 2014

State Run

Last weekend Jennifer and I traveled up to Columbia, SC, our state capital for the Run Hard Columbia Marathon Weekend. I was looking to run the half marathon at my planned marathon pace (PMP or MP) on this hilly course in preparation for April 21. Although Boston is net downhill, it does roll and the uphills of Newton are legendary not so much for the steepness as for where they appear on the course.

The day started a bit on a bad foot as a careless driver ignored the pedestrian crossing sign and pulled in front of a group of us crossing the road, so close I didn't have to reach far to slap the rear panel as it went by and give him a greeting I will not repeat here. The driver kept going but then stopped, not sure if he was mad at me or thought he may have struck someone. Ugh, HR and BP up, not a good way to start a race.

Once underway I was able to run at MP without starting too fast despite some early downhills. There seemed to be few flat stretches, which was fine with me as I wanted the training stimuli. I tried to keep better posture which I have been working on since last year's Boston. Although it was around 35o at the start, I warmed up quickly and wished I had just worn a short sleeve shirt.

I have run under 2 hours for a couple of flat half marathons, but I was making sure I ran at MP on this rolling course. There were some challenging uphills and my right hip flexor started bugging me after about mile 11, but I was able to maintain pace and picked it up at the end, passing a few struggling folks.


Afterward I noticed a slight problem I should have been taking better care of was raising its voice. My left calf was sore, a typical running injury where the Achilles tendon attaches to the calf muscle. I took an extra day off after the race and started an aggressive regime if stretching and icing. I also am working on the right hip flexor and both are responding splendidly to the efforts. I am running the miles I need but dropped any faster speedwork scheduled for the weekdays.

I may be dumb for not getting after the injuries sooner but trying to push through them while maintaining a strict training plan would be dumber. They already made a movie about that so I don't care to star in the next installment. I will be doing some MP miles but not too many, there is a fine line sometimes of overdoing it even when being careful as the human body is not a mechanical things where parts are easily fixed or swapped out.

This is the only race I have done while training for Boston so the next race will be starting in Hopkinton. And I have a tiny tidbit of news coming up about that...

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