Sunday, September 20, 2015

Saratoga Palio Race recap

Today I ran my NINTH half marathon. That's right. Number NINE.

This race is a race I have wanted to run for the past few years. However, I always had some sort of conflict so I never had the chance to do it. This year, my plan was to run the Palio, and then turn around in another month, and run the Hudson Mohawk. I have never run 2 half marathons that close together - so I thought it would be a new challenge.

I literally registered for the race last week when I realized that the Palio dates would work. We had no soccer games. Brian wasn't camping with the boys. There was nothing going on. I could do it. And, I am so glad I did.

First of all, the race is in Saratoga - which is a fantastic place to run. So pretty. So quaint. So lovely.
Second of all, the weather gods were looking down on us. The high was 65 today. There was no humidity. The sun was out in spurts. It wasn't cold. It wasn't hot. It was perfect running weather.

Thirdly, I had a lot of friends running the race.

Post race. Melissa, me, Elisa, Rachel, Tammy, and Danielle

The race started at 7:45. (In my opinion, that is a perfect time to start a race.) Even though I had a lot of friends running the race, I decided to just do my own thing. Several of my friends were running 20 milers today, so they had to take it easy. I decided I was going to try my best and really put in a good effort. So when the race started, I hung back for about half a mile, and then I trotted off on my own and tried not to look at my watch. I was trying to run by how I felt and just let my body tell me what to do.

The race took us up Broadway for 2 miles. Then we turned into the park and we were on a nice path for a few miles. It was nice and shady and somewhat downhill. We continued on, and I decided to NOT stop to walk like I normally do. I wanted to wait a few miles, so I decided I would stop at mile 4 and do my run/walk method then.

The race continued through the park and then we ran through SPAC and out the other entrance onto Route 50. Then we went in the other entrance to Saratoga State Park. We ran for a few more miles in that part of the park. I picked up the pace and was feeling really good. At mile 6 I allowed myself to put on my Ipod and that helped me pick up the pace. (I didn't want to wear my Ipod the entire race. So I told myself at mile 6, I would use it as a pick me up and put it on).

When I hit mile 9-10, I felt myself starting to struggle. My legs felt tight and I was getting that feeling of wanting to walk way more than at every mile. Somehow, I pushed on and overcame the hump. I hit mile 11 and we left the park and then had to run through a neighborhood. Soon enough I was at mile 12 and I started to kick it in a bit. Before I knew it, we hit Congress Park and I stayed strong and kicked it in at the end and finished just under 2:06.

My goal was to finish in 2:05.
My final time was 2:05:55. Not bad. I will take it.
Especially considering I had done NO speed work training. And believe me, I know this is not overly speedy. But - my last few half marathons were in the 2:10 or 2:11 range. So I am thrilled that I kicked up my game a bit and pushed myself for a better time.

After the race, I was happy to see some awesome food including fruit, bagels, pizza and some awesome cookies. And yes - I ate it all up. Because after I run 13 miles, I eat all the things!

The race was fantastic. It was well organized and it had a great course. I will definitely be doing this half again.

Now, I turn my attention to October where I will run Half Marathon NUMBER TEN! Can't wait!

Finish time:
Overall Place - 663 out of 1,149 finishers
Gender Place - 339 out of I don't know how many females. I wish I could find this out!
Overall pace - 9:37 per mile

Mile Splits:
8:43 -
10:12  - I was struggling here
10:07 - still struggling
9:42 - getting my mojo back
9:43 - Mojo still back
8:32 - last bit - finishing strong

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