Illinois Valley Striders Half Marathon: 2014 (Marathon preparation)

I admit that going into this, I had “football on the brain” and all of my plans to do more miles were brushed aside; icing my foot was more important.
I did warm up with a 29 minute 2 mile on the track and I did wear old shoes and my new sorbothane heel pads (LOVE ’em). My only pain was on some of the downhills; I had to switch to a quicker cadence going down hills. Uphills and flats were fine.

Temperature: 50’s. Past years: 2011 (walk), 2012 (hard walk), 2013 (failed running attempt)

My main goal: get miles, and practice my “marathon effort pace”. How did I do? This was a two loop course: 1:18:26 for loop 1, 1:16:33 for loop 2, 2:34:59 (my watch). I admit that I picked it up at about mile 8.
Though I would not have been able to sustain that second loop pace for a full marathon, 2:40 seems sustainable on an easier course. I just have to be patient on race day.

Comments: this course is a mix of paved roads, gravel/crumbly pavement roads, and just plain gravel. It is very hilly; some of the climbs are gut wrenching. It is a club race and attracts mostly experienced people.
When we started, just about everyone pulled away from me; I wasn’t actually dead last, but it sort of felt that way. But I knew that many would be coming back to me when we got to those hills so I didn’t panic; I just worked on my marathon walking pace.

Sure enough, I caught some folks and during the second half, I did have one pit stop (too much pre-race coffee). I did work to catch various people and I didn’t get passed. I did push a bit on that “3 miles of gravel” stretch and again going up the big hill.

Knees: way soft; one can’t really race walk legally on this stuff and on these steep hills. This was a sort-of-hard powerwalk, period.

Afterward, I got my medal from a friend who did the first loop as part of a relay; she is on her way back. Yes, half marathon finisher’s medals are lame but I took it anyway. 😉

Place: 108/129, though some who finished behind me were relay teams.

1:11:51 (mile 6)
2:34:59 (finish)


September 7, 2014 - Posted by | walking |


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