I'm admittedly a bit behind this week - my work snowballed last week while I was out, and so I've been playing catch-up with real life. Which relegates the blog to a lower priority. Which is fine, since the race reports are probably more interesting than the weekly reports anyway.
Last week was a taper week. I was actually really really happy with how my legs felt on Saturday, so making note of that for the future. This time, for my pre-race massage, we tried something different. We didn't touch the legs at all, but instead focused on my shoulders, back, and hip flexors - all of which tend to get tight and interfere with my ease of motion when running. I think this worked really well - I felt relaxed and loose at the start, AND my legs felt snappy. So we'll be repeating that in the future.
The Garry Bjorklund Half was my goal race, and I was estatic about every aspect of my race except the time. Which seems like an odd thing to say, since running is about time. But I showed up at the race well rested and in good fitness, and I ran the best race I had in me, given the challenging conditions. There's satisfaction in that.
I was also pretty happy with my placement - the race paid very good money for Masters ($1000/$500/$250 to the top three), and so brought out some strong competition. I finished sixth overall masters and fourth in my age group, and was the top masters female that wasn't also an elite with a fancy two digit bib. #proudtorepresentthefivedigitbibcrew.
The time was a bummer, since this was my goal race, and I don't have a fast time to show for it. But....such is running. And every time I start feeling a bit sorry for myself, I think of the guy that we saw having a seizure in the finishers' area - presumably due to the conditions. It really puts things in perspective. I ran the best I could, I left it all out there, and I finished safely and in good health, as did my friends. And it was a great weekend overall - hanging out with my teammates post-race was really fun.
I don't think I mentioned this in my race report, so I wanted to be sure to note it here - the race management was phenomenal. Race conditions like this could have been a disaster, as they have been at other races. But Grandma's was well prepared. There were sprinklers spraying onto the course throughout, cold sponges being handed out all over the place, and tons of excellent volunteers at the water stops (which were every mile for the last half of my race). The finish area was very well staffed with medical personnel and a slew of wheelchairs at the ready.
I can't wait to do this race again next year.
The next few weeks are going to be pretty light for me. I was REALLY beaten up after the race - the heat and humidity took its toll. I'm four months out from the Chicago Marathon, and my coach's standard 14 week training plan, plus two inserted weeks for tune-up races, means that I "should" have started training for it this week.... But I think the best thing I can do right now is take some solid downtime and recover. I'm fit, and a few weeks off won't take away from that, and will also pay off later in the fall.
I've been hitting the gluten-free Oreos pretty hard the last few days (earning me a side-eye from Brian....), and have limited my exercise to some conversational pool-running and gentle yoga. I'll stick with that plan through Friday, and then start up again with some easy running for another week or so, before upping the intensity and cutting the cookies.