Dutchess County Classic Half

Well ever the glutton for punishment I ran a half marathon today. Pretty close on the heels of racing the 8K distance last weekend. I was hemming and hawing about it all week. After a decent recovery run monday I was still feeling tight and sore from the 8K race. I gave it a light week of tapering and a mid week bike ride before I decided. Actually, I didn’t decide until I was standing in the high school hallway. 5K tables on one side and half marathon registration tables on the other. I didn’t even pause. Guess my mind was made up. I wasn’t sure a fast 5K was in my best interest on my sore legs, but somehow figured 13.1 miles was better. Yeah, batshit crazy. I know. My TM buddy was already registered and had spent the night (sleepless, I’m sure). We headed out into the mist cold morning, both a bit nervous. Aside from Mudder I’m not really used to racing with a large group. I’d roughly guess 2,000 but might be off. They started the 5K and half together making the first mile a bottle neck nightmare spent looking for gaps and trying not to get your feet tangled in anyone else’s. The two groups split off about a mile into the race and from there it was comfortable racing. Well, at least in terms of space. I told myself respect the distance…don’t go out too fast I held to that pretty well for almost 6 miles. The course was lovely and shaded winding thru farm country and some residential areas. I couldn’t contain myself by the midway mark and kicked on hoping I could run a PR. Think I should have taken into account the previous weekend’s fun, but of course, while out there I did not. The next couple miles felt good. I was really content and running comfortably with a decent group. I didn’t really find anyone to hang onto. But there was a big guy out in front of me that I let pull me up some hills. It is really a psychological game. If you can latch onto someone and match their output, or even pass it. Really helps on the long grinds up hill. Mile 9 brought that type of scenario. Big guy in neon yellow pushed on ahead and I let him take me. I passed him and never looked back. It carried me through mile 11. Then the going got rough. real rough. I pushed hard. Fought harder. As I closed in on the finish about 1/2 mile away I found the very bottom. nada. zip. My legs were done. I had all the fitness, and my lungs were fine. But my legs were done. It was a pretty awful feeling. I forced myself to finish it up, it wasn’t pretty and it sure wasn’t strong. I have to wonder how much of that has to do with the race last weekend, or if I am not carrying as much strength as I did into the last 1/2. I know that sounds strange. That I am fitter but not stronger. I just mean I am not doing a lot of gym work. Lots of running and cycling. Might need to incorporate some lifting. Or I’m just over thinking it. My legs are cooked from too much in too short a time. I’m asking them to do something I haven’t done. Think it is time to regroup and give it some recovery time this week. I’ll see how many days I can go. yeah, head like concrete. I do think the cycling has made me a better runner. Even though today felt hellish in the end I shaved almost 5 minutes off my time. That is huge for me. I’m happy. Glad I decided to run the race and thrilled for my friend that completed her goal and finished, Happy 30th birthday assless wonder!

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