I’m a few days out from PRing at the Aramco Half Marathon in Houston and honestly, still flying pretty high. A well executed race, chilly weather and a solid training block led me to a 5 minute personal best of 1:33:10 on Sunday. But I’m not done yet. I know there’s more to come and I’m just scratching the surface of my potential. So, while things are still fresh, I’m taking the time to reflect on everything that went well!
While I was definitely nervous going into this race, my confidence was stronger than it has been before most races. I credit this almost entirely to declaring my goals. In the weeks leading up to the race, I’d gotten so comfortable actually SAYING 1:35 (and 7:15 pace) that by the time race day rolled around I didn’t question the plan. I also knew I’d done the training and trusted by body to carry me through the miles.
Milage definitely isn’t everything, but in the month or so following CIM (California International Marathon), I significantly ramped up my weekly numbers. I kept a focus on quality (speed, tempo & long runs), but added an additional day of easy miles with strides at the end. Going from weeks in the 30s and peaking in the 40s to consistent 50 mile weeks made me stronger and honestly made 13.1 feel easier.
Another big difference between my build to CIM vs. the Houston Half was a commitment to strength training. I’ve been going to a HIIT gym in Sarasota called Scorch Fitness, founded by a former D1 runner and I am feeling stronger in my legs and core than I have in a long time. I’m planning on keeping this up through my build to Boston and am excited to learn what I’m capable of. Taking away strength training during my taper week also made me feel fresher and faster!
I had my nutrition really dialed in during the race. This is an area I’ve struggled in before and think I’ve finally figured it out!
- I focused on hydration in the week leading up to race day. Drinking tons of nuun sport & nuun vitamins — I made sure to keep a full bottle with me at EXPO (in the past this is where I’ve gotten dehydrated).
- I stayed pretty carb heavy, but made sure I had a good mixture of veggies and protein in the days leading up to the race. But I still indulged on things like ice cream and chocolate — staying happy is important too!
- On race morning, I ate bread with peanut butter, a few pieces of fruit, and drank a full bottle of Maurten drink mix. I carried one Maurten gel with me and took it 45 minutes into the race. I never felt like I ran out of fuel and my tummy didn’t get upset!
- I still have a long way to go to improve on my day to day nutrition, but at least I’ve got it figured out on race day!
I still have a lot to learn about running and racing, but these are areas where I know I excelled. And if I’m going to get better, I need to focus on what WORKED just as much as I need to focus on the areas for improvement! Did you race recently? What’s a WIN that you had in the execution of your race?