Right…so I’m home from our race and the subsequent few days exploring DC (where I walked at least 10 miles a day. Legs were pooped!) so I am a little late getting my race report out. After each race I like to reflect on what went good, what went just ok, and what didn’t go well at all. I like to do this (and encourage my clients to do the same) as soon as possible post race, as the best way to learn and improve for future events is to review what worked and what didn’t from the last one. I think every training run and race leaves plenty of opportunity to improve. This report is a little late, but better than never, right? 😉
Race Report for Instant Classic Marathon on 3/21/15
What went right:
- Nutrition before the race. Morning races aren’t usually an issue for me, but the balance of eating enough (but not too much as to feel bloated) can be tricky when traveling. For this race, I consumed 2 Fuel for Fire fruit/protein packets and 1 bagel about 60 mins pre-race. Was not hungry at all before or during the event. Victory!
- Nutrition/Hydration during the event – I stayed on top of my hydration during the event, sipping Tailwind from my handheld and consuming a gel every 30-45 mins after the first hour. I’ve done one other race with Tailwind (where I wasn’t initially sold on the product) but I have to say after this event I am a fan. No bloating or bellyache. I also had energy drinks from every other aid station and a few handfuls of jelly beans at three of the aid stations. They are a weakness of mine and I love them…and only enjoy them around races. Mostly.
- Blister Prevention and footwear – I consider this my greatest success from the race. After trying countless trail shoes, I have finally found a shoe that seems to really be working and that my feet are happy in. I also always get blisters, but I combined wrapping my “trouble” toes in moleskin and using plenty of blister shield powder in my shoes…and it worked!! First race where my feet weren’t dying by the end. This despite several stream crossings and wet feet! Will be interested to see if this works for the longer distances…
What went ok:
- Started out a little too fast as I got caught up talking with a woman who was going faster than I was prepared for so early in the race. Fixed that by mile 2.5/3 as I dropped off so I could push my own pace and not be forced to try and maintain hers. Should have done that earlier, but it was still early enough to recover…
- Pacing – a little of above, and I started to flag a little by the end. Not sure how much was mental and how much was true tiredness. I stopped to use a bathroom at mile 18 (it was that or have an accident…I had kept my gloves just in case.) and I couldn’t get back in my groove for a few miles after that. But by mile 20, I passed a girl (putting me in 4th place) and I got my pep back as I was determined to hold my pace (without trying to “race” as this event was truly meant to be a training run). My goal now was to be consistent and see if I could hold my pace. I also calculated that I was going to soundly beat my trail marathon PR, and once I thought about remaining calm and working on that vs. my place in the race, I relaxed a lot.
- Confidence in myself and in my training. The first few miles I felt “off” and was worried I wasn’t cut out for the distance that day. Not sure where this came from? It took me about a good 7-8 miles to start to find a groove, with a slow build. Which is exactly what I want; I just need to get better about relaxing into it when this happens.
What I could have done better:
- Sounds crazy, but clothing! The day started cold, and – despite the forecast that it would get warmer – I still wore a L/S shirt and shorts. MISTAKE!! By mile 10 I was quite warm. I made the rookie mistake of wearing too much for the weather. I should have worn a t-shirt and arm warmers or even a t-shirt with a cheap layer I could have thrown away. I know better and don’t know what I was thinking?! I always (usually) follow the rule that you should dress as if its 20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature. Big fail here. It really can be the little things sometimes.
Overall, I am very happy with how the event went and I’ve improved in several areas. This race was a big confidence booster for sure!
What about YOU? Do you write down the good/bad after an event? What you could have done better or what went really well? What’s the best takeaway you got from your last training run or event? I’d love to heat about it!