Zombie Half Marathon 2015 Recap (Anchorage, Alaska)

I kind of decided last minute to do this race, and in retrospect I’m so glad I did! I had been mulling it over for a couple of weeks leading up to the race, but wasn’t sure if I had the energy to coordinate child care during the race with Steve (still) being gone. Things just sort of fell into place so that it was actually very easy for me to go ahead and race, and so on Thursday I registered.

I came into Anchorage Friday and spent the night at my parents with the kids, which worked out really well. Even though the race started at 10am, which is later than I’m used to, it takes forever to do anything with the kids so I knew not having an hour drive that morning would be really nice. Riggs and my sisters boys were doing the kids 2.5k race after the half marathon, so it actually worked out really well for her to watch my kids while I ran. I picked her up in my car and she dropped me off at the start.

The race is point a to point b verses out and back, which was a little tricky logistics-wise for me to have my car and gear at the finish, which is why it worked out so nice that Kelsey was able to just drive my car to the finish. Her husband drove their car with the boys, so after all the races were finished we all just went our separate ways in our own cars.

My last/first half marathon was the Her Tern Half, which I actually ran at a training run pace. I hadn’t eaten a good breakfast before the race and didn’t eat or drink anything during the race, which ended up being a big mistake despite the slower pace. This time I was excited to see how far my training had gotten me and run at race pace the entire way, so I knew that fueling my body properly would be vital. I ate two breakfasts, oatmeal with apples and pecans as well as some yogurt, and packed raisins and peanut butter to consume during the race.

I also drank as much water as I felt like drinking before the race, and planned on drinking some during the race as well. Because I struggle with leaking a little pee while running since my second pregnancy, I tried to abstain from drinking water in the morning before races to see if it would help. Now I don’t care about it as much, I figure it’s more important to hydrate properly than worry about a little pee, especially since I’ve found that it’s somewhat random anyway, no matter how much or how little I drink before a run.

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At the starting area I got in the port-a-potty line and chatted with the other Raven Run Club members who were doing the race while I waited. Then after I peed I went to warm up, jogging about a mile, then doing drills and strides right up to about 20 seconds before the start of the race. I squeezed up to the front as far as I felt comfortable just in time for the race to start, and then we were off.

It was actually sunny at the start of the race, but the ground was wet and there were lots of leaves making the down hill portion at the beginning of the race a little slippery. I didn’t wear headphones during the race and never wished I had at any point. I started out a little faster than I had planned, but managed to ease into a more sustainable pace for the next couple of miles.

I’m still kind of in shock about how great I felt during the entire race. The miles seems to fly by, especially the first six. I barely even remember them, except that I was really happy to be running as fast as I was while feeling so good. I started to feel a little winded during the hilly portion of the course in the Earthquake Park/Point Woronzof area, but didn’t slow down much so that was really encouraging. I ate my pack of raisins around the 50 minute mark and drank some water at the last aid station then settled in for the final stretch through Kincaid Park.

A guy in a green shirt passed me right around this point when I had slowed down a little to eat and drink, but he was running at about a 7:30 pace and I knew I could keep up with him, so every mile I just told myself that my goal was to keep up with “green shirt” for one more mile, and I did that for the last four miles. Taking the entire course mile by mile versus thinking of all that lay ahead of me really helped keep my mindset positive and I think that’s one reason the miles seemed to tick by so quickly.

I knew the last hill would be killer but I also knew I had been training hard over the last couple of months, so I focused on keeping the pace I knew I could run, trusting that I would have enough energy to push it somewhat up the hill to make it to the finish without losing too much time. In the end I did slow down quite a bit on the hill, all the way to a 10:00/mi pace by the finish line, but I know that I gave it my all. What a tough finish! I sounded like I had emphysema while forcing myself to keep running up that hill to the finish.

Once I caught my breath I had to change my shirt quickly and get Riggs down to the stadium for the start of the kids 2.5k, which was fun to “run” with him. I was so proud that he had a good attitude during the race and ran up the final hill to the finish without walking once!

It was a great race and like always I’m already itching for the next chance to try and run faster! I’m so happy that I joined the Raven Run Club this session just to have something to look forward to each week during the winter when there aren’t many races to motivate myself with. I’m really looking forward to the 2016 racing season and hope that I’m able to use the winter months to prepare as much as possible. IMG_3760Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 7.35.35 PM

My watch wasn’t getting the best satellite connection once I got to the airport/Kincaid portion of the course so it’s a little off for the last four or five miles, but I had expected that before I even started. I PR’d by quite a bit in this race, which isn’t surprising since I ran the other half at a training pace.

Official Time: 01:37:57

Overall: 59th/671       Female: 9th/413         F25-29: 3rd/74

Splits from Garmin Forerunner 220:

1 | 7:00/mi

2 | 7:08/mi

3 | 7:14/mi

4 | 7:10/mi

5 | 7:26/mi

6 | 7:25/mi

7 | 7:45/mi  *hilly/eating raisins

8 | 7:38/mi  *hilly/drank water

9 | 7:37/mi

10 | 7:26/mi

11 | 7:29/mi

12 | 7:38/mi

13+ | 8:45/mi

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