April 2, 2016 Upton, MA
2nd Women, 7th Overall; 56:09 (6:01 avg. mile)
Saturday’s 15K was great. It was my first time racing this classic, hilly, tune-up for the marathon, race in the Boston suburb of Upton, MA, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! The course is definitely challenging with rolling hills throughout the entire race, but sometimes a change of pace and elevation is just what you need to utilize different muscles and awaken your body!
The other awakening factor of the race, was the cold rain that was very consistent throughout the entire day and nearly hour of racing. It actually was quite comfortable while racing, but once I got into the cool down, I was pretty chilly. If I had to choose between 45 and rainy or 60 and sunny though, I would absolutely choose 45 and rainy for the marathon in a couple weeks!
My original plan for this race was really just to get some marathon effort pace during my final long run, starting with a 8 mile warm up and racing the 15K at goal marathon pace, I was thinking somewhere between 6:20-6:30. After discussing my plan with the coaches of Greater Boston Track Club however, I decided to take their advice and instead race the 15K after a normal length warm up, and then go right into the cool down without taking any nutrition, (only water) and basically run my cool down until my body hit it’s edge. I was assured that it’s not so much the distance that you run two weeks out from the marathon, but more just ensuring that I force my body to hit that wall I will inevitably hit during the marathon. Racing a 15K at a much faster pace than I will be running my marathon, allowed me to hit that wall much sooner in total mileage, especially without taking GU or Gatorade. I admit, I was skeptical, but followed my wise coach’s advice anyway. My teammates and I finished our two mile warm up at 9:55, quickly ran to the bathroom before the 10:00 am start, and then were off. Knowing the course was going to be hilly and challenging, I went out somewhat conservatively, (I guess…) and held pretty much the same effort throughout the entire race with a little bit of a kick at the end. I felt incredibly strong finishing the 15K and later found out I had PR’d in this distance by nearly 2 minutes, my previous PR from a far less challenging course! I took a quick swig of water when I finished, got my long sleeve on, and headed right out for my cool down. I actually felt pretty good for the first few miles of my cool down, running pretty close to 7 minute pace. I then met up with my teammates and we continued on with our long cool down. At 15 total miles of running, (4 miles into the cool down,) I ABSOLUTELY hit some sort of wall as my coach assured me I would! My legs actually felt fine, but my head started feeling a little woozy, definitely needing some sugar. I finished out the last two miles with my teammates, definitely struggling, and then ate all the post-race goodies I could!
Here are some splits and averages from the run and race:
- Warm up: 2 miles @ 7:58 per mile
- 15K Race (9.3 miles)
- Mile 1: 5:58
- Mile 2: 5:58
- Mile 3: 6:13
- Mile 4: 5:58
- Mile 5: 6:02
- Mile 6: 6:05
- Mile 7: 6:04
- Mile 8: 6:03
- Mile 9: 6:00
- Last .3: 5:44 pace
- Cool down: 5.7 miles @ 7:48 per mile