I ran the Shamrock 1/2 Marathon this weekend as a dress rehearsal for Boston. I did it in the midst of another 100 mile training week and purposefully ran 16 miles the day before so I would be a little bit depleted at the start line to make it feel harder. I had several goals for the race. Unfortunately, the Boston Marathon prohibits hydration vests so I need to get some practice drinking out of cups at aid stations. This was a separate comedy show in itself. I stopped at every single station except for one where I couldn’t find anyone with water (they all had power-aid.) Most of the water went in my shoes, or on my shirt. I guess it wasn’t that big of a deal because it was raining, sleeting and snowing so I was already soaking wet.
I originally had a pace goal in my head that I wanted to run. I wanted a finish time that would give me evidence that I have the capability to run my Boston Goal pace. Two days before the 1/2, I did a speed workout that really cranked up my quads. The night before the race I was unsure if I should even run. The last thing I need at this point is an injury!? So I decided to reel things in if my body was not cooperative. My legs felt like cement at the start but they didn’t actually hurt.
The weather channel had forecasted that it would be 39 degrees so I was wearing shorts and a long sleeve shirt. It must have been colder because it started to sleet, rain and snow. My body was so rigid from the cold that my back and arm were going into spasms. Another goal for this race was to practice wearing a watch. Because of this handy device, I knew that I was off pace and it took a great deal of self control to run my own race and not get caught up in the competition. The course was much hillier than I expected and my stiff, cold body struggled on miles 10-11. The hills were steep and the weather was getting really nasty. Just when I started to fall into a funk I saw my friends Justin and Alli standing on a corner and cheering me on. In classic Jess Goldman style, I yelled something about having a wedgie and needing someone to pick it. Haha! I LOVE you guys! I am not sure why anyone puts up with me.
I ended up finishing in 1:37:18 with a 7:26 pace. I was 4th place out of 155 women in my division and 56th overall out of 722 (12th place female) It was not what I was aiming for but I guess I should still be happy with it. My coach is a perfectionist and very hard to please (myself) Once I got home I did some math and realized that if I had tapered for this race I would have improve my performance by about 3% which would have had me exactly on goal and possibly faster. It was a great test run and I learned a lot. I came out of it without any injured muscles or fatigue. I was hypothermic though so I had to hustle home to warm up. I gave my soup and beer tickets to a homeless lady and hobbled back to my car with blue lips, all wrapped up in my silver space blanket.
Another big milestone was that I actually drove myself to Manchester for the race! Since my illness last year I have not driven out of my little local radius. Now that I have the glasses, I decided to expand my comfort zone. I was so nervous when I left my house that I got 15 minutes into the trip and realized I wasn’t wearing them!! I had to do a U-turn and go back home to grab them off of the kitchen table. Although I still have anxiety I think the glasses worked well and my driving was ok. I also wore them running today for the first time. It is very challenging because they distort my depth perception. They help with some of the vertigo and peripheral problems but make other matters worse. It is a toss up whether they help or hinder during a run.
I had another major shoe blow out this week and the Sauconey Kinvaras are no longer going to Boston with me.
I am now in a pair of Sketcher Meb go run’s that have a nice soft heel. My friend Rebecca gave them to me as a gift last year and they are comfortable and light weight. Well, sadly I have no race photos yet so you will have to be satisfied with some pictures of barn yard animals that I took while I was running with my friend Heather. One more tough training week and I will start to taper!