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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Week 11 & the Emerald City Quarter

One of this week's sky shots

Welcome to another weekly review linkup with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin. This week was pretty light, so I'm including my Emerald City Quarter recap. 

Monday: 2 miles + walk to work (w2w)
Tuesday: w2w
Wednesday: speedwork + w2w
Thursday: too hot for me :'(
Friday: 3 miles
Saturday: fail
Sunday: Emerald City Quarter Marathon (recap below)

2016 Total: 652.2 miles

It was a weird week of "feels like" temps over 100 and too much work, but I made the most of my paltry miles. Monday night's run was an 8:23 pace even in the heat. On Wednesday, I had to skip group speedwork due to work, so I set off at 7pm for a condensed workout. My overall pace for 3 miles was 7:51. Whatt!!! (The workout contained repeats, so there were rests in between.) I cut out Thursday because the feels like was 102, but ran a strong 3 before work Friday morning in high humidity. Saturday was a big fail, but luckily, Sunday's race turned out a-ok!

Love these medals! Photo by CapCitySportsMedia

The Emerald City Half and Quarter Marathon took place at 7:00am on Sunday, August 29, 2016 in Dublin, Ohio. Having run the half in the past (and wanting to die), I once again signed up for the quarter. Best decision I've ever made! [Race Information]

Andrea and me
Before the race began we were under Red Flag conditions. The humidity at the start was 100%! Eee gads. On top of the weather, my race prep was abysmal: I ate a terrible dinner (and TWO heavy beers. And split a key lime pie. What was I thinking?!), I hydrated poorly (mainly because of those two beers), Alex got called into work for a storm call and didn't get home 'til 11:30 (...and, of course, I waited up for him. Our wake up was 5am!), and I didn't get my Saturday shake out run. I was a mess!

We scooped up my friend Andrea and her husband Jeff on the way, and arrived around 6:15. Things that went well: I set out a nice light outfit the night before, we arrived with plenty of time to use the bathroom (twice), and we had time to line up in the correct corral. (Last year I got stuck in construction and started with the 12 minute pacers.) I knew Andrea would be running her own race, so I set up my podcast and got my headphones ready. While we were standing in the corral we discussed our goals for the day and I realized I didn't really have any because of the weather.

When I signed up for the race I took last year's time into account (58:11) and planned to run a 57:00, but as Andrea and I discussed plans I wasn't sure. I've had a really hard time with heat this summer and felt pretty defeated at the Crystal Lake Team Relay during Birdcamp. So when Andrea said she was going to try to stick with the 1 hour pace group (~9:09/mi), I figured I'd try the same.

Sunrise, time to race!
The Race
Well - haha - the pacers went out fast and I lost them! Andrea stuck with them, but I was working out the kinks (maybe I should warm up?). I kept them in my sights, but didn't catch up and overtake them until mile 2. Andrea later told me her first mile clocked in at 8:44, which was too fast, too early and she eventually fell off the pace around mile 3 or 4. I really hate when that happens. I guess I'm glad I followed my creaky body and worked myself up to a faster pace.

This picture makes me laugh. (Around mile 5.5)
Around 2.5 the half marathoners split off and the quarters took a turn towards the park. I remember being so relieved at this point last year, but on Sunday I already wanted to walk. If I didn't know deep down just how long it would take me to run/walk 4 miles, I would've stopped right then and there. The weather wasn't too terrible at this point because the sun was behind a cloud and there was a bit of a cool breeze... but that was canceled out by the extreme humidity.

We crossed mile 3 and I remember being really tired, but I decided to try and keep my position in front of the 1 hour pace group and hung with a girl in front of me for maybe a half mile. I saw our pace was 9:25, but I didn't care. Mile 4 ended up being my slowest mile, but I think I needed a little recovery to get my energy back. I willed myself to keep running and realized that, even with my slow-feeling pace, I was technically faster than last year and may be able to PR - even if it was only a matter of seconds. I also started to think about this recap and how it'd be better if I could say, "I PRd!" vs. "And then I walked because I was tired."

Miles 4 and 5 reinforced how mental running is. I run all the time. I don't run particularly far, but I get it done. I know if I'm feeling "just ok" even one more painful race mile will only take about 9 minutes. I tell myself, "the faster you run, the faster you're done" when the going gets tough. And at mile 4.5 – when I really wanted to stop and go home – I just tried to remind myself that I love running, this is only one hour out of my entire day, and I had the ability to make it a good run vs. one full of excuses.

Very red and sweaty. And freckly.
So yeah... I kept running. I stuck with three other ladies and as we turned back onto the main road for the final 2+ miles of full sun and heat (the sun was up now!) I kept moving forward. It didn't feel fast and I dumped an entire cup of water over my head at the mile 5 water stop, but I kept going...

The last section is a blur. I was so tired. (How many times have I said that?) It helped to keep my eyes on the ladies around me. With less than 1 mile to go I sped up a bit and attempted to sprint in to the finish. It wasn't a sprint... more like a fast trot, but at least I got into the 7s. After I crossed the line I looked down at my watch and was surprised to see I beat last year's time! My pace felt consistent, but kind of slow. I was tired at the end, but it could have been worse in the crazy heat.


Post Race
The company that runs Emerald City does a great job with swag. I got the normal finish line food/water and a cold towel to drape around my neck. There was also chocolate milk, cold-pressed juice samples, a dermatologist handing out deluxe product samples, a personal trainer giving out water bottles, and, of course, the after party at the Mexican restaurant nearby.

If I've learned one thing in the past two years it's get over to the after party quickly because it fills up fast. We got a great seat, redeemed our margarita vouchers (yes, it was 8am and yes, they were very refreshing), and got free chips and dip. Alex and Jeff were apparently some of the only people to order something besides the free food, so our waiter brought them extra margaritas! By the time we were finished there was a line out the door and no where for people to sit. So, pro tip: if you run this race do the quarter. You get the great medal and freebies, but you don't have to deal with as much of the extreme heat or long lines for food!

Stats and Final Thoughts
Final Time: 57:13 (8:44/mi)
Overall: 167 / 1543 (11%)
Gender: 74 / 1095 (6.7%)
Age Group: 31 / 371 (8%)
Mile Splits: 9:01, 8:55, 9:03, 9:13, 8:49, 8:35, 8:13 (final .5)

Despite the weather and my craptacular summer training, I know I could have run this much faster. ha! I mean, it was tiring, but it never felt particularly hard. My preparation and the humidity sucked, but had it been a shade cooler I could have easily kept all of my miles under 9. C'est la vie. On to the next one...

Our crowd support!
Up Next: Run Like a Girl 5k on September 11. Hoping for a PR, but haven't been training for one. Any tips for PRing a 5k in two weeks? ;)


  1. Well, at least you can say you threw in a 4 mile progressive run while you raced!!! Excellent t job, especially given the humidity!!!!! I think s majority of us are about fed up with heat and humid running. Hopefully you will able to recover and be ready for your next race!!!

  2. Thanks! We had a bit of a cool down this week and it was glorious... but of course the humidity is back in full force. Oh well, I guess it'll be cold before we know it!

  3. You should be so proud of your time in that nasty humidity! I'm LOL because I often think of what I'll be forced to post and that makes me try harder. A margarita voucher? Oh, yes...even at 8 am. I really like the medal too. Thanks for linking, Elizabeth!

  4. Wow those medals are so pretty! I'd so have the margarita at 8 am too! Congratulations that is impressive with that humidity!!


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