Just ran my 2nd half this weekend at the annual Kansas City Corporate Challenge. Wasn't planning this race but since I work for a software company, there aren't a lot of 46 year old women they could coax to run in my age group!
Since this was a race for team points, I wanted to do more than just finish happy this time around. Unlike my first half a few weeks ago, I wanted to compete.
I staked out the course map and noted that it was much more hilly than I realized. Creating such a course in Kansas is quite a feat for a race director! Given the challenging elevation changes and the 70% humidity, I was surprised to turn in a time of 2:06, two minutes less than my effort from 4/14. I ended up getting 3rd in my age group so I'm pretty content with that.
I was plagued by a side stitch for the first 5 miles of the race. It really did a number on my morale. I've never experienced that in any of my long runs and didn't know how to cope very well. Miraculously, it disappeared and so did my bad attitude briefly.
I followed Eric's advice to attack the downhills. I must have looked like a crazy person based on the looks I got but I ran my race. My quads are ridiculously sore now. Mental note: get working on those lady!
The new Merrell road gloves worked out great. My feet felt so much better this time around. Mentally however, I was pretty drained. The early side stitch sort of psyched me out and it ebbed back during the last 2 miles. Definitely did not finish this race with a smile on my face like my first go around.
Overall, I'm struggling with my speed, which is something I never thought would be an issue. I was a sprinter in my Running 1.0 career. Unfortunately, that speed really doesn't seem to be coming with me as I increase my distance. I'm considering doing 5Ks this summer to see if that helps. I'm open to any insights or advice on this matter.
So for now, I'm heading back to the trails for the summer and will go for another half in the fall when the 100 degree days have passed. You can bet my legs will be ready for those hills by then.