Monday, April 23, 2012

Reality Check: Lessons Learned from My GW Parkway Classic Race

I ran a good race (for me) this weekend, but there is always something to learn.  Here are my takeaways from the 2012 GW Parkway Classic 10-miler:

Refuel before you need to refuel:  My original plan was to take a Clif Shot Gel at the 5-mile mark.  But when I passed the 5-mile post, I was feeling really good so I changed my mind and decided to take the gel at the 7-mile mark for added boost at the end of the race.  Bad idea.  By mile 5.5, I was spiraling downward fast.  I took my gel and had some Gatorade, and ran miles 6 & 7 faster.  (I am wondering though, can I train myself to go without fuel for longer periods of time?  Or is that unadvisable?  Hmmm...)

My fuel of choice this race via  ClifBar

Know your limits:  I told myself that I would push really hard through miles 8 & 9, but I didn't have enough in me to sustain a push that long.  Not to mention I completely forgot about running mile 10.  Instead, I should have stayed on pace through miles 8 & 9, and pushed hard at mile 10.  I possibly could have ran every mile sub-9:00, and finished with a better time.  It would also help if I learned how to do math.

via SparkPeople

Smile!: I'm making this a running goal, both in races and during my regular runs.  I try to smile as much as possible when I run (yes, to the point of looking like a crazed maniac) because it reminds me that I really do enjoy being out there torturing my body pushing my limits, and I feel that reminding myself of that makes me a better runner.  And its not just me.  Ultrarunner Krissy Moehler believes that too.


What lessons have you learned from a race?

How do you develop your race strategies?  Through experience?  With a coach?  By the seat of your pants?

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