Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Humboldt Redwoods 1/2 Marathon

I was planning to run the full Humboldt Redwoods marathon last weekend. Except then a giant storm with a lot of rain and wind blew into town. And I saw the 2nd part of the course and realized my 2:55 goal given the course and conditions (along with the loneliness out on course), was probably not a good recipe for success. In the past when I raced triathlon I always raced - no matter the conditions or how a course may or may not be suited for me. I showed up, I did my job, and I raced as hard as I could. Therefore, showing up at my "A-Race" and deciding I didn't want to "A-Race" there was weird for me, but also kind of fun. In all actuality, it was probably good for me to step outside what I'm used to doing and try to be adaptable.

Saturday as the rain was coming down in sheets sideways I made the call and changed my bib number to the half. Sunday I lined up to race and the weather wasn't as dreadful. But I was still happy with my decision.

First mile - the blur makes me look so fast.

It's rare that you go into a half marathon tapered for a full. In fact you never go into a race other than a full marathon tapered to race a full. So rather than race all out for a half, I decided to run the first half of the race as if it was my full. I wanted to see what the pace felt like.

Almost the entire course is filled with awesome giant trees!

The first half felt great, gliding along, enjoying the giant trees. I didn't look at my watch, I just ran and enjoyed it. At the turn around (1/2 way) I decided to pick up the pace and try to negative split. I ran faster for a mile or two, or at least it felt like I did. In reality I don't think I picked up the pace at all. And then I slowed down and became really quite happy I wasn't doing the full.

Right after finishing the race it poured - the kind where I'm sure cats and dogs were falling into the trees. A drenching downpour that made me even happier I decided not to race the full.

We had a great trip and saw some amazing forest. Now it's back to work. My new "A-race" where I'll attempt 2:55 is now Cal International Marathon on December 4. In the meantime I've got some dirt dog XC races to run with my teammates and a Turkey Trot to race.