I am using the Hollywood Half as a big test of some new race day strategies:
All of this has been tested over and over on my training runs - but my body takes on a new form on race day - so, this might be interesting...
1. New Fueling. Since the LA Marathon - I have been using most of my runs to rest our my new, fruit based fueling for Energy. I call them my "little poopie packets" - they are made with dark chocolate powder, blueberries, dates and oatmeal. So far no stomach discomfort, so I think they are safe to bring with me for this race. It goes without saying, I am getting REAL tired of the porta-potty stops during a race.
2. Continue using my Heed Electrolyte capsules. This race - I will take 2, instead of 1. I anticipate I will get very sweaty in this race.
3. I will have a back-up energy source with me, Clif Blok shots, just in case my "packets" don't help. I will know by Mile 6 or 7 if the packets aren't doing me any good. This gives me enough time to regroup.
Considering all is well, and I feel good that morning - my strategy is this:
1. I will start at a 8:45 split and work to get into my pace by Mile 3. At Mile 3-4, I will speed it up to a 8:15-30ish pace and work to keep it there until Mile 11, as the course is relatively level. Mile 1 & 2 are always my most difficult miles. If I can shut up my self-doubting brain, then I will be pretty relaxed by Mile 3.
Mile 11 - This is where the incline begins until Mile 12.5 - so it will be "slay the dragon" time and keep the intensity up that hill until it crests.
The last .6 of a mile is relatively level, so I will see if I have anything less to push me into a sprint. I will do this, not for a time but to keep training my legs to "fire the pistons" when I am fatigued. In addition, to get my brain to PUSH and DIG when I am my most tired.
PUSHING and DIGGING is something I must re-teach myself. I have lost that ability in 2012, and only the last part of last week, did I feel it start to come back. I have been working hard on using Mantra's on my runs. So far, so okay.
Hollywood Half is my testing ground for my mind and body.
I will not judge my performance based on my Finish Time, but how I felt during the race.
I am not at my fitness peak (as I was in Oct/Nov/Dec), I cannot expect a lot from myself physically. A PR won't be happening. My PR is 1:44 (Snow Canyon, UT). My second best time is 1:53 (Surf City, CA).
Will be back to peak fitness soon.
Questions I will ask myself at the Finish: Did I push hard enough? Did I fuel correctly? Did I PUSH and DIG when needed or let my mind convince me I couldn't do it.
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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