No. Maybe. This short video from the MyFitnessPal Blog explains the answer.
In late summer a wild idea popped into my head. Our F3 group should do a trail run together in the rocky terrain of northwest Arkansas. I’m sure that is probably due to the event advertisement for the Bella Vista Back 40 Trail Run popping up on my Facebook timeline.
I had to talk myself into it before asking anyone else to join me. In the past I had told myself and others that I wouldn’t do a trail run due to the risk of injury.
After I decided I would do it, I sent a note to the F3 group and found out that Yazoo and Sniper were planning to go as well. So, we signed up for the 13 mile run.
Sniper and I trained together on the trails around Lake Atalanta in Rogers, Arkansas a couple of times. And I trained on those trails four different times.
I found out quickly during our first training run that I would need shoes specifically for trail running in this rocky terrain. I love my Brooks Ravenna running shoes. So the next week I went to Rush Running in Bentonville and asked them to give me the trail running version, it was the Brooks Cascadia 10.
My longest training run at Lake Atalanta was about 7 miles at a pace of 10:40/mile. This may sound like a slow pace to road runners, but I assure you I was moving quite well for a new trail runner in that terrain and elevation variance.
The Trails at Lake Atalanta in Rogers, Arkansas are well maintained and they are marked with various levels of difficulty. I highly recommend these trails for a new trail runner. It is near historical downtown Rogers and after your run you can quickly jog or drive up the hill and have a cup of coffee and breakfast.
There are also numerous paved trails around Lake Atalanta that I train on regularly including an option to train on the grueling hill between the lake and the Railyard Mountain/BMX bike park which adjoins the downtown area.
My first training run of two miles caused a good bit of soreness in the hips and calf muscles. So, I made sure to start using the lateral movement elliptical machine on my cross training days at the gym.
On the week of the Back 40 race I checked the weather forecast and everything looked clear but cold. So I geared up appropriately with my running gloves and UA Cold Gear top and leggings (I wore my branded gear from my online store). I also wore my Brooks Cascadia trail running shoes that I picked up at Rush Running in Bentonville and my Junk headbands to cover my ears and neck.
On race morning I ate my protein bar and drank a Zipfizz. I met Yazoo and Sniper at the parking area at Bella Vista Blowing Springs park and we started our pre-race prep. This actually just means that we went to the restroom a couple times until we had everything out before the race started. We also did a few active stretches and static stretches.
The starting line was packed and buzzing with excitement. The race organizers of this event, along with the volunteers, are amazing. The starting line area, as well as all the aid stations, are well supplied and supportive. And the runners are all kind on the trails.
This event had distances from 5K, 13 mile, 20 mile and 40 mile for the run. There was also a mountain biking event the next day with the same distances.
We started the race and had a fun time together running in the woods of Bella Vista. The trails were nice but challenging to a new trail runner. I definitely used a few different muscles and ligaments in my hips and legs that I normally don’t use as much in paved running. But my training helped mitigate that.
I really enjoyed the Back 40 trail run and the mumblechatter with the folks on the trail. And to top it all off, they had fried catfish for all the finishers at the finish line.
I hate running. That’s what I always told myself and everyone else. I still think that’s part of what drives me now.
In reality it was the pain and time involved with training that I hated.
Nonetheless, running I did not like to do.
I was 36 when I finally set out to run in my first 5K. And I didn’t want any hills involved.
When I saw the Jackrabbit advertising that it was the flattest 5K and best course for a Personal Record, I was in.
If I was going to do it, I wanted it to be easy. I got my wife and brother-in-law onboard and we did it.
I ran it in a 34:21.2. Now I know that doesn’t seem fast, and I wasn’t completely satisfied with my effort, but I was proud.
Fast forward two years later. It’s two weeks after my second Half Marathon with a PR, and I’m running the Jackrabbit 5K for the second time with my friend Steven on his first 5K.
I’m very proud of him. And I posted a new 5K PR for my effort, 22:32.2. This time I also outran my brother-in-law Daniel. Sweet revenge.
The Bentonville Half Marathon 2019 Race Results are posted. Today was the day to find out if all the training and race preparation has achieved the results that we worked so hard for.
If you follow my blog you know that my goal was 1:45:00 or less.
I planned out race morning to make sure my body was nourished and hydrated correctly for a 07:00 AM start. Although, as my wife and I prepared to leave for the race we already knew the weather was not ideal. The organizers of the race were sending communications that the start time “may” be delayed yesterday. But we didn’t know for sure, so I prepared as planned.
I would have much rather they just went ahead and postponed it earlier in the morning, say 4:30 am. I don’t think anyone would have been upset about that at all. We had already been told to check the race social media page on race morning. But alas, no decision had been made by 6:00 AM when we planned to leave the house.
I arrived in downtown Bentonville, AR at around 6:20, found a great parking spot and took a glance at social media to see if a postponement decision had been announced. But, no decision was made until around 6:28. The race had been moved to a 7:30 AM start.
Somehow, this decision to postpone was difficult for them? Probably the city giving them trouble, but who knows. I hope it didn’t have anything to do with some super runner on a committee saying, “we run in the rain”, that wasn’t just rain.
This is only my second time running a half marathon, both times in Bentonville. Last year it was 25 degrees fahrenheit with ice on the road. We all know you are hard core Bentonville, no need to get struck by lightning to prove it. An abundance of caution much earlier in the morning would have been just fine.
I am glad that they finally did postpone the start.
So, I went ahead and drank a little more of my Zippfizz and relaxed in the truck for a while. I knew I would need to hit the restroom again anyway before starting the race. Luckily, we parked at First Baptist Bentonville and they graciously had their gym open for runners to get prepared for the race.
The churches and businesses in downtown Bentonville, along with the volunteers, really help make this race a great experience before and after the race. And the residents that live around the route come out and really cheer on the runners. It is a very enjoyable. There is one particular spot on the route, at the top of “the hill”, where the high school band was playing one of those high energy drum busting songs that get your hype up. I needed that for the last quarter mile for sure.
Well, it was around 6:50 and the rain seemed to just stop. I had stayed in my truck because I didn’t really want to get my shoes wet if I didn’t have too, so I put my race bib on and we went in the gym to use the restroom and stretch.
It was damp and 45 degrees outside when I got to the start line. But it wasn’t raining, and that was something I had prayed for. But the course was very damp. It did start slightly misting when I got to about mile seven until mile eleven, but not bad. Luckily on the race I was able to stay out of puddles until about mile ten, but my right foot wasn’t too wet.
As I went to the start line, I decided I needed to get near the front area of the crowd. I knew that any delays in my pace on mile one could kill my chances of getting to my 1:45 goal. And I was right as you’ll see in my pace chart in the photo gallery. So, my wife took a picture, I kissed her, and headed to the first area of the line.
The first 10 miles of this race had to be ran in a pace that gave me room to be slow on the last 3 miles. You see, the last 3 miles of this race, are all uphill. And in my training, I knew that those last 3 miles were taking me around 0:08:10, 0:08:20 and around 0:10:00.
So my mental math had me needing to be around an average of 0:07:50/mile average on the first 10 miles. I pushed my hard on the downhills and kept myself to stay under 0:07:50 on the flat spots. This put me at an average of around 0:07:41 when I hit mile 10. I had done it!
But, I had not run a full 13.1 miles since last November, when I ran a 1:49. And this was only my third time trying it. So, those last 3 miles, while I had trained on them during my last four long runs, I had not done them after running 10 miles since April 7, 2018. And, I only had a little over 27 minutes to finish. So I basically needed to run an all uphill 5K in less than 27 minutes, after running 10 miles. No biggie.
Here are the results:
Overall, I met all of my goals for this race. Training and mental preparation made it happen. Thank you, Lord, for health, motivation and safety on the journey to reach my goals.
It’s cold today, 38 degrees fahrenheit. But not as cold as the 26 degree start temperature and ice for the actual race last year when I ran my first half at 1:56.
This year’s goal is 1:45. This is an 8 min/mile pace or better for 13.1 miles. So with less than a month left to train, I have to be out running the course on the weekends. I need to learn when to push the pace and be ready for the 4.8% quarter mile hill that is include in mile 13 of the half marathon.
My training route isn’t exactly like the race route. I’m actually trying to trick my body into doing more hill work now than I will on race day. How? Well the Bentonville Half Marathon route includes that 4.8% grade hill on mile 13ish. My training is putting that hill in route with me still having 2 miles remaining on my run. This forces my tired self to try and push pace after the hill for 2 more miles. But on race day I’ll actually do those 2 miles on fairly flat ground before hitting the hill.
I’ve found that after the hill, it takes me about .6 of a mile to get back my breath and get back to a pace near 8:00/mile. But on race day, I’ll be pushing that two miles before the hill and I can put what’s left in the tank on conquering that last mile with the hill.
During the week I’m trying to hit hill repeats on the treadmill with the elevation setting due to the low temps outside lately. But I can’t stand the treadmill. Those session tend to be 5k (3.1 miles) on Tuesday and Thursday. I’ll do that for two more weeks before starting to cut back and prepare my body for race week preps.
Today’s results seem to point to the training plan working as needed.
The weekend before the race I’ll try to hit a fast pace 10 mile run. So I’ll probably do the 5K on Tuesday and just 1 mile on Thursday with cross training on Wednesday on the bike.
The Tuesday before the race would be a 1 mile shake out run. Then short bike on Wednesday, and another 1 mile shake out on Thursday. I’ll also skip leg day on weights on Tuesday of race week. I’ll also skip core exercises on Thursday and Friday.
This will help make sure that the muscles in my legs and core have sufficient energy stored up and ready to use for race day.Follow OneChristianMan on WordPress.com