Saturday, April 9, 2022

2022 Allerton (not trail) Half-Marathon

Last weekend I ran the Allerton Trail Half-Marathon. Love the Allerton Park trails, but the event was on roads. With heavy rain the week before the race, the Sangamon River flooded a good portion of the race course. Race director created a double out-and-back road course within the park. Not a fan of roads, especially repeated road sections, but it was nice to stay within the park and see fellow runners at the turn arounds. The weather was OK, cool (high 30s), but windy (15+ mph). I hoped the park trees would block most of the wind. I was wrong. 

I tried to "run by power" and keep my effort around 260W. Ignored heart rate and pace. Stryd suggested 255W for the full HM. That seemed too easy. I ended up averaging 265W. This focus on power and watts, instead of pace (or HR), helped me hold back a little in the beginning, moderate my running up hills, and forced me to push toward the end. I finished in 1:50:26. Good enough for 9th place overall, first in age group. Felt good for the whole race, except for some aches in my right knee. Damn roads! My knee has been hurting all week. 

My thoughts after the race:

  • Don't like running, or racing, on roads. Too hard on the body. Stick to trails for training and racing!
  • Need to incorporate longer intervals, hills, and tempo efforts into training. Short strides don't cut it on race day.
  • Running by power has potential for success. Of course, my power estimates need to be accurate--which will be true if I do more speed workouts.
  • Do not trust wrist-based HR monitors. My HR was off because I did not use my chest HR strap. 

The race was well-organized, timing and results were fast and efficient, and volunteers were supportive. Never got my 1st in age group award, but who needs that anyway? I'll definitely consider doing it again next year...on trails! 

No comments: