Monday, April 11, 2011

Race Residue and Winner!

Yep, still a heel striker.  I love how all the men in this picture (including my husband, #236) have good lean and foot strike and then there is me, with my short legs, overstriding as usual.  Hard to break old habits but I'm trying!  

I've been thinking a ton about my race.  Although this wasn't my peak race and not even a race I was really that invested in, my training right now is something I'm serious about.  I think that whenever we race during a time that we are serious about our training, we tend to replay the race in our heads at some point.  Races seem to have a residual effect on me.  I almost always find that my races leave me with some kind of lesson, feelings of euphoria, regret, or "what I will do differently" thinking.  I'm calling this my Race Residue.  

My race residue this time was a mixed bag.  I met my goals: to have fun and be strong! This makes me happy.  I almost miss the race, if that makes sense.  But I also spent quite a bit of time last night replaying the race in my head and being really hard on myself for my stupid dead stop at mile 8 for water.  This might have been different had I not had the next 4 plus miles as an incline but after that stop, I had such a hard time picking up my sub 7/7 min pace.  The pack of men we were running with had taken off and we were left alone in the woods for miles of solo running when we needed that push of having other runners the most (at least I was left once my husband took off).  I'm so glad my husband took off to run his own race because I was just not feeling it to power up that long incline at a sub 7 pace like he did. After my stop, I was doing good just to be running a 7:15/7:30 pace.  So my reflections and questions for myself:
*  Did I really need that drink?  Probably not!  What was I thinking?
*  I need to figure out a plan for fueling and hydrating if I'm going to take my racing to the next level.  I've never really used anything in a half marathon.  This time I took out a GU  but in my marathons I used maybe one GU for the entire race.  
*  I must figure out a better plan for drinking at the water stations without losing time!  When I slowed down from a 6:50ish pace to almost a stop, I killed who knows how many seconds AND it was very hard to get my legs working again.  
*  I'm ready to possibly consider figuring out a pace plan.  I hesitate to do this because I think I've found success in running by feel.  This might be what I need to break 1:30 in the half!
*  Thinking of racing shoes again.  
*  I'm still happy with my race and I am excited to be learning!!!  These kinds of races make us BETTER runners. Just putting this out there so I don't have a bunch of people thinking I'm depressed about my race.  Ha!  Just the opposite..I'm happy and REFLECTIVE.  I do this with most things in life...I take what I can from my experiences (good and bad) and I LEARN from them! 

Here is the map of my race for those of you that missed it in my race report (I added it later).  The green shows the elevation gain and the blue is my pace.  Note how consistent my pace is for the first half and how all over the place it is after that spike at mile 8. 

The pain in my legs today is a good sign that I worked hard and PUSHED myself!  I have not been this sore in a long time.  In fact, after my recent 10k and 5k, I hardly felt sore at all the next day and just bounced right back.  A half marathon, this half marathon has done a number on my body!  Enough about my race.  You can read the full race report if you really want to know more.  Glad so many of you enjoyed my squatting picture and didn't let it offend you!  I was a little nervous about posting it.  

And now for what you all scrolled down to read anyway. The WINNER of the Nathan Hydration Belt is..........

Congratulations Heather!  Please send me an e-mail with your address so I can get this sent to you!  amandaodum (at)

1.  Do you find yourself with "Race Residue" that you live with for a day or two after your race?  

2.  I registered for the Nike Women's Half Marathon.  We still have 4 spots in our group for any of you that want to enter.  Obviously, the group part is just to register with the group but you don't have to hang out with us or is just a chance to get in.  Let me know if you're interested and we'll send you the code.  If our groups gets chosen then you'll just be charged the entry fee and you're in!  Should be a great event!  I've heard so much about it.  



  1. I love how you're thinking back over what was good, what you could've done differently. I totally know what you mean about the race residue. I definitely have felt homesick for some of my races. Mostly the trail ones, because they're so much fun.

  2. Hi there!
    Read your race recap too. You are one speedy chica! dang and it's not your ! race.

    And yah the heel striking. I hear you! I think i'm not and then see race pics and cringe!

  3. Great pic of the two of you:)

    I love your reflections! I always analyze and replay! Ah-the water break stop was a good thing!! A lesson learned and it'll just make your PR even bigger in May:)

    I'm so glad you're happy with your race! Really a fantastic time! Two GREAT races in practically one week! What an awesome training cycle!!! So much to be proud of and full of great confidence boosters! I truly believe you are going to just slaughter this marathon! I wish I could bring my sign and cheer for you:)

    Wow, I don't use a lot of gels in training but I take 2 in a half and 5 in a full. I also drink a ton-every single stop just a little bit. When I stopped running in Boston, the sweat literally pooled on the ground around me. I guess I hydrated well.

    San Fran and the half! Fun! I'm sure the atmosphere is just awesome at that race!

    Hope you enjoyed your Starbuck's getaway! Have a great night girl:)

  4. I think it's awesome to reflect on your race. I love the term, "race residue" You definitely did more right then wrong though on that race. You did awesome--glad you are pleased with it. One Gu in a marathon?! I would be toast, I'm sure. You are a machine. So wish, I could go to San Fran with you! That race is definitely on my 'must do' list.

  5. You may heel strike but you do so very quickly. As for the water issue - it's pretty important to stay hydrated because even a small reduction in hydration can cause a reduction in performance. I'm a big fan of the water sachets - easy to grab and easy to control drinking when on the run. It's just a pity that not all races have them.

  6. That guy behind you in the picture (#83?) is either:
    1) Checking out your butt; or,
    2) Trying to register in his brain how he just got chicked.

  7. I go over every race in my head like that afterwards. Maybe try running with a game plan (but not pace plan) next time? Shoot for goals like don't slow to take water or control your breathing on the hills. I like the procedural types of plans that don't focus on pace!

    Nike Women's half is AMAZING! You will love it!

  8. I love your reflections, always gives me something to think about! I also love this picture and the fact that you are obviously doing awesome as you only have men running by you!

  9. Ooooh, I dislike 'race residue' and it can drive me CRAZY! Glad I'm not alone in analyzing and over-analyzing stuff... don't let it take away from how AWESOME you did in your race. And use it as a learning experience for next time!

    You. Are. Awesome!

  10. I really like that phrase. Do you have it copyrighted yet? I would like to have that in my dictionary.

    Btw- you are speedy.

  11. It's the shoes.. that big heel will make it hard to not hit it first. The shoe's weight is towards the back. You CAN overcome it but it takes lots of barefoot/minimal time.

    You're flipping fast.. Can I borrow your legs?

  12. Heel strike is neither positive nor negative - where you strike in relation to your torso is more important. Overstriding appears to be your possible problem.

  13. Do people need to be fast to be a part of your group? If you accept slowpokes, I would love to be associated with you and any group you are a part of :) I think I could manage 13.1 by October. But I totally understand if you are trying for some sort of elite-ish group. Do let me know! I am a local so either way I'll be around... cheering you all on if not running :)

    I do think the two of you are just such a handsome and happy couple. How can you look so cute even when squatting to pee and when overstriding?

  14. Marjorie, of course, I'll send you the code! Al the group is for is to get us all in together...My friend Tiff just registered for extra spots just in case. wE figured we didn't even need to know the people or see them but they could use our code to get in if maybe it some how increased their chances of getting in...I don't know if this is the case. I'll e-mail you the info! :)

  15. Oh, and thank you sooo much for all your great comments...I hope to get back to everyone but I stink at that these days...I try!

  16. Amanda this is an amazing post, and I am in the same boat as you right now. I ran a race on Sunday as well and while I am proud of my effort, the race has been on replay in my mind for the past two days. I have been asking myself the same questions. What could I have done differently? Where could I have picked up a few seconds? How could my splits have been better? Why did I stop for water when I didn't need it???

    Your race was amazing, and that looks like some really tough altitude! But like you said, its a learning process and if you want to take training seriously it is good to take your experience and learn to grow from it. Thanks for posting this, it is comforting to know that other runners feel the same post race thoughts.

  17. I love the times that I get to think back on a race, whether it was good or bad, it's a learning experience. You're so good at doing that! And I love the term "race residue"! And that looks like it was a tough course!

  18. I love your reflections on your race. Very well written. I think most people dissect things like that so I think it's pretty normal. Congrats to the winner! Hopefully we both get into Nike Women's! That'd be so awesome! I'm already struggling to stay patient to find out! Ha.

  19. Race Residue...I love that! I get that too. It's great that you are happy with the race and it's wonderful that are able to look at what you did/didn't do and learn from it.

    Oh, and by the way...I am so excited about the hydration belt!!! Thank you, thank you thank you for making my day!!

  20. You should maybe read Chi Running, if you haven't; I think though that they way we run is embedded in our genes and though it's not impossible to change the way we strike, it's very difficult. As long as you aren't having injuries, don't change things.

    The fueling and hydration is such a big trial and error - I totally botched Portland because of my nutrition and I'm one who needs nothing on for a half...but you can change your body and how it reacts to fueling by practicing that.

    Good luck with your challenge - always good to learn more about our bodies and what they need to perform well!

  21. You are such a "student of the game"! Love it! I bet your track coached loved working with you! Always seeking the best performance but learning from you past experience.

    I love the phrase you coined "Race Residue"!!!

  22. PS Just wanted to say that this is, along with so many of your other posts, just an amazing amalgamation of running, family, and the celebration of life - keep up the inspiring writing!

  23. I’m not as good a runner as you, but I have also been thinking a lot of the same things for myself. I need to figure out what fuel to eat on long runs and if that helps me or not. LOve your blog and all you running posts! :)

  24. It is interesting that you see the bad form in that pic...I see that you are the ONLY woman running with/in front of a bunch of men. You either like to flirt or are fast....I think both:)

    Honestly, you did great. One thing I would change for your next half is your pacing. You ran your first mile at sub 10K pace, and I think that slowed you down a bit toward the end. It is hard to hold back, but if you can run the first 3 miles in a half and 6 miles in a marathon a bit slower (say pace+10 sec/mile), you can run much faster toward the end. OK, I'll stop with the advice giving. You really do not need any bc you kicked a$$. I am so excited for your marathon (May?). You've come A LONG way since your injury and you have just gotten started. Wish I could do Nike....someday!

  25. Chris is Ana-Maria...darn husband did not log off

  26. If I wasn't already traveling all over for races this year I would seriously consider the Nike Women's Half Marathon. Maybe next year will be my year to do it!

    I always have "race residue" - that is great name, by the way. I will continue to use it now! What I would like to do between now and the Eugene Half Marathon is just go back, read my old race reports and reflect on all of them. I want to remember what it was that made each one a success in their own way, then hopefully put all the pieces together and really shine in Eugene. I know I have it in me, I just need to get out there and do it!

    With regard to my half on Sunday, while I felt like a total failure due to medical things I can't control, I feel satisfied that I know I did the best I could do that day. I'm so early in my half marathon racing "career" that I feel any finish is a win. I just want to ponder and figure out how to make the next one an even better win!

  27. the Nike women's half marathon looks like a great event! I was thinking of doing a half in New Orleans in October but san fran looks a lot more exciting, if there are any spots left in your group please let me know!

  28. I'm with Jill, Chi Running ROCKS! It has changed my form tremendously.
    So, the hydration/fueling thing is HUGE for me right now. I'm planning my race and deciding how much to take and when. I do drink at every stop during a marathon but I'm going to eat breakfast for once and take more gels...this will be interesting for sure!!
    I definitely suffer from RACE RESIDUE...I hope yours passes quickly!
    YES, I want to run as part of your group. Can I let you know by the 22nd?

  29. I'm such a putz for just now finding your race report and this follow up that you have already posted!! Busy week...

    First: Residue? I still savor the residue from my last race in November! I don't know how I forgot that you were racing back-to-back weekends!! Your pace is incredible with the training you have been putting in. I can't wait to see you just tear up your marathon!!!

    Ok...hydration and fuel. I never tried a gel in a race until November...and I am sold now. The drink thing...maybe wear a short straw under the garmin. Easy sipping while running =D

    How exciting that you have another race so soon!

  30. i feel like i deal with race residue for WEEKS afterwards. i may be dealing with some from last fall's race still... reflections are what make us stronger runners and capable of learning from our own experiences. without that stage of analytics we would just keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

    i'm with jenn...i take two gels during a half and 5 (or more) during a marathon. i feel like if i fuel early in the race the last half is no where near as bad.

    i hate 99% of my race pictures because it forces me to recognize how awful my form actually is! i love that you were surrounded by a pack of guys!!! they must have been pissed that a chick was able to keep up with them :) you are awesome lady!!!

  31. I definitely have race residue. I love to analyze everything and races are no different!