Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Wine Gala with a 6.5 Mile Chaser

I just had my first time trial of my Ironman training.  Coach Daryl's instructions were to run the 6.5 mile race at a hard, but sustainable and even pace, paying no attention to max heart rate this time and trying to negative split, if possible.  I thought to myself:  WOOHOO!  I don't have to watch my heart rate and I can actually let it go over 146 bpm.  This is great!

However, in the week leading up to the race, I found myself antsy with anticipation and I was worried that the only pace my body would recognize would be the dreaded 9:30 to 10:00 minute pace it had been running for the past 10 weeks.

To make matters worse, I completely forgot that the night before, Dean and I had our annual Wine Gala.  I couldn't skip on the Gala, because it comes just once a year and I love my wine!  What the heck!  It's just a time trial ... just like another training run really.  I wasn't really "racing" anyone, per se.

So off we went to the Gala on Friday night.  The meal started with these yummy fried appetizer balls filled with a risotto and some spicy garlic shrimp.  I enjoyed a sparkling Rose Wine and then some Prosecco during the apps phase.  Then the main course was a beef with sautéed onions and peppers in a rich brown gravy broth with a side of asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and sprinkled with goat cheese.  Following the meat dish, we had an arugula Salad and a sampling of three yummy cheeses.  Paired with the meal, we tasted 6 different wines from Spain.  All of this to say, yes ... I think I consumed an entire bottle if I had to add the liquids together.  To soak it up, I just HAD to have everything at the dinner table!

Wine Gala

The BIG DAY:  January 8th - Lake Samish 1/2 marathon and 6.5 mile run.

I awoke feeling great with a headache.  Uggh. Two Three ibuprofen and some coffee was the start of my day.  I left early to take my daughter to her soccer game and then headed for the race.  I arrived at the vanpool early and headed to Lake Samish to check-in.  My friend, Robin, was the race director and everything went smoothly and was well-organized.  I got my number, and then waited for others to show up since I was an hour early.  Ohhhh, my tummy was a rumbling!

Running Friends pre-race
My friend Meghan, who is also coached by Daryl and is doing IM Canada, showed up.  She suggested we run together, which I thought was a great idea.  I had no idea how fast I could possibly go today.  She was hoping to aim for an 8:30 pace.  That sounds great, I say ... an 8:30 is typically my marathon pace.  I should be able to,  "should be" are the key words, do that for 6.5 miles.

Meghan and I head out for a little warm up and it is chilly out (1.34 miles, 9:51 pace).  Low 30's.  I am feeling good, but still a little anxious over my stomach, thinking how slow I might be, ...ohhhh my stomach, too much wine last night, and my friend Kristi said I looked like TRON.  See the photo below.  HA!

The race started with a count down and we took off for one loop around Lake Samish.  ONE LOOP (thank goodness!).  What is an hour out of my life?  I can do this for an hour, right?!

First mile:  8:11  (oopsie ... a bit faster than we intended).  Some guy is breathing right down our necks then blowing snot rockets ... ewww!

Mile 2:  7:47 .... oopsie again.  How ya feeling Meghan?  Okay, she says.  Me too.  Uggh.

Mile 3:  7:40 ... getting into the grove and pressing on.  Meghan and I are not talking anymore, but we are side by side with our stride.

Mile 4: 7:51 ... big hill, we pass a lot of runners at this point, (you know the type, the ones that started out going balls to the wall).

Mile 5:  7:38 ... we are hanging on.  We have Carol in our sights.  Meghan and I use her as our Rabbit.  She is an awesome athlete.

Mile 6:  7:33 ... faster yet and Meghan and I are huffing and puffing, not in unison.  She says she's going for it in the last half mile.  You go girl!

Last 1/2 mile:  7:33... Meghan pulls ahead and I keep on her tail, but finally let her go.  I am running as fast as I can right now and just want to keep it up to the end.

THE FINISH!!  Woo HOO!  Finish time: 51:03.87 (although I didn't stop my watch right away)

I hugged Meghan and thanked her for a great run.  I looked at my watch and noticed my average pace ...  7:46!!! 

Average heart rate:  192 bpm.  WOW ...

I gave it everything I had and could not go any faster at the end.  I was very pleased with my time as it was way better than I expected.  I hurried and emailed Daryl to tell him the news, secretly hoping that he would see that my heart rate is abnormally high for threshold running and maybe he would adjust my easy pace running just a tad higher.

All in all, a great morning!  I felt great and am thankful I had Meghan to push me through it all.

Moral of the story ... a wine gala with a 6.5 mile chaser is not so bad, especially after it is all over.

Do I look like TRON?


  1. Nice job Gina! There's nothing fun about a time trial so it's great you were able to do it in a race setting!

  2. Nice work on the time trial!! I too have run a few races with a wine hangover and it is not fun!!

  3. Nice race Gina! I really enjoyed reading your story.

  4. Wow, great story. My race yesterday wasn't quite as grand *and* bad food was much more of an issue. I found you on Twitter, btw. :)

  5. I love races like that! I really think there is something to be said for just saying "screw it...lets just see what happens."


  6. I am so impressed! I totally know how you feel! I have a wine festival tomorrow that I refuse to miss but a 5k the next day! Hopefully by reading this I can get through the race and obstacles strong!