Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Indian Summer Half Marathon (RR)

Is that the sounds of more than one person behind me?   Where did those two guys come from? Really, an all sprint on the last 30 yards?   Wait those aren't the people I passed in the last half mile....

Friday Morning:

"All right!   Let's get three easy miles in as prep for tomorrow's race, no need to push pace, just an easy run to get in the right mind frame." Runner Me says to myself.

"Wait, we have never run the day before a race, won't we be tired and sluggish tomorrow?" The naysayer retorts.

"Look, shoes are on and we are out the door, Runner can deal with those problems tomorrow," runner replies.

Most of the week I was totally oblivious to the fact that I had a race Saturday, most of the month really.  So the thoughts above totally sum up my attitude for this race, a Half-Marathon for crying out loud.
Friday night:   After being informed that my 3 year old was sick all day, dinner plans were left in the air.   I volunteered to grab dinner from a fast food joint after I picked up my race packet.   Nothing says proper pre-race nutrition like a dinner from Jack in the Box.   Food nutrition aside, I managed to do the right things the rest of the night.   Once the kid dos were asleep, I relaxed, watched a bit of TV, and was in bed by about 10.  This being a local race, I knew I could get a good night sleep at home, get up, and have plenty of time to make it to the run.

Saturday Morning:   Alarm buzzing at 6:34.  Who sets their alarm for 6:34?  Snooze for 10 more minutes, get up and get moving.   Want to be out of the house in 30 minutes.   Get moving on morning routine, bathroom, running clothes on, shoes on (as chosen by my 3 year old).  Now, let's grab a quick bite.   Hmmm?  Pop-tart? Perfrect!  Race number...Why is this not on my clothes?   Oh well, I need to go it is 7:25 and the race is at 8!

Get in the car, and BEEEEP! Crap, the car needs gas, well I guess I can fit that in, it is only a 10 minute drive.   After gassing up, where I used the pump time to pin my bib on (see efficiency), I got to the race location at 7:45.  This works out great. Grab a parking spot, run over to the start location, notice I have 12 minutes to go, run over to the bathroom.   Get back, with only 5 minutes to go, having had a decent warm up.

8:00 AM - Off we go!  I stay back the first quarter mile, letting the crowd disperse a bit, so that I can find my pace and go on from there.   About half a mile in I ran through some grass that had just been watered, whoops, now my shoes are soaked, nothing to do now but run! At about the 5k turn-around (seen below) I checked my phone to see pace, 7:57.  Opps, seems I have started out a bit fast, let's just see where this goes as I am feeling great this morning.

A spot near the 5k turn around.  Of course I didn't stop to take pictures today, I was flying!

Miles 2-4 - Nothing much going on. The crowd has thinned, leaving a random collection of people training out.   There are some guys that I pass here, who clearly started much faster than their abilities.   I keep passing people in ones and twos for the next couple of miles.   I pass up water at the first water stop, cause, well, I am feeling great.

Mile 4-6.5 - Around mile four I hear footsteps and voices.   I get passed by a woman in yellow(#1451), briefly, she is central in the plot, and then two other women, whom I don't remember seeing again.   The water stops at 4 and 5.7 miles I grab cups that are unrefreshingly low on water.   Now, I have a habit of taking a slow jog through the water stations in order to drink the water, this doesn't bother me, because drinking the water is important.   The woman in yellow follows suit, slows down and drinks her water, always remaining just behind me.

Mile 6.5-11- Just before the turn around the woman in yellow decides to pass me.   She uses an uphill burst to get past me, normally I do this, but I figured that if she wanted to make her move now that was up to her.   So on we go to the turn around, she passes her family (I assume at this point she is running her first Half) giving high fives all around.   But maintains a steady pace out in front of me.   I use the opportunity to consume my gel after the turn around (Note:  Gels without water are harder to consume).  We come flying into mile 7, I check the phone, distance is 7.1 and time is 58 minutes (this is the last time I check).  Sweet!  I am crushing this right now.   Leaving the water stop at mile 5.7(7.3) I start thinking that I am tired.   Stupid brain, we are rocking, leave this to the us legs and we can get through it.   Better get distracted.   Focus on getting through the next water stop (mile 9) and the final one (mile 11).

Mile 11-13 - Getting through the water stop, I start calculating just how many milestones are left til we can push to the end.   Meanwhile, I have been holding a pace leaving me about 20-30yards behind the woman in yellow (#1451, when you stare at it for 40 minutes you remember it).  As I cruise past the 5k turn-around I know that it is time to start making a move.   I pass a couple of people at the curves in the path near the hotels, then set my sights on the woman in yellow, as well as the guy that keeps passing me (seriously like 5 times in this race this guy passed me).  With a mile to go, I set my path on the inside of the curves and pick up my pace.   I pass the woman in yellow.   Then with a quarter mile to go, pick it up again and pass the guy who keeps passing me.

Mile 13.1 - Is that the sounds of more than one person behind me?   Where did those two guys come from? Really, an all sprint on the last 30 yards?   Wait those aren't the people I passed in the last half mile. In the last tenth of a mile I get passed by two guys that I didn't even know were behind me.   But I did stay in front of the guy who passed me a lot, and the woman in yellow.   Sometime after the last water stop, I started wondering if the clock would have a 4 or 5 in it when I reached the end.   Well, coming up I saw 1:50: and some change. I passed the finish with a time of 1:51:30!!!!!!

This is a PR, by 14 minutes!!!!!

Of course, last time I ran a Half, I did my own virtual race in lieu of traveling to Vancouver WA and missing the birth of my second son.   This so rocked.   Plus I got this - - - -

So as far as PRing goes, I guess the run for fun plan rocks, I have not run a single long run over 10 miles since I ran an 18 miler back in August.   Of course, I want to get faster (shave 6+minutes off of that) and get below 1:45.  So I know that as I get back into training, I will be working tempos and intervals back in.  But for now I am going to revel in a super fast Half time.

Have fun out there!

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