Half Marathon Trainers

Race Reports (Read 1688 times)

    Simon, holy smokes, you are fast! 4th in AG is terrific. Nice report, thanks for sharing.

    the kenyan


      "Here I go again on my own, going down the only road I've ever known!" - The 2013 Ogden Half Marathon

       

       

      Background

      This race had been on the calendar for a while and bore a great deal of significance for me.  Having just picked up running again last august after a 7 year layoff post-college, this is the first race that I would call a 'target', a way of saying 'I still got this!' and hopefully a solid benchmark for bigger things down the road.  While putting a training plan together over the winter and crunching data from workouts and smaller races, I projected that I could hit around 1:55 in a best-case scenario and set that as my aggressive goal, with 9:00 pace (high 1:57s) and 2 hours as my more conservative goals.

       

      The training itself was a mixed bag; the second part of feb and most of march were pretty solid; I ramped up my long runs to 10-11 miles and had some solid tempo work.  Then april was mostly a trainwreck.  Between low energy/motivation from being busier at work and the Wyoming winter messing with my head and coming back in full force, quality workouts were fewer and farther between. I also developed a big mental block with my long runs, with many of them turning into death marches and me being unable to get back up into double digits over the last 6 weeks.  I did rebound a bit in the first part of May and become more consistent, turning in a solid workout or two….so a ‘reverse taper’, if you will,   Despite the gaps, I knew I still had reasonable fitness but was concerned how I would fare over 13.1 miles, having been unable to hit the distance in training and gone through considerable struggles to even get close to it.   Thus, I revised my goals and set 2 hours as my aggressive goal, with my conservative goal being to more or less get through in one piece and not embarrass myself.

       

      Pre Race

      The day's adventure began at the curious hour of 4am (as only a curious sort of folk would be up then).  My wife Andrea and I had come down from Wyoming the night before to stay at her friend's place, which was relatively convenient to the finish.  I made the 10-15 minute drive to the finish area to board the shuttle busses to the start, blasting some good ol’ White snake on the way.  Suddenly I feel more awake!  The traditional Utah long distance affair has runners sequestered at the top of a canyon at some ridiculous hour, then engaging in a mad dash to the bottom, with an occasional speed bump thrown in. It's a unique challenge to take advantage of the downhills while staying in control and not frying your quads.  At the start area of such events, you are greeted by thousands of people congregated around fire barrels  to keep warm, along with the more common site of portapotties stretched as far as the eye can see.

       

      Today would be a popular day for the fire barrels indeed, with the weather forecast calling for showers and 40 degree temperatures at the 6:45am start time.  I alternated between huddling around the warmth and pacing around with some dynamic stretching thrown in, taking note of the commentary of another participant about the amusing logic of preparing for a distance race by standing still for an hour.

       

      A light rain had been falling on and off, which picked up considerable in intensity about 30 minutes before the race and would be with us for much of the duration.  After waiting until the last possible minute to strip down and drop my gear bag, I headed to the start, parked myself by the 9:00 pace sign and bounced around pretty much continuously to stay loose.....today was definitely a day in which I did NOT dread the start.

       

      So it begins

      We finally get underway and I cross the start line about 2 minutes after the gun and start my GPS. I told myself that I would keep today as hands-off as possible and limit the checking of my watch so as not to mess with my head, learning to run by feel.  I stuck to that and ended up checking only 3 times during the race; after the first mile to make sure I didn't do anything stupid, at around halfway to check my progress and plan accordingly, and once the finish banner was in sight.  It was a fairly packed start and I found myself moving steadily up the field while trying to keep in control.  A 9:04 mostly flat first mile confirmed the early lack of stupidity.  Near the end of this mile and into mile 2, we also had our only significant hill of the race; a gentle slope of about a quarter mile (nadra swears it's a half mile, but I'd give it 600 meters at most).  With that easily out of the way, we followed a flat to gradually descending path around a beautiful reservoir for the first 4 miles - albeit with not so great visibility on this day.  I continue to steadily pass people, feeling relaxed and good.

       

      Early splits:

       

      Mile 1 - 9:04

      Mile 2 - 8:51

      Mile 3 - 8:49

      Mile 4 - 8:42

       

       

      Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

      A bit before mile 5, we turn away from the reservoir and begin a series of steeper descents through the canyon.  I worked on staying relaxed while opening up a bit on the downhills and letting gravity do its thing.  The legs start to feel a little heavy around miles 7-8, but I otherwise feel good and am still running well on the downhills.  I do check my watch just past 6 miles and see 52 and change, which was a minute or two faster than expected, but I was still feeling good at that point and happy to have the cushion.    I should also note that there really isn't much in the way of crowd support in these earlier miles, but the aid station crews were quite spirited, even with the weather and for the most part - very efficient and kept things moving.  Being a large race, there were always people to run with, which also helped a ton.

       

      Splits:

       

      Mile 5 - 8:13

      Mile 6 - 8:23

      Mile 7 - 8:21

      Mile 8 - 8:25

       

       

      ...and never mind that noise you heard, it's just the beast under your bed, in your closet, in your heaaaaad!

      As the miles wore on, I was definitely tired, but still able to keep my head in the game and keep a strong pace.  There was always a looming sense that a meltdown was right around the corner, as had been the case on most recent long runs, but I had been able to stave off the negative thoughts thus far and things seemed to be working out.  Just before mile 10, we flattened out and came onto a bike path for a couple miles before the last stretch.  The clear highlight of the race occurred here, as we ran through a tunnel with a fairly large puddle covering most of the path and a group of runners in single file in the meager dry space to the right - at a pace a bit slower than I desired.  As you can probably guess, I was totally 'that' guy and charged through the puddle, passing close to 10 people and probably earning a couple dirty looks in response (it's always nice when the XC background rears its head  :d ).   Along this stretch, crowd support picked up, which was a nice boost.  I was too tired for any real surges at this point and just worked to maintain.

       

      Splits:

      Mile 9 - 8:11

      Mile 10 - 8:09

      Mile 11 – 8:31

       

      Bringing it home

      From about 11.5 was really where I had to dig in to keep myself running.  It seemed that my training inconsistency had finally caught up with me.  I could perceive that I was doing well and didn’t want anything to mess this one up.  Even though I had to slow down considerably and began to get passed (I think most of my splash victims would have the last laugh on this day), I was able to keep running and thus avoid any time-snatching walk breaks.

       

      Just past mile 12, we emerged from the bike path onto the streets of Ogden and took the final turn toward the finish with just under a mile to go.  Ogden has one of those unfortunate finish line setups where you can see the finish line way off in the distance mocking you from half a world away.  I was giving it everything I had just to keep shuffling along at this point, so I put my head down and pressed forward.  As we drew closer (but still a ways off) I allowed myself a glance at the watch and was pretty shocked to see 1:52:XX.  It was hard to judge the distance to the end, but I thought I might have a shot at my initial aggressive goal of 1:55, which perked me up a bit.

       

      Once I got to within striking distance and the crowds began to thicken, the adrenaline started to take hold and I tried to muster what I could for a kick.  Unfortunately, my body had other ideas and I had the dubious privilege of suffering every runner’s worst nightmare; a cramp on the home stretch….in front of everybody.  With about 200 meters to go, my right calf seized up, causing me to grab it and dance around in a Charley Horse jig.  I tried to immediately begin running, but was overcome with pain, which turned it into more of a drunken limp.  I take a quick peripheral glance to make sure there are no TV cameras zooming in for a ‘human spirit’ moment, then shuffled forward for a few seconds.  Fortunately the pain subsided into a general stiffness, allowing me to resume running to the end, though obviously without much ‘kick’ left (My wife said she was right by the finish and missed the cramp episode but maintained that I looked strong coming in.  Wives are the best!).

       

      I crossed the line unceremoniously and hit my watch, registering at 1:55:22.  My GPS had the course at 13.31, but the thing can be jumpy and I’m reasonably confident that the course was accurate.  I’d estimate that the calf incident cost me about 15-20 seconds, so absent that, I was dead on with my previous aggressive goal that I had dismissed as out of reach.  Obviously I was pretty pleased all around.  I thought it was a pretty perfect tactical race except for fading over the last 2 miles, but again, I think that’s where the lack of solid long runs came in.

      Final splits

      Mile 12 – 9:03

      Mile 13 – 9:31

      Last .31 – 9:48 pace (stupid cramps crampin’ my style)

       

      With all the factors involved, it’s going to be hard to translate this race into future workouts/race predictions.  It helped that it was cool and cloudy, but in turn the rain definitely made things difficult.  Obviously the amount of downhills helped a ton too; I think my splits reflected how goofy it was at times.   But downhills can also mess you up if you don’t run them properly.   The one big positive to take from this race will hopefully be the confidence in future long runs.  Being able to complete the whole distance without (voluntarily) stopping was a big deal for me and was unexpected.

       

      Having just found out that I made it into the St. George Marathon in October, it will be back to ramping up the mileage again in the next couple of weeks.  I’ll probably reassess where I’m at sometime in the late summer and try to get some performance goals figured out.  I think 4:10 would be very doable by then if I put the work in, but hopefully I’ll be able to approach the 4 hour mark as well.

        Simon! I can't believe I missed your report somehow. Nice work.

         

        And congrats the kenyan - I'm still so new to this I cannot think about what I learned from my own races etc.

         

         

        So here's my, admittedly very brief race report for my Cleveland half on May 19.

         

        Executive Summary: I said I was aiming for 3 hours even. This would be about 15 minutes slower than my PR but as I have another 21.1km scheduled for May 26 and this would be my first "race" since switching our eating habits I thought 3:00 would be okay. In the end I managed 3:01:32 and that minute 32 is gonna annoy me for a while. Smile

         

        a bit more detailed:

        The race started off at the home of the Cleveland Browns. Americans do football like no-one else on the planet. The stadium was a nice place to start, although we started outside the baggage check and bathrooms (!) were inside the stadium so the lines moved very quickly.

         

        I know enough to start way at the back and it took me about 11 minutes to cross the finish line. 2900 in the marathon, 9100 in the half. Oh and 4400 in the 10k (which started a little bit later than the half and full (which set off together)).

         

        It was wonderful to start with - grey and overcast and a little bit of side wind. My husband and I have been eating very low carb and so I was a little worried about how my stomach would handle a steady stream of easy carbs during the race. Blue Powerade was on offer at the water stations (for this reason alone Cleveland will live on in my heart forever. I love blue powerade) and I brought some stingers. I managed the first 10k in 1:23:39 which would have had me over the finish at 2:56:29.

         

        Then the humidity set in. And then it got hotter. I guess I just have to work out in the heat more but I generally don't like the heat. And the only hill of significance was in the last third of the race.

         

        I took random walk breaks (as opposed to my usual 10:1s) and I think that really broke me. I'm disciplined enough to force myself to run to the beep, but I learned that no beep means I don't push myself enough. Sometimes I ran for 14 minutes sometimes (honestly far more often) I ran for 5-6. Sigh.

         

        A friend had shown up and saw me at about 12.9 miles. She yelled and cheered and showed me a beer she'd brought me from MI. So I booted it down the last hill like I had seen a ghost. That was kinda fun but then I died and pushed the last few yards thinking "I think I can I think I can."

         

        Not sure how the above reads but I loved it. I'm slow and pokey and usually run on my own so "races" give me the opportunity to run with others. Most of whom are so happy to be there running along at their slow and pokey pace but doing it nonetheless. It's kinda awesome. And I'm so looking forward to next Sunday.

         

        Although, in truth, I'm also looking forward to the week after that - I've promised myself a swim (or two) and a massage before I actually get my act together to try and train and get faster (but just a little bit).

        First or last...it's the same finish line

        HF #4362 - no really :)

          Nicely done to both of you, Kenyan and Redleaf.

          PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                              10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

           

            I'm cheating this week - I did up my weekly blog post on running (I'm tracking my running between Toronto City Hall where I live to Charlottetown's city hall - where my brother and his family live) and my race report from this morning is there.

             

            link here

             

            If you go to week 3 - you'll see a very similar report to the one I gave here but with pictures Smile

             

             

            MTA: my official time from this morning is 2:55:39.7 - so I beat last week's showing in Cleveland but didn't really challenge my PR.

            First or last...it's the same finish line

            HF #4362 - no really :)


            Dad on the run.

              Im just going to post a link because there is way to many photos to have to post this more than once.

               

              http://www.runningahead.com/groups/BF_and_Beyond/forum/5f35301c73784abcb63cab4fd96b6dd9/resume#focus

              My parents said I could be anything when I grew up, so I decided to be Awesome!

                Im just going to post a link because there is way to many photos to have to post this more than once.

                 

                http://www.runningahead.com/groups/BF_and_Beyond/forum/5f35301c73784abcb63cab4fd96b6dd9/resume#focus

                 

                Awesome job and love all the pictures Smile

                First or last...it's the same finish line

                HF #4362 - no really :)

                Rondog65


                  This is my first RR so be gentle and I hope you enjoy.

                   

                  Short Version:             1:53:33 a PR, 272 out of 789, 44 out of 81 in my age group

                   

                  Long Version:

                   

                  History:  This is race 2 of a 3 race Half Marathon trilogy of races in my area.  If you complete all 3 races in a year you earn a nice jacket.  This race series intrigued me so I mentally committed to it last year.  Although I have never run a Half Marathon and my running history has always been on again and off again for the past several years I decided to venture forth into the challenge.

                   

                  Approximately a few weeks back I injured my feet from overtraining on some hilly routes and to fast a pace.  This injury had me wonder if I would be able to achieve my goal of going sub 2 hours.  Not racing wasn’t an option as I needed this race to meet my trilogy goal, I would have run / walk it if needed, I’m that stubborn.  As the weeks passed the training continued and my feet felt better.  Two weeks ago I started feeling real good and the PR of a local 5K surely helped.  Last week’s 5K felt real good so I was cautiously optimistic about doing a sub 2 hour marathon.  However I wasn’t confident, my last LR of 14 miles wasn’t nearly as strong as I hoped, and self doubt during the taper was setting in.

                   

                  Race Day:  Arrived at the race real early to ensure I could get a nice parking spot as they run a 5K prior to the Half Marathon.  The weather was partially cooperating as it was 48 degrees with overcast skies, however the wind was gusty and a light rain at times.  The race director had to change the course due to road work not being completed on time, thus the course wasn’t USATF certified.  This didn’t affect me except feeling bad for the people who put the race on and the stress it added.

                   

                  The start of the race was a little slow as the runners worked their way into their respective pace.  At about the first mile I settled into my pace, quicker than I had initially thought.  The pace felt good so decided to go with it.

                   

                  Mile 1              9:03

                  Mile 2              8:22

                  Mile 3              8:25

                  Mile 4              8:29

                  Mile 5              8:25

                  Mile 6              8:14

                  Mile 7              8:35

                  Mile 8              8:23

                  Mile 9              8:33

                  Mile 10            8:30

                  Mile 11            8:32

                  Mile 12            8:07

                  Mile 13            8:12

                  Mile 14            7:37

                   

                  I wasn’t sure when I was going to hit the wall so I kept at it, trying to bank enough time to recover when I did.  At about mile 7 I was still feeling good and strong and started to think that I might achieve my goal of going under 2 hours.  At mile 10 I estimated that I could finish the last 5K at a much slower pace and still hit my goal.  Feeling empowered at the end I finished strong.

                   

                  Conclusion:  Training and dedication clearly paid off for me for this race.  Having done well at the prior 2 week 5Ks was very beneficial.  It gave me the confidence to trust myself and go with a pace quicker than I had intended.  Feel good about the last race in October, not sure what I will do for races / events between now and then maybe a Ruckus run, sprint triathlon and a few road races (5K, 5 milers).  Do I dare think of a Marathon, Boston 2014, never mind I will enjoy the glow for today and ponder tomorrow on another day.

                  Ron's PRs 5K 24:14 (12/07/2013); Half Marathon 1:53:33 (5/26/2013)

                    Awesome Rondog65 congrats!

                    First or last...it's the same finish line

                    HF #4362 - no really :)

                      Oops. I never posted my 5k race report from like almost 2 weeks ago! sorry.

                       

                      The plan was to go out recklessly fast and then keep going as long as possible. I somehow settled on 6 min/km. I was hoping I could run that fast 15 minutes. I lasted 5. ARGH

                       

                      My friend Suzy who ran with me was awesome. We did the first mile in 9:47 Suzy says (she tracks in miles and my garmin didn't start right). We did the last mile in 11:47 or thereabouts. So I definitely did too much too soon. Sigh. Suzy easily could have finished way before me but stayed with and encouraged/goaded me on. I am very grateful.

                       

                      Anyway, it was hot, I hadn't been training well lately and all that jazz. They still haven't updated the results to say there's been a correction or anything so I actually got a PR though - 34:11 so about 30 seconds faster than the 5k in June.

                       

                      5ks are dumb. It hurt. Like my lungs actually hurt so that at 5 minutes we walked for 20-30 seconds. (that might have also been due to the 80%+ humidity). I told Toby I just have to run more of them if I want to get better at them BUT I don't know if I want to get better at them. 10 milers & 15ks are so much more fun. And halfs come a very close second to those distances. So why continue to piss myself off with 5ks? I dunno. But I know I want to run one <30 so I'm gonna have to keep trying. ARGH

                       

                       

                      (MTA: the reason I wrote that they haven't updated to fix the results is because my garmin apparently didn't start when I thought it started it and Suzy tracks on map my run and she had us at 34:50 so when the official results were posted I was sure they were wrong but my slightly compulsive nature makes me treat them as the "official" results so that's what I logged)

                      First or last...it's the same finish line

                      HF #4362 - no really :)

                        Yippie!

                         

                        Official time: 1:47:11

                         

                        Getting to the island was fine. The run was awesome. I cannot believe how well it went. I felt strong and kept it together. I stuck with the plan (10:1s) and even the water tables were co-operating. An online mommy friend came and ran too. She'd never run more than 8 km before so I told her what I was planning to do with the 10:1s and the pacing and the goal (1:52:30). She did great. For the first 6 km she stayed right behind me. At the walking break before that I reminded her I wanted to beat my last time and she reassured me that she was fine with me leaving but she'd try to stick with me as long as she could. She was really happy we talked about the 10:1s at the beginning because after I left she kept it up with variations (7:1.5, 5:1 etc) making sure that she ran for the whole time she set. Which I think is awesome.

                         

                        It was mostly asphalt trail and some patches of boardwalk and sand and grass.  And some of the nicest scenery of the city!

                         

                        Anyway, I will never ever run on the island again. It took us almost an hour to get OFF the island. There were so many people in line that three ferries came and went while we were in line!

                        First or last...it's the same finish line

                        HF #4362 - no really :)

                          My come back Race Report.

                           

                          First, thank you to everyone that has given me support, coming back to this group has played a vital role with me finding the strenght and courage to do this.

                           

                          Okay, so I didn't sleep well Friday or Sat night, then to top it off, I forgot all about going and picking up my package yesterday afternoon so I didn't have to do it this morning.  So I wasn't off to a good start this weekend and was freting over it.

                           

                          Weather was perfect, this morning, clear and sunny, minimal wind, temp low 60s at start time, 7:45 (15 minutes late and I hate delays)

                           

                          I did not run the race I had planned on and trained for!

                           

                          "I RAN AN EVEN BETTER ONE!"

                           

                          Ran a 1:54:19/8:44.  Finished 4th/16 in the 60-64 division, 526/1,613 overall and 296/608 in the male division.

                          Here are my times

                          8:37, 8:39, 8:43, 8:32, 8:30, 8:45, 8:51, 8:51, 8:34, 8:47, 8:29, 8:38, 8:20

                          Garmin shows actual distance as 13.3 = 8:36 pace (I can explain that if anyone wants to know)

                          Was actually holding back for a little while midway as I was concerned that I had gone out way too fast and wouldn't be able to hold it.

                          I made the hill without much problem , gave a big cheer that cracked everyone up and then said nothing left but a 5K (actually only about three miles and started some kick and you can see they were the best three miles on the course.

                           

                          Best thing, last  1 1/2 miles, passing people pretty good and easily and with less than a half mile to go, came across a guy really struggling. Tapped him on the arm and said come on, let's go, let's finish together, you and me, you can do it.  He picked up, smiled and off we went, continuing to pass people and I kept talking to him, come on, don't give up on me, it's you and me and we pushed hard and ended up passing two guys right at the finish line for a 4 man finish.  I congratulated him on a great finish. he rached out and shook my hand and he thanked me saying that he was just about ready to stop and walk the rest of the way and I gave him the lift he needed to finish and certainly knocked 2 minutes or more off his time. That's me!

                           

                          My wife has said, that each of the times she saw me, I had a big smile on my face.  Yes, I was happy and am happy.  If I listened to DRs, I'd be a couch potato.

                           

                          Watch out 2014, I am coming back with vengeance

                           

                          Larry

                          LPH

                          "Today I broke my record for most consecutive days lived!"

                            My come back Race Report.

                             

                            First, thank you to everyone that has given me support, coming back to this group has played a vital role with me finding the strenght and courage to do this.

                             

                            Okay, so I didn't sleep well Friday or Sat night, then to top it off, I forgot all about going and picking up my package yesterday afternoon so I didn't have to do it this morning.  So I wasn't off to a good start this weekend and was freting over it.

                             

                            Weather was perfect, this morning, clear and sunny, minimal wind, temp low 60s at start time, 7:45 (15 minutes late and I hate delays)

                             

                            I did not run the race I had planned on and trained for!

                             

                            "I RAN AN EVEN BETTER ONE!"

                             

                            Ran a 1:54:19/8:44.  Finished 4th/16 in the 60-64 division, 526/1,613 overall and 296/608 in the male division.

                            Here are my times

                            8:37, 8:39, 8:43, 8:32, 8:30, 8:45, 8:51, 8:51, 8:34, 8:47, 8:29, 8:38, 8:20

                            Garmin shows actual distance as 13.3 = 8:36 pace (I can explain that if anyone wants to know)

                            Was actually holding back for a little while midway as I was concerned that I had gone out way too fast and wouldn't be able to hold it.

                            I made the hill without much problem , gave a big cheer that cracked everyone up and then said nothing left but a 5K (actually only about three miles and started some kick and you can see they were the best three miles on the course.

                             

                            Best thing, last  1 1/2 miles, passing people pretty good and easily and with less than a half mile to go, came across a guy really struggling. Tapped him on the arm and said come on, let's go, let's finish together, you and me, you can do it.  He picked up, smiled and off we went, continuing to pass people and I kept talking to him, come on, don't give up on me, it's you and me and we pushed hard and ended up passing two guys right at the finish line for a 4 man finish.  I congratulated him on a great finish. he rached out and shook my hand and he thanked me saying that he was just about ready to stop and walk the rest of the way and I gave him the lift he needed to finish and certainly knocked 2 minutes or more off his time. That's me!

                             

                            My wife has said, that each of the times she saw me, I had a big smile on my face.  Yes, I was happy and am happy.  If I listened to DRs, I'd be a couch potato.

                             

                            Watch out 2014, I am coming back with vengeance

                             

                            Larry

                             

                            **clapping** for standing ovation. Its a great feeling to beat the odds. Congratulations Larry! You splits are solid.

                              That is awesome Larry. Congrats on a well run race and for helping a fellow racer along the way. I find that so inspiring. You rock!

                              Run, Walk, Crawl, just Finish.

                              HF # 1189


                              Pura Vida

                                Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day 5K RR 9/15/13

                                 

                                Summary: Gun time 24:25, 6/42 OA, 3/24 Women, 2/4 AG, on an uncertified course.

                                 

                                I injured myself in my April HM, and took most of the spring and summer to recover.  But my training has been going well lately, and I’m working towards my second HM in November.  I decided that I wanted to try a 5K, since my PR (26:03) is from last December, and that’s an eternity for a beginning runner.

                                 

                                I chose the race mostly because of the date and location.  I don’t need to take off from work to do a Sunday race.  The race itself was a small local race to benefit the local Celtic dance group.

                                 

                                I decided on a goal of 24:45.  Even with an injured knee, my HM pace was in the 8’s.  So I really wanted to see a “7” in front of my pace for a 5K.  This isn’t totally random, since I’ve been doing some track workouts based on a VDOT of 38.3 (from my best race so far, last March).  Those track workouts have gone really well.

                                 

                                The weather forecast called for rain and thunderstorms, but it was only really overcast and 70 degrees at the start.  It did rain during my warmup.

                                 

                                First mile:  The start itself was really nice.  Small races have some advantages!  I try to settle in to what my Garmin says is a 7:59 pace, and it starts feeling awful after the first half mile.  WTF?  I got a side stitch, and my pace was slipping.   By the end of the first mile, my watch says I’m running closer to tempo pace than 5K pace.  I just try to focus on putting forth the best effort that I have today.  Maybe I can still PR, though my goal is clearly out of reach.

                                 

                                I realize that I haven’t run a single tempo mile since probably March.  I’ve only been back to speed work for 3 weeks, and I’ve been going to the group track workouts since they’re a lot of fun.  But since I only do speedwork once a week, that means that I haven’t done any tempo miles.  The longest I’ve had to hold a pace has been 1000m.  I decide that must be my problem.

                                 

                                My watch says that I ran mile 1 in 8:19.

                                 

                                Second mile: This is not getting any better, although my side stitch went away around here.  The leader runs back by me, and I pass the turnaround.  I’ve been pretty much on my own since I passed a couple a half mile in, but now I’m gradually gaining on a girl in front of me who has her name on the back of her shirt and her arm in a purple bandage.

                                 

                                Garmin time for mile 2 – 8:34

                                 

                                Third mile: OK, I tell myself, maybe I’m just running tempo pace today, but surely I can hit the 7’s for the last mile.  I’m almost done, right?  Push the pace.  It starts to feel really hot.  I feel like I am trying to breathe shower air, and I fantasize about how nice it would feel to take my calf sleeves off.  On the other hand, I’m going to catch purple arm girl.

                                 

                                We pass the final turn and now it’s just a straight run back to the finish.  I catch purple arm girl and she says something encouraging as I pass.  But I’m only maybe 20 second faster when she comes on with a surge!  Maybe she heard my breathing as I went by?  It is a good tactic on her part, I can’t match her.  Then some guy zooms by both of us from out of nowhere.  After the race, I saw that purple arm girl is only 17.  So of course she had the legs to get by me!

                                 

                                I can see the finish and try to kick, but there’s nothing left.  I am picturing the clock turning over past 26.  I get there, and it’s saying 24-something.  What?  Too tired to think, keep running.

                                 

                                In the chute, I stopped my watch, and only then realized that I hadn’t felt the beep yet for mile 3.  My watch is saying 2.94 miles for the course.

                                 

                                Garmin pace for “mile 3”- 8:02

                                 

                                Post race: So now I don’t know if the race was a great success or a total disaster!  I know I gave it the best that I had for the day, but I don’t know if I hit that 7: XX pace that I was wanting or not.  My husband, who works in the industry, says that the satellite coverage, and their position relative to the horizon, can change day to day, and that cloud coverage can be a factor.  Plus the course goes under 5 bridges each way.  Also, all of my Garmin times for my runs that day were off- the number on the screen showed as much slower than my perceived effort all day long.

                                 

                                I made the map for this race public, if anybody wants to check it out.  It doesn’t look so bad zoomed out, but when you zoom in, it shows me cutting every corner.  Is that enough to add up to the .15 mile that I supposedly didn’t cover?  I don’t know.

                                 

                                I have a 10K in two weeks on a certified course with mile markers.  So I will probably get some answers as far as where I am, fitness-wise, there.  And no matter what the finish time was, this was a good practice for getting back into racing for me.

                                 

                                Plus I won stuff!  For being 3rd OA woman, I got a pint glass and a free massage appointment!  I got a “kiss me I’m Irish” necklace for the AG award, and the goody bag had coconut hazelnuts!  Yum!  Not too bad for a $20 race!  Hopefully they made some money for their efforts.

                                 

                                PRs: 5K: 25:35 / 10K: 53:03 / 10mi: 1:26:15 / HM: 1:55:02

                                Upcoming: Correcaminos HM 7/13, Portland Marathon (debut) 10/5