Race Report for Valley of Fire Half-Marathon (Read 809 times)

    November 19 - A beautiful day for a run. Not a cloud in the sky, starting temp about 50-55. Only drawback is that this is a hard race. First mile is uphill, then a fairly sharp down, then a gradual up and down (mostly up, of course) for the remaining miles to the turnaround point for the half-marathon. My goals were to (1) Finish the race (that is always my first goal of any race), (2) Finish under 1:44 (my time from last year), and (3) Place in my age group. I didn't want to go out too fast but, based on my splits, was a little concerned that maybe I was. Even this course is full of rolling hills (are there any other kind?), it is a good one for a negative split. So, I dialed it back just a little, and focused on maintaining a comfortable, but pushed, race to the halfway point. My legs felt good the first half, and I figured they would. I've never incurred an ITB injury (or any other kind, for that matter) running uphill. I was a little concerned about the turnaround and the downhill. When I did make the turn, I actually shortened my stride a little in order to generate more turnover/minute and eliminate some pounding on my quads. In essence, I was letting my calf muscles work more vs. my quads. I believe you push off better this way, and it is a more efficient way to run. When I hit the turnaround point, I was in 6th place overall (about 200 runners), and I knew there was at least one runner in my age group (50-59) in front of me. He beat me last year by about 3-4 minutes, and ran a 3:19 at the St. George Marathon this year. So, I am generally always looking at the back of hsi head. At the turn, he was about 200+ yards in front of me. I slowly moved up on him, but knew he wasn't going to really fade-he's too good a runner for that. I still have some hesitancy about running too fast on downhill portions of races, and didn't try pushing too much. Nor do I think I should have run the second half faster anyway--at least not for the initial miles of the second half. I ran what I considered to be an intelligent race, and have no regrets. At the last hill (at mile 12-it is a killer hill, a 200ft incline in a half mile, which really sucks after you've just run 11-12 miles Tongue), I managed to move up to within about 50 yards of him. We both ran hard to the finish, and he beat me by about 15 seconds. Maybe next year. I finished 6th overall and 2nd in my age group (50-59), with a finishing time of 1:34:52 (7:14 pace). My splits from the race: 1 - 7:41 2 - 7:06 3 - 7:30 4 - 7:31 5 - 7:40 6 - 7:58 7 - 7:10 8 - 6:45 9 - 6:58 10 - 7:01 11 - 7:04 12 - 7:52 13 - 6:42 So, there you have it-good day, good race. My next (and season-ending race) is Summerlin's Jingle Bell Jog (5K) on December 3rd. Then, I start my Boston training schedule the last week of December.
    My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48

    You'll ruin your knees!

      ShockedWow, great race, Don. The splits are particularly impressive. Practicing on hills couldn't hurt for next year, but I think you did great. Congrats on 2nd in age group. Lynn B

      ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

      Runs with the pack

        Thats really a great half, Don. Those sub 7 minute miles well into the race are impressive. Im training for my first half marathon (at least the first in the last ten years) and Im also in the 50 year old age group. Its not so easy to run those sub 7 minute times for me anymore, especially after a few miles. Good job.