The 2013 Davis Stampede Half Marathon... (Read 49 times)

Better I Leave

    ...my Race Report and musings along the way...


    "Arrived at the start line at around 7:40AM. I put myself in with the 2:00 pace group, feeling very apprehensive about it given how my knee and hip had been giving me a bit of grief lately. As it became more crowded, it made it a bit more difficult to do my stretches, so about 7:55AM I told my wife that I was going to get into the middle and I'll see her in about 2 and a half hours (I told her that I didn't think I'll make the 2 hour goal).


    The gun started a few minutes late, but off we went. As in any event, the beginning of the race is a lot of jockeying for position and whatnot and this was no different. Unlike my previous race (Walnut Creek 12/8/12), I made a point to stick with the pace group...which proved wise (lesson learned). So off we went at about 8:04AM on Sunday morning. The sky was overcast and the temp was about 40 degrees.


    We started up 3rd street from Central Park. The HMers and 10Kers were in the 8AM wave. Right off the bat, I felt good. About 1.5 hours prior to the race I has a large bowl of oatmeal w/ brown sugar and half and half and just one small cup of coffee(I've already learned not to drink coffee too close to a race...ugh). So the first stretch of the run went up 3rd street, cut over quickly to 3rd street and we followed 3rd street up to about the 2 mile mark where the 10Kers broke off and we continued on. Along this stretch I passed up a friend I met at the Crazy 8 10K run in December. I waved to her, said “hi”. She waved back as I kept going.


    Still running strong, feeling good with no pain, I felt I could go faster but I forced myself to stay with the pace group. After we broke from the 10K runners, we left the street for a gravel bike path for about 1 mile then we entered a small neighborhood park and followed a greenbelt bike path for another mile.


    At mile 4 we jumped back onto asphalt at Covell Blvd for another mile. It was somewhere around here where I felt a very brief “twinge” in my knee. Of course, I went into this race with the fear that I may have to walk a good percentage of it. I was psychologically prepared to accept that, but at this point I had been running well, feeling good, that I would have been sorely disappointed if I had to swallow my pride, slow down and begin walking. The twinge did not bear anything worse, so I kept my pace and continued on.


    The next 3 miles took us along a dirt/gravel pathway around a golf course. It was a bit foggy out this way (close to the Delta), but the cool temps welcome. So at mile 8 we were back onto asphalt and I was telling myself “You're about two thirds of the way through and you're doing well. At this point in Walnut Creek you were in pain, but here you're not. Keep it up and you just might make it. Keep going. You can do this.”.


    The next mile took us through yet another neighborhood park. The sun had come out by now but the temps still remained cool. I remember noting how nice this park was with it's maintained, paved bike paths and wishing we had something like this in my town..heh. After leaving the park behind at mile 9, we came across what I believe to be our biggest elevation gain of the run...the freeway overpass spanning highway 80...LOL. Up and over we went, briefly down a street through a neighborhood and then back in a park/greenbelt.


    At mile 10 there was a rather large group of spectators cheering us on at the aid station. I chose not to stop for any water or sustenance through the entire race as I wanted to maintain my pace through the entire run. It was also around this time I began to notice a variance between my Garmin and the mile markers of about 1/10th of a mile. Our pace group was a bit “stretched out” and the pacer had pulled away, but still easily within sight. Normally I would have pushed myself to catch up, but at this point I was quite pleased with my performance and lack of pain that I decided to stay with “my” pace.


    The next 2 miles took us along a paved greenbelt and at mile 12 we “ducked under” highway 80 and back into downtown Davis for the final stretch to the finish. The route took us down First street, turned onto A street and as we turned onto 3rd, I could see the finish line a few blocks away. As I approached, I saw my wife in the crowd jumping up and down cheering me on, motivating me as I picked up the pace a bit to cross the finish line.


    I didn't quite make my goal of a sub 2 hour run, but at 2:01:09 it was my best performance to date and I was ecstatic. I finished strong, pain free, and feeling good about myself and my run."


      Sounds like you had a great run, congratulations! I'm sure you can sub-2 next time

        Nice job on a strong race, congrats!