Half Marathon Trainers

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Columbus Half Marathon Race Report (Read 467 times)

eshep


    I ran the Columbus Half Marathon on October 15th but have not had time to post until now. It was perfect weather for a race. It was low forties for the start without a cloud in the sky and without any wind at all. It gradually warmed up into the low 50s by the end of the race but was absolutely beautiful. There were about 7500 people at the start (3000 for the half and the rest for the full marathon). The course was fast and flat with slight inclines for miles 1, 3, and 7. There was a small hill right at the 13 mile mark that really made the legs burn but then led into a downhill finish. The race was pretty well organized with nice crowds that lined the part of the course that went through residential areas and an especially vocal contingent that cheered runners on from the about the 9 mile mark to the 10 mile mark. There were bands and or radio stations set up at various points along the way as well that took my mind off of what I was doing. (Not as many bands as the Rock ‘N Roll Marathon I ran in Phoenix a couple of years ago but not bad for a smaller race.) The aid stations were very well-manned and organized with color-coded cups for Gatorade and water. There were also volunteers stationed ahead of the stations who were actually pretty good at signaling to the runners what was coming ahead at which table and which side of the road. The miles were also well marked with signs and large clocks with the official race time. Overall, it was a very good event. The only half marathon that I have run that was a better overall time was the Windward Half Marathon in Hawaii (and that was because I ran a PR). Columbus was my first half marathon in two years and I ended up running surprisingly well with my best half marathon time since 1992. I have been running pretty regularly for the last three months and have built back up to 6 days and 35-40 miles/week. Columbus was my goal race for the summer that kept me going on all of my long runs. I ran a 10-mile tune up race on September 24th and did pretty well for me lately with a 1:22:00 finish. The last week before the half marathon I finished up my training with 45 miles on six runs for the week with a final long run on the Sunday before the race of 13.5 miles. The week of the race I tried a different approach than I have in the past. I usually only run a few short runs early in the week of the race and then the last two days do nothing at all. This time I ran an easy 5k recovery run (8:45/mile) on Monday. Then I rested my legs on Tuesday and Wednesday. After that, I ran 6 miles at a 7:50 pace on Thursday, which was slightly faster than my planned race pace. On Friday, I did 4.1 at 9:00/mile on the treadmill to force myself to take it easy. Saturday I did nothing and the morning of the race I felt ready to go. I started out with a goal time of 1:50:00 for the half marathon, which would be 2 minutes faster than I had run my last half marathon a couple of years ago. I usually have a problem of starting off too quickly and burning out in the last 2 miles but the pack at the start made that impossible. By the time we hit the first mile marker, the clock read 8:20 and we were just beginning to spread out so that we could run at our own pace. I think the forced slower start turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me because I did not get winded and have to try to recover later during the race. After things began to open up, I settled into to an 8:00/mile pace so that I would be sure to leave some extra time for my usual crash at the end and would still be able to finish under 1:50:00. But, the miles kept flying by and I felt great the entire way. I never got winded and I never had to slow my pace. The pace actually felt really comfortable after having run 6 miles at 7:50 earlier in the week and I could tell that had built up my leg strength with enough long runs because they never really got tired. I didn’t feel it at all until the final uphill at the end of mile 13. I just kept that steady 8:00/mile pace the entire way. I hit 8:00 almost exactly for every mile and the crash never came. As I passed 10 miles at 1:20:20, I got a serious adrenaline rush because I knew I had my goal of 1:50 beat even if I had to slow down considerably. I still felt pretty strong so I decided to see if I could break 1:45:00. I went through miles 11 and 12 at the same pace and then tried to pick it up a little during the last mile. But, the hill leading up to the 13 mile marker took a lot more out of me than I thought it would and I finished at 1:45:08. It wasn’t a blazing time or a PR but my best half marathon in 14 years! What a rush! Eric
      What a great race! Congrats on your excellent run! Smile

      Roads were made for journeys...


      Needs more cowbell!

        That's awesome, Eric. I hope my first HM on Sun. goes half that well. Smile k

        Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

        '14 Goals:

        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

        eshep


          Thanks Wingz and Zoom Zoom. Good luck on Sunday, Zoom Zoom! Eat well, hydrate, and get lots of rest the next couple of days. On Sunday, start slow, be sure to hydrate at the early aid stations and have a great time. You'll never forget the first one! Looking forward to hear how you do. Eric


          Needs more cowbell!

            Thanks, Eric! Hydration is the easy part...I will be wearing my trusty Camelbak. Not starting fast will be tough...I just need to remember what happened during my 10 mile race 6 weeks ago when I started too fast and spent a couple of miles early-on with bad shin splints, tight calves, and a numb right foot (I really think I suffer from some chronic compartment syndrome when I overdo it). After I took it easy I was able to get a nice, comfy pace and make up some time, but I still was WAY at the back of the pack and ended up last for my age category. Had I played it smart at the start I am certain I would have done much better (since I ran a 13 mile training run a few weeks ago at a faster pace and with no problems). Sleep will also be a factor for me, since I tend to obsess over stupid stuff I have no control over, then lay awake (and, as I posted in a thread in the forums, sleep is the #1 factor in my run quality). Thank god I have my Ambien! Big grin k

            Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

            '14 Goals:

            • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

              CONGRATULATIONS!!! Sounds wonderful - I keep hearing how great Columbus is...some year I'll have to....:-)
              Cincinnati Flying Pig May 4
              bas


                Congratulations, Eric! 1:45 *is* a blazing time if you ask me! I recognize what you write about the benefits of a forced slow start. This is exactly what happened in my HM two weeks ago. In the end it helped me to keep my pace until the finish, with a pr as a bonus. And yes, the feeling when you know for sure you are going to exceed your goal! Big grin bas

                52° 21' North, 4° 52' East

                Jeffrey


                  Congratulations on your successful run! Was this Columbus -Ohio? I used to live in Columbus.
                  I ran the Columbus Half Marathon on October 15th
                  Fast? Flat? Smile This is music to my ears. If you read my Seattle Half Marathon race report post ... you would know I am still living in fear of the rain, and wind, and snow. Seriously. I am overdressing on my regular runs just to get that toasty, overheated effect. I may have to look into a HM course in the midwest!
                  The course was fast and flat with slight inclines for miles 1, 3, and 7. There was a small hill right at the 13 mile mark that really made the legs burn but then led into a downhill finish.
                    Columbus and Chicago are known for being flat....come out to the midwest!!
                    Cincinnati Flying Pig May 4
                    Jeffrey


                      That's it. I will research the HM for each city. Must get away from the hills ... and a good excuse to go see family! Smile
                      Columbus and Chicago are known for being flat....come out to the midwest!!
                      eshep


                        Yes, this was Columbus, OH. There are actually several half marathons here. The Columbus Half in October is the largest in terms of # of participants. The next one that I am running is the Columbus Distance Classic on April 14th, 2007. It, too, is a very flat course. It goes through German Village, the Brewery District up to the Ohio State Campus and back. I actually do not like the fact that there are no hills to run on here. I ran a half in Cincinnati along the river where it is pretty hilly a few years ago and really suffered because I was not used to the hills. Fortunately, now the in-laws live in a very hilly area of North Carolina so I get to run there one weekend a month and on holidays.
                        Jeffrey


                          Thanks for the information on the other HMs. I will research online; I might find one of those appealing. As you say, there could be less participants. I read up on the Columbus HM at marathonguide.com. The opinions were the HM had a couple issues (mainly because this was the inaugural race) but overall it was a good experience for everybody and well organized. On hills: I like them too - don't get me wrong. Smile I enjoy the resistance and change of pace they offer!