Monday, July 12, 2010

Half Marathon Race Report

I know it has been more than a week so I wanted to finish my race report and get it up. On a whim I signed up for the Inaugural Twin Cities Half Marathon that was being hosted by the same folks who put on the Twin Cities Marathon every October. I signed up as a scare tactic to make sure I ran as well as to run with a friend who was already signed up. Well, the scare tactic worked…somewhat. I wasn’t doing any short/medium distance training because I always and a reason why I should run during the week and then on the weekends I always pushed too far trying to build mileage during the long runs. I went from running 3 miles 2-3 times a week to running once a week at 6-8 miles. After each long run I was hurting! Either my IT Band was extremely tight or my foot/ankle hurt. IT was a lose lose situation.

(Porta Potty Line Pre Race)

So, onto the race. The entire week leading up to this race was super hot and muggy in MN. Race morning, at 5:00 am it was in the mid 70’s with 90% humidity. I got up super early and did my pre-race oatmeal breakfast and threw on my clothes and ran out the door. I was meeting Steve and Pharmie at their place in just 30 min (it is a 20 min drive). I knew first thing in the morning this race wasn’t going to be a great race, I had been sick for 3-4 days prior and the head cold I had was limiting my uninterrupted sleep. Pharmie, is a pharmacists…who would have guessed, game me some nose spray to take on top of the Sudafed (the good stuff…the stuff they swipe your ID for) and the cough drops. I was a little apprehensive, but I trust her…she is after all my sister-in-law now.


(Just after mile 2. Still thumbs up)

Steve, Pharmie and I jump in the car and make our way to the start. Pharmie and I are standing in the porta potty line when we overhear a man walking by; “well who do I need to talk to to get some porta potties on the race course.” Right away we think, oh no. There are already not enough at the start and there are none on the course, someone is going to have a really bad day. We stood in line for 30+ min and just made it as they were finishing the national anthem. The two of us hurried to the start line and wished each other well. We wouldn’t be running together today…I was hoping for a conservative 2:20 and she was hoping for a 1:50.

The beginning of the race was good for me. It was SUPER hot (maybe 80 degrees and 90%+ humidity) but I ticked off the first few miles at my goal pace, and got faster when the skies opened up with a generous downpour of cool rain. Steve got a photo of my shortly after mile 2, still thumbs up from Jon. I was having a good day up through the first few water stops. Splits went by slowly but surely until mile 6’sih….the first hiccup of the day. Pharmie had a friend who gave us some race course info that completely missed one major hill (in my mind). I was thinking, ok, he must have gotten miles 6 and 7 confused and this is the hill…just push up this thing and it is mostly downhill from here. I kick up it, a little slower than I hoped but I was happy…one of the two large hills was out of the way. Shortly after that, the next one. Ok. We are done with hills. NOPE. Mile 7, just as instructed, a monster of a hill…steeper and longer than both the other two combined. I was mentally defeated, it was getting hotter and I had convinced myself there were no more hills. I walked half of the hill and kicked it down the other side to make up time….not a good idea.

Around mile 8.5/9 I was in trouble. My pace was slowing and my body was giving me those small twinges that let you know it is going to cramp soon. I backed off hoping I wouldn’t lock up. I was mostly successful in that regard, but I was now running more than a min slower per mile, and even slower with any type of elevation. At this point in the race I had 4 miles to go, I knew I’d finish but what kind of shape would I be in at the end? I was having trouble slowing my heart rate down. Walking the water stops, and a little ways after then, I still couldn’t get my heart rate below the high 160’s (which is low zone 4 for me). While running, my now 12 min mile pace, my HR was up around 180. I convinced myself I only had a 5K left and pushing at zone 4/5 was ok.
The miles seemed to drag on and on. At this point the rain let up and things got hot. Things were miserable. I found a few folks to attempt to chat with on my short walk breaks to keep myself for maxing out my HR. Talking seemed to help, but then I was walking more and running less, that won’t get me to the finish line any faster.

Eventually myself and another girl put our heads down and went for it…we were less than a half mile away. We finished nearly right next to each other. We took at photo at the end and went to find our friends/family cheering us on.

My finishing time was 2:30:04, my slowest half marathon to date! Slower than the first 13.1 miles of both marathons I’ve run. This race did give me a lot of confidence, it was my longest run of the year and I knew I still had the mental strength it takes to conquer these types of endurance events. Overall, I’m glad I signed up for this half…my I vow to never sign up as a motivation for working out. If I sign up for races in the future it is to test myself and the training I’ve done.

(Finishing with a smile on my face.)



Thanks for reading.

Jon





(Pharmie getting close to the finish.)

1 comment:

Rainmaker said...

Hey, the important part IS that you did indeed finish with a smile on your face. And that...that's what counts!