2011 Marine Corps Historic Half

15 May

The good: I survived my first half-marathon and it’s an automatic PR. The bad was that I bonked way too early and this was definitely the most painful run to date.

Early miles

The first five miles were effortless awesomeness, and I was right on pace:
1) 9:00 – quite annoyed. I started right between the 1:45-2:00 section and 90% of the people here were running 10:00 pace or slower. I was patient and waited for openings… didn’t want to weave in and out, though saw plenty of people doing so!
2) 8:36 – niiice downhill. loved it. didn’t even cross my mind i’d have to come back up it.
3) 9:00 – wtf are we at hospital hill already? took it easy up and luckily there was a downhill there as well to even out the pace.
4) 9:02 – the downhill mileage continues…
5) 8:56

Middle Miles

Bad and oh it gets worse:
6) 9:45 – I knew miles 6-10 would be hard, because it’s flat (I get lazy) and right in the middle, but I was not expecting this. My legs/hips locked up again (too early! wasn’t expecting that ’til mile 10 or so). I took a GU thought it might help. Apparently I ate my breakfast too early and my stomach was too empty for a GU. The result was major stomach cramps that lasted–yup–until i ate a bagel post-race. dealt with a twisting turning stomach for 7 miles. I am packing some TUMS next race for sure. I’m still not sure why this happened… I experimented w/ GU a few times and all went well.

The next four miles my head was not in it anymore:
7) 9:36 – My brain just shut down. I stopped looking at my watch at some point just ran as fast as I reasonably could. I remember the sports beans stop was at this mile, but I was afraid to add anything to the twisting/turning tummy.
8) 9:49
9) 10:26
10) 10:20

“The” Hill

11) 11:07 – this hill looks like a big deal on the elevation chart, but it didn’t seem bad at all… but the five or so monsters before it and the one after it–those were hard!!! I guess I was expecting it, but I wasn’t expecting the others.

12) 10:59 – a bit of downhill followed by a bridge hill – this one was definitely worse. Steep and tough to tackle after the long one.

One of my goals for this race was to pick up the pace during the last few miles, since I always finishing sprinting and with more in the tank. Done and done 🙂 I emptied the tank on this one.
13) 9:31 – so glad I was able to pick it up in the last mile, passed a good amount of people.
14) 8:10 – SPRINTED it in!

Overall Place 2185 / 5682
Gender Place 661 / 2749
Division Place 124 / 463
Age Grade 51.6%
5K 0:28:16
10K 0:56:59
15K 1:28:02
20K 2:02:01

Chip time: 2:07:42

Overall comments/evaluation

My legs/hips locking up and the turning tummy presented some major obstacles for me and I am proud I made it through given those circumstances. There were times I wanted to just run off the road and quit. I don’t think I started out too fast for my fitness, but perhaps too fast for a bad day on a hilly course. That being said, I would run those first five miles the same if I had to do it over again. My goal was to run 9:00 min miles, w/ 8:45 or so on the downhill and 9:40 on uphill. This was the first time I raced a course that I never ran before so that element of not knowing exactly what to expect was also another challenge. I had the weirdest aches and pains too–ones I normally don’t get. My entire right foot hurt for a few miles (slanted road was quite bad at some points). My lower back cramped up at the end. My knees were fine while running, though quite sore afterwards. One good thing that came out of this training cycle is that 13 miles went by so fast! I remember when 2-3 miles seemed so long.

Next steps

Two weeks off!! (maybe) Gonna hit the gym in the meantime. Then back at it. I am going for sub-2hr half before the end of 2011.

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