Saturday, April 9, 2011

RACE REPORT: Greer Earth Run 2011 - SC Half Marathon Championship

Build-up:

Not ideal... since the marathon in January, I've averaged maybe 12 mi/week.  Work's been pretty busy, including 3+ weeks abroad and working even longer hours, making finding time to run hard.  Good thing I decided not to try to squeeze in another Boston attempt before summer.

A couple of weeks ago, I PRed in a 5K, but since then, I gained a pound or two while traveling and not running (went 9 days without running at one point!).  I wasn't expecting much from the race and saw it as a training run.  I considered dressing up as a Spartan and running for fun while entertaining people.

The night before the race, though, I was looking at last year's results and figured that I had the potential to be fairly competitive, so I decided to go for it.  My Half PR from Spinx was 1:36:01, and that was at the very beginning of my marathon training.  It would be interesting to see how much better those long runs would make me.

Race Morning:

I'm tired from months of sleep deprivation, especially this past week.  I got 6-7 hrs last night, though.  I took my warm-up shower and had some decaf coffee.  I was still full from a big tofu dinner, so I didn't eat breakfast (Clif bar) until I got to the race.

I wore pretty new Saucony Vizpro Ignite shorts... orange and black, baby.  A new NB sports bra, all-black, too.  As I was exiting a porta potty, a little girl asked her mom, "Mommy, is she going swimming?"  "No honey, I don't think so."  It was hilarious.  It was going to be 62-66 degrees... warm.  I wear this even in sub-freezing temps.  I like it cold.

It was a 7:30 start.  Put on my visor, shades, Shuffle, UA calf sleeves, Kinvaras, Feetures socks.  I washed down the Clif bar with water and 2 Endurolyte tablets.  I had a Powerbar gel (double latte) in my back pocket.

The Race:

I started at the front, figuring I'd finish near the front.  The thought of going at 7:22/mi for 13 miles still seems inconceivable to me.  But I went out and hoped for the best.


I got passed by 2 girls within the first mile.

At about mile 3, I started getting a bit tired...

At about mile 4, I got passed by 2 blue shirted girls, and through mile 7, they remained about 0.1 miles ahead of me. 

At mile 6, ate most of the Gel.

At mile 7, one girl dropped off pace.  I saw my co-worker, too.

Still a ways to go...
I started wondering if I could hold the pace.  The watch seemed to be treating me well, though.  I was surprised... I felt like I wasn't going fast at all, but the splits were at faster-than-PR pace.

At mile 9, you know that you're getting close, but I had doubts about whether I could keep it up... hoped that I wouldn't fade.  Ate the rest of the gel at around this time.

We had water every 2 miles, which was good.  Towards the later miles, I'd grab 2 cups... they had Gatorade, too.

Just have to keep it up somehow.  My limiting factor was my quads, for lifting and driving my knee.  Would I make it, or would I crash?

At mile 11, you knew you were close, and you'd be okay after all.  Time to turn it on a bit.

Mile 12... the other blue girl is getting reeled in bit by bit.

Mile 13... I've just about caught up to her.  I know I have a good kick, so I'm not too nervous, although it is tough mentally.  Happy to say my mind was un-fuzzy enough to remember to take the tangents during the whole race.

Mile 13.1... kicked super-hard and had a really fast sprint to the finish in maybe the last 0.1 miles.


 My watch time is 1:36:00... a PR by one second?
It's hard to say, because the official time at Spinx was wrong, period, and I didn't have an exact watch time.  So it may be a PR... probably a PR, at least by the records on Fit360.  

1:36:00, 7:20 ave.
4th overall.
1st in the 20-24 age group.

Sweet.

Splits>
1: 7:06
2: 7:07 (average for 1-2)
3: 7:10
4: 7:39
5: 7:10
6: 7:19
7: 7:20 (average for 6-7)
8: 7:38
9: 7:34
10: 7:32
11: 7:40
12: 6:59
13: 6:59 (average for 12-13)

I started a bit too fast, paid for it a little bit in the middle, but finished really strong.
Next time, I think I can do better.  I'll drop the extra pound I gained in Argentina (just because it's excess, not because I think I need to lose any weight... if it happens naturally, great, but I won't do anything intentional to make it go away), get a haircut, actually train, sleep better, run in cooler weather.  The weather will play a big role, and the pound will also give me a 1% faster time.  Looking forward to more PRs to come!  I want to be top 3 next year.  The twenty miles I ran last weekend (total) were probably okay, so I won't be afraid to do that much next time. 

1 comment:

Jen said...

Awesome race! You are super speedy! And I love your outfit and shoes! Great job!