So for those who just want a short run down of the race here it is. I ran a 2:20:33 official chip time. I had wanted to run a 2:15 but there were some uncontrollable factors like wind and temperature that affected me. I did PR by about 7 minutes over my last 1/2 marathon so I'm way happy about that. I really beat myself up on the course over losing my time but in the end I realized that I gave it my all so I've come to grips. Just gives me more reason to try another one!!!
Now for those of you who like to have something to fall asleep by I will go into all the gritty details...
To start there were a few uncontrollable factors about today that affected the race. The wind was about 25 mph from the south (which would be the direction of running for the final 5 miles of the race) and the temperatures started at around 70 degrees with a relative humdity of around 68%. My average long run has been about 40 degrees.
Friends dropped me off about 1/2 mile from the start with about 1 hour till gun time. I walked to the porta potties with my gear check bag and waited the 15 or so minutes in line. I then headed out for gear check. I couldn't find it anywhere. I went to the street where they said it was and couldn't find it. Ended up running back and forth about 3 blocks looking for it. No one knew where it was. I try to justify this crazed running as striders, but I think in the end this was problem one of the day. Did finally find bag check. Right street but hidden on the other side of the starting corral and hidden behind a building and a line of porta potties. Just a tad bit upset about that.
Jumped through the fence into the corral. Was lucky that I found the 10 min pace area pretty quick. Located the 2:15 balloons and lined up about 50 paces behind so I didn't try to keep up. I took the remaining 10 minutes before the race started to catch my breath and relax. Gun went off at 6:30am and after standing completely still for about 4 minutes the masses started to move. I think I crossed the start line about 5 minutes after the gun.
The first 2 miles were wonderful. Was able to control my pace and kept below my goal pace of 10:18. (10:40, 10:27). At that point we were headed North with a 20+mph tail wind. I took a little too much advantage of that. I allowed myself to slip of my pace and dropped way to close to the 10:00 mark then I needed too. Of course it was still the first 6 miles of the race so my legs didn't feel it, I was just happy I felt so good. As I was passed by people I was thinking - I'll pass them later (um little to cocky!). Tripped through the water station just before the 4 mile mark and continued on. Took a gel around the 5.5 mile mark with some water and went on. Splits for miles 3-7 were 10:06, 10:11, 10:07, 10:08, & 10:11. Crossed the 10K mat at 1:04:14.
The wheels came off the wagon after that. Saw my friends the first time a little after mile 6. Quick high 5s and I was off. Turned north again and legs started to fail. Even though I was 4 minutes slower then my 10K time, I had run miles 3-6 way to fast. Started a routine of walking 1/2 block and running 1-2 miles. Eventually it was walk 1/2 block run a mile. I started getting really aggrevated at myself. Kept thinking I could push through this mental block and move on. A couple times I would and my legs would lift, but then there would be another hill (there were lots of those). Splits for 8 & 9 were 10:21, 11:06. Then I turned to start the run back to the start - and all the sudden that wonderful tail wind became a head wind at 25 mph. Ouch! As if my legs weren't just tired now they were fighting hurricane force winds! Took another gel at mile 10 and dug deep. The next 2 miles or so were a blur. Saw my friends again and parents which lifted me a little, but not enough. I walked and ran knowing I could pull out a push at the very end but that my 2:15 finish time was now a pipe dream. I hated seeing people pass me, but I knew my legs only really had about 1/4 mile of hard running left and I had to save it. Splits for 10-13 were 11:24, 11:47, 11:24, 11:01.
Finally I could see the finish line - or believed the dude that said it was only 2 blocks, try 4 - and I started my "sprint". I gave everything I had left in my (around an 8:30 mile) and just ran for the finish. I really didn't think I would ever make it there and I was so zoned in on getting there I didn't see the clock or friends, all I saw were the blue timing mats. So the finish was 2:20:33. Not bad accounting all that walking I was doing. I still PR'd by 7+ minutes and finished in the top 35% of both age and gender. This is a massive improvement over my first 1/2 last year where I finished in 2:50 so I have tons to be proud of. I'm not happy with the overall outcome but I'm really happy with my efforts. I left it all on the course - to bad it was in mile 3-7 but I did the best I could.
I discovered that for me running races is a learning experience. This time I learned the importance of pacing in the early middle miles, no matter how good it feels. Eventually I will put it all together and hit my PR of 2:15, until then I will just keep running!