Well 1/2 Marathon #4 is in the books. It was quite an experience, but I really had a good time and was really pleased with the outcome and the effort I put forth in this race.
A little background on the race weekend and race day before I launch into the race report. It was a fairly small race from the ones I have run in. There were only about 700 total runners in the marathon/ half race. There were a lot of runners that participated in the smaller races though. It was held in the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge. They said this is the only race held in a national wildlife refuge, so that was kind of cool. Was hoping I would see a buffalo or elk or something, but nothing. Race day was a mixture or rain, mist, fog, clouds, etc. This made it hard to see the scenary while racing which sucked, but it was still a very beautiful setting which helped keep my mind off the race at points. Also, the race course wasn't closed to traffic so the second half of the race was spent dodging cars from one side of the road to the other. very annoying
Race started at 8am, for some reason they decided that the race shuttles from the hotel needed to leave at 5:30am though, so we sat at the lodge at the start line from 2 hours while it poured rain outside. Not good for warming up but I did meet some really nice people. Finally stopped raining and we all ventured out around 7:45am to start lining up. Went to the middle back of the 9-10 minute pace group to keep with my slower start pace.
Mile 1- 10:01: Well I tried to start out with a nice easy pace - unfortunately the entire first mile was downhill. Yes this will come back to bite me at the end of the race.
Mile 2&3 - 10:34, 10:24: Much more like it. Fell into a nice pace. Found some people to pace myself with.
Mile 4- 10:21: First of the killer hills. Legs were pretty fresh so I took this one pretty well. Took two shot bloks at the end.
Mile 5- 10:14: took advantage of about 2 miles of flat ground to get into my goal pace and make up some time i would lose on hills. uneventful
Mile 6&7- 10:24, 10:36: Huge killer hill. This one probably stretched about 3/4 mile to the turn around point. And I thought it would never end. There was a rest stop about half way up that i really wanted water from but i knew if i stopped or diverted concentration I would never make it up the hill. At the turn around point was my friends and mom to cheer me on. Note this was the only spectators on the entire course besides the people at the water stop. Makes it difficult to push through the hard areas without cheers!
Mile 8- 10:00: Down the monster hill. Really was able to pick up pace and make up time.
Mile 9&10- 10:29, 9:57: stopped for 2 more shot bloks and water in mile 9, but was able to bump up my time in mile 10 (the other downhill from before). Feeling pretty good at this point and thinking i would definitely be able to race the last 5K.
Mile 11-13- 9:47, 9:39, 10:29: I'm actually surprised how fast these were. The beginning of mile 11 was downhill so picked up speed, but then around 11.5 we started going back up a pretty big hill. Kept my speed fairly well, thinking this was the last big one. Nope, turn back onto the final road to discover that the fast pace I had in the first mile was a long mile hill. All up, last mile. OUCH!!!! managed really well. Didn't want to stop and walk, but with about 1/2 mile to go I walked for about 30 secs because I really didn't think I would make it if I didn't. Was still able to "sprint" to the finish and then almost collapsed at the end. Took me about 5 minutes to even catch my breath. Checked the results: 2:15:05 chip time!!!! yea!!!! and garmin said i actually ran 13.21 miles so if i had run just 13.1 i would have been under.
I'll post pics and such later once I collect them.