Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Homework help via 911


...but I better have that "911 only in emergencies" talk with the kids again!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Racing Season Has Begun!
March Madness Half Marathon March 16th 2008

Distance: Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
Time: 1:27:42 (1:27:45 gun time)
Place: 1st Female Overall

Well let's just say today didn't go at all like what I had expected. Fortunately it went better!!

I arrived at this race intending on using this race to "discover" where my threshold pace lay over good sized hills in preparation for my race in Boston five weeks from now. I was relaxed and not really in the competing mindset. I was confident that I could easily run 6:50's or so and my training over this winter had been very good thanks to the Sub3 guys (Kevin, Mike, Tom, and sometimes Heather).

After some discussion with one of my running partners, Dan, the plan was to run threshold pace (estimated to be about 6:50's) till 8 miles. If I felt good then to drop the pace a little and by 10 miles if all continued to go well then go with whatever I had. I doubt that anything would really change after 8 miles as finishing strong on hills in a distance of this length wasn't something I had been able to do in a number of years.

Sunday proved to be colder than I had hoped it would be so I stayed in tights but only had a long sleeve coolmax shirt under my team singlet. I tend to over dress so I tried not to make that mistake for this race. (Turned out to be just perfect). I warmed up with Kevin, Tom and Mike, did my drills and lined up. It was fun seeing everyone after the long winter and of course Pony-Tail Guy was there in just his Hawaiian short and no shirt (I will never understand that guy).

Gun goes off and I'm running comfortably and looking for the rhythm I would settle into. I was right with the Sub3 guys and
  • the first mile was 6:35. Okay that's faster than 6:50 but the first mile is easy with a lot of down hill so I eased back a bit.
  • 2nd mile 6:42 and of course the Sub3 guys start razzing me about how I said I wasn't going to race this course etc. I listened to them but also I have a particular knack of being able to sense where my threshold point lay and honestly this pace was easy enough for me to make jokes and chat so I figured I would stay with how I felt.
  • Mile 3 6:38. Okay now this was getting a little silly so I really pulled back and tried to distance myself from the Sub3 guys.
  • Mile 4 6:51. Now this isn't accurate because I missed the 4 mile point but as soon as I realized it I pressed my lap button. I'm not sure how off it was. Continued to feel good, breathing was not labored at all and we've hit a few good hills already.
  • Mile 5 6:31. This will not be accurate because mile four was marked late but whatever. Hills are starting to really come in now so I make sure I don't fight the hills but allow some slow down to stay within threshold pace effort. The people around me are keeping steady pace and I can see the Sub3 guys ahead.
  • mile 6 7:06. Comes after a nasty long hill but still feeling good and not worrying at all about the time. I've lost sight of the Sub3 guys.
  • Mile 7 6:59. Everyone on the course telling me I'm in 3rd, which is fine, and remembering that last year at this point I was already falling apart so I feel things are going well. The guys around me seem to want to push me to run faster and one guys spots a girl not to far ahead. He of course doesn't get why I'm not gunning for her but then after about half a mile she walks off (bandit runner). Good.
  • Mile 8 no time. I see mile 8 and feel really good so I make the shift in effort to slightly faster than threshold and duh I forget to take a split. Whatever. I catch up with the Sub3 guys right about the time I start making the shift and run with them. More razzing ensues. :-)
  • Mile 9 13:03 (a 2 mile split). A tad over 6:30 pace. Good! Mile 9 is a fast mile on this course but mile 10 is not.
  • Mile 10 6:45. Good. I decide no more holding back time to run race pace over this last 5k which is pretty hilly. I catch up to Tom and he says "So you are racing now?" and I say "No." in a why do you ask voice, then I laugh. I'm not sure Tom heard the laugh but Tom was able to stay ahead of me to the end with some great splits of his own. Oh yeah, I see the 2nd woman and its someone I know. Kristin West. Good, someone to chase. I never really entertain the thought of being able to truly catch up to her as I'm pretty well aware of her abilities but I was having fun and I kept her in my sights. She was still pretty far ahead.
  • Mile 11 6:46. Not watching splits anymore but just working the hills and keeping my sights on Kristin ahead of me as I start to gain some ground. I hear Ann in the crowd cheering me on. Ann is an old training partner of mine from the Olympic Trials days and owner of a 2:37ish marathon PR so I listen to her! :-) Good to hear her voice.
  • Mile 12 6:46. Okay, now it is becoming clear that Kristin is within striking distance and I have to make some decisions here. I'm already running quite hard, and the hills just don't seem to ever end, so I search inside to see if I have the strength to dig a little deeper. We are getting very close to Three Oaks Road that will take us to the finish line and of course the guys around me are just salivating at the drama unfolding. We make that turn onto Three Oaks Road and onto the sidewalk and she is there. Bob Lyons (one of my past coaches) gives me the last push I needed, I gather myself and GO as we start to climb that last incline. I pass Kristin within sight of the 13 mile mark.
  • Mile 13 6:28. Oh everything hurts and I'm all arms and high knees driving and driving as I make the last turn and into view of the finish line. Someone yells from the side lines "The first woman was a bandit, you are running for first!!" Like I needed any more drama!
  • Mile 13.1 38seconds for a finishing time of 1:27:42! I kind of stand in the finish line area a little astonished at how everything had gone. I ran over 4 minutes faster than last year and I felt strong and confident and did I just beat someone 12 years my junior?? The old lady can move it....occasionally.
  • Cool down. Long slow 4 mile shuffle.
Congrats to all the Sub3 guys, Kevin, Tom, Mike. We all finish within sight of each other and times were all positive feedback on this winter's work. All hail Kevin for being the coordinator of our workouts.

Congrats to fellow ChiADead Paul for SMASHING his half marathon PR!

Congrats to Jim who followed Paul into the finish chute. PR??

A big "wow" to fellow ChiADead Brian who ran this race AFTER doing 20 miles at Clinton Lake the day before. Clinton Lake is a 10 mile trail course and its a bitch. A true ultra runner!

Congrats to fellow ChiADead Kelly for a good solid run on her way back from some difficult winter months.

Next on the plate The Shamrock Shuffle 8K on March 30th, which I will be racing. See you all there! :-)