2017 Training Stats

Miles Completed = 29.01
(Run/Walked = 29.01, Biked = 0.0, Elliptical = 0.0)


Sunday, November 6, 2011

2011 Women's Half Marathon Review

Let's start with Saturday night.  I was not feeling great, I was having some stomach issues and I was quite worried about how that would affect my race in the morning.  Still I managed to go to bed at about 8:30pm and slept for a while before I started waking up every half hour to hour. 

I don't really remember my first alarm going off at 3am, but I was awake before my second alarm went off at 3:15am.  It was tough to drag myself out of bed this morning.  My stomach was feeling okay, but I was pretty sure that I didn't want to test it this morning so I opted to skip breakfast.  I wasn't sure how that would affect my race as I would normally have some cereal or a Powerbar a couple hours before the race start.  I got up and started getting ready to go.  I had a few minutes to check the driving directions and get my stuff together, then it was time to feed the dogs and head out the door.  Thankfully I double check to make sure I have everything before I actually leave my garage as I left my bib sitting on the counter - yikes!

It was 4:00am when I headed out and I knew I had time so I took surface streets instead of the freeway to the parking area.  I pulled in and parked and it was 4:30am.  I sat in the car for a few minutes before deciding to head over to the buses.  I knew it was going to be cool this morning, but I decided against long sleeves or a coat.  I did have my gloves though and I was glad for that.

The walk over to the runner buses was about a quarter of a mile and I didn't rush over as I knew I had time.  Once I reached the buses a volunteer directed me to a bus and I boarded.  I was very happy this year as they had actual motor coach buses instead of the old school buses they used last year.  Already a big improvement!  Thankfully, the bus driver was in no hurry to leave so we sat there in the nice warm bus for quite some time before heading out.  We were the first bus to leave and our driver didn't know exactly where we were going, but thankfully we had a volunteer that knew the way and where to park.  We arrived at the start area and were told we could sit on the bus as long as we wanted because our bus was a gear bus.  It was about 5:20am and I decided to stay on the bus as long as I could before heading out in the cold.

Finally, at 6am I headed out.  I grabbed a cup of water and sipped a little bit of water and then headed over to the porta potties - there were 70 all lined up and since it was still a bit early I was able to get one that hadn't even been used yet.  Such a nice thing :)!

I walked around towards the starting area and just found a place to hang out for a little while longer.  It was cold (at least for me) at 46 degrees, but I've been worse - 2010 WDW Half Marathon ;)!  At 6:30 I headed in my corral.  I was in corral 4 and there were 6 corrals, but make no mistake, there is no wave start for this race, it's just a way to help runners line up according to their anticipated finish times.  Slowly the corrals started filling up and soon it was time to start moving forward.  I ate one Pep-O-Mint Lifesaver as we waited.

The National Anthem was sung and we were off.  It's a relatively small race and it only took a couple of minutes to cross the start line.  I was taking this race a little differently - my Garmin is still dead and I left the interval timer at home.  I had no big plans, but I had hoped to finish under 3 hours if possible.  As I crossed the start I started RunKeeper on my iPhone.

I was hoping to get a good amount of running in, but as I took off I realized that I would not be running from the start today.  The knee just wasn't warm enough to run on yet so I decided right then that I would walk the first six miles of the race and then see how I felt and add some running in on the second half.  It was tough to walk and sort of got me down, but then I decided that I would do my best and see what came of the race.

The first mile went by relatively quickly through Old Town Scottsdale and while the crowd was pretty good, it wasn't so bad that it impeded my progress at all.  Mile one done in 14:40 and I ate another Lifesaver at the mile marker and took a couple of sips of water.

We continued on through Scottsdale.  It was still chilly, but the crowds thinned out pretty quickly.  Nothing too exciting happened during this mile and I quickly hit the two mile mark and ate another Lifesaver and took a couple of sips of water.  Mile two was 13:55.

Still on the road and continuing along in Scottsdale.  There was a band out playing and we passed them and headed to a turn around point.  As I turned the corner and saw the runners behind me, I noticed that the 3hr pace leader and group was behind me.  All I knew was that I wanted to stay ahead of them and then I found out why - the pace leader was so incredibly loud and annoying.  She was yelling and screaming and just over the top loud.  The group wasn't far behind me and I really wanted to stay ahead of them as I wanted to finish in 3hrs or less.  We passed the band again and headed out on the canal path and pretty soon we hit the three mile marker and I ate another Lifesaver and a couple more sips of water.  Mile three took 14:00.

The canal path is a nice break from the road.  It's quieter and a little softer, but it also slows me down because of the little pea gravel on the path - I'm always fearful of hurting myself on these paths.  Yes, I prefer asphalt and concrete!  The 3hr pace leader was still giving me a headache and closing in and I just really didn't want them to pass me.  I kept going as best as I could and finally we hit the four mile marker and I ate another Lifesaver and took a couple more sips of water.  Mile four took 14:05.

Finally, the canal path turned back in to sidewalk and I was happy again.  The 3hr group was still way to close to me and I really didn't love that at all - especially because the leader was still hollering her lungs out.  I mean really did she have to yell every five seconds?  We were still in a park area and not on the road, but that would be over soon.  There was the five mile marker and you guessed it, I ate another Lifesaver and took a couple of sips of water.  Mile five took 13:51 - yes, I was just trying to stay ahead of that 3hr group.

It was still pretty chilly out so I kept my gloves on, but I was finding that I didn't have a lot of coordination in my hands.  Not sure what that was about, but it was hard to grab things.  I kept trudging along and trying to keep my pace up and knew that I was going to be coming up on the almost half way point.  I was back on the road and on a slight downhill.  I came up on the six mile marker and ate another Lifesaver and took a couple of sips of water.  I was surprised that my energy level seemed to be staying pretty constant.  Mile six took 13:30.

Now was going to be the time I was going to start running, but as I turned the corner I knew what was coming.  There was a great hill on Curry road coming up.  It's a pretty long and steep hill for Arizona and I just wanted to keep or increase my pace without trying to run the hill.  Surprisingly, the hill did not kill me.  I was able to keep my pace and go up the hill.  Finally we hit a flat part, well not a hill, but a pretty intense bank that can be a bit painful.  Then we hit a downhill and I started to do a very light jog, nice and controlled.  Again, this was a strategic move to get further in front of the 3hr pace group - it was working they were further behind me and I was hearing yelling right behind me.  I came up to the mile seven marker and yep, ate another Lifesaver and took a couple more sips of water.  Now I was over half way done and I was feeling pretty good overall.  Mile seven took 13:17.

I kept adding in some running segments when I could and walking when I felt any twinges in my knee.  So far so good, the knee was holding up and my energy was holding up as well.  There was another band on the side of the road and as I continued on, there were lots of runners heading the other direction on the last leg of their run.  The running and walking continued and finally I saw the mile eight marker and took another Lifesaver and a couple more sips of water.  Mile eight took 12:54.

There was no more yelling behind me.  I am pretty sure the pace group had not passed me, but I was no longer hearing the group leader hooting and hollering.  This was a big improvement for me and the quiet was welcome.  The course is a bit bland at this point, just road and then a slight uphill as we headed over an overpass to cross the freeway.  There's another band out playing on a corner next to an on ramp.  It was finally warm enough to take my gloves off.  The nine mile marker came and I took another Lifesaver and more sips of water.  Mile nine took 13:29.

Now the course becomes deceiving.  You start to think that they measured wrong as you feel like you're going five miles out of the way, but it's okay, you just keep going.  across the freeway, turn the corn and keep going and before you know it, there's the mile 10 marker.  Another Lifesaver and more sips of water.  Mile 10 took 13:48 and I only have a 5K to go.

Heading along the road and we were by the light rail track and there's a car that turns a corner and instead of being on the road, the car is on the light rail track - that's just scary and all I can think is please let them realize and get off the tracks before a train comes.  Turn another corner and the last big hill looms in front of me.  This is not a super long hill, but it's a steep little bugger and it comes as you are starting to tire a bit.  I do not run this hill, but keep a good pace as I continue up and over.  Turn another corner and you are on the on ramp of the freeway.  I'm still feeling pretty good, energy level is doing great, I'm starting to feel some pain in my hips and a hot spot on the ball of my left foot indicating a possible blister forming.  Nothing bad as I come up to the mil 11 marker.  I take another Lifesaver and a couple more sips of water.  Mile 11 took 13:17.

I am at the top of the on ramp and there the band is again, but not playing.  I am still adding some small running segments in where I can, but decide to hold back on running too much in mile 11 as I want to keep some energy for mile 12.  There are still quite a few racers behind me and I try to encourage some of them as we pass in opposite directions.  It's that boring stretch of overpass and road.  Turn the corner and continue and there's the 12 mile marker.  Another Lifesaver and a couple more sips of water.  Mile 12 took 13:35.

Heading in to the last mile.  I run for a little bit and have to walk as the legs are tired and I want to run in the last part of the course if I can.  I know that I've slowed a bit, but I try to push as much as I can.  As I get closer and closer to the final stretch there are more and more runners that are done and headed out wearing their medals.  I turn the corner.  It's not much further now and I start running, not fast, just a good jog and I keep this up as long as I can.  Mile 13 took 13:47.

I continued running all the way through the finish line.  I was done.  I have no idea what happened to the 3hr pace group, but I wonder if they were able to finish in 3hrs as I know I'm right about 3hrs and I hadn't seen or heard them for four or five miles.  I get my medal and a bottle of water and a photographer snaps my picture.  I turn off Runkeeper and then I head to the refreshments and grab a bag of Sunchips and a banana.  That's it - another race in the books.

I head out and back towards my car which is a good distance away - I turn on Runkeeper to see just how far it is.  .76 miles.  Overall I'm feeling pretty good, my hips are a bit sore, the knee is tired but not hurting, and the ball of my right foot actually hurts.  I head home and I jump on the bike to round out the miles for the week which also helps to loosen up the hips and legs.

My official time is 3 hours and 24 seconds.  It was much slower than I hoped, but I feel pretty good considering I had to walk 6 full miles and have spent two months getting back to being able to add running back in to the mix.  I am happy with the fueling on this run, the Lifesavers worked pretty well and I never felt a drop in my energy.  So, I'll consider half number four for the year to be a success!
The medal is large and shiny.  The center piece can be removed and worn as a charm on a necklace or bracelet.


karen @ working it out... said...

Love the medal! They have women's running event in Florida that I have been tempted to do for several years now but have never made it to the race. I have never heard of anyone fueling on lifesavers (candy corn and gummy bears, yes just never life savers) - glad it worked for you! :)

Richard said...

Great race effort! It looks like you did a great job pacing yourself over this race.

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