Sunday, January 27, 2008

3M Half Marathon Race Report

As usual, we went out to eat Saturday night so that I could load up on carbs. We went to Carinno's and I had spaghetti with marinara and lots of bread. Yum! Got in bed around 9:00.

I woke up Sunday morning at 4:45. At first I just put on my shorts and tank, figuring it would be in the high 50s and I would be fine. I had laid out my long sleeve under armour top and another long sleeve top to put on while waiting for the race, so I had those. When I was dressed, I headed to the kitchen for breakfast. I had my usual oatmeal for breakfast and then went outside to check the weather. It was COLD! I decided to go ahead and put my Under Armour on. I gathered up my gear and headed out about 5:45. The temp in my car showed it to be around 40 degrees. I was glad I put on the Under Armour.

And it's a good thing I left when I did. Traffic was smooth sailing until I took the exit for the race parking. There was a traffic jam. It took me until 6:30 to get into the parking garage and parked. I don't like getting to races so close to race start. I still had to get to the starting area, check my clothes for after the race and hit the port-a-potty.

As I was standing in line for the port-a-potty, the Star Spangled Banner was being sung. Yikes. But I wasn't getting out of line. I needed to go. And then I realized - "I don't have my knee brace." When I first started running, I had problems with my left knee. I got a deep tissue massage, new shoes, and a knee brace and haven't had problems since. The only thing was that I didn't know which thing solved my problem or if it was a combination of all three, so I had been afraid to run without the brace. But now, I had no choice. There wasn't time to find it, and I wasn't even sure where it was. It could be in my checked bag with my after-race clothes or it could be in the car. Oh well. I headed for the start line and hoped for the best.

As soon as I got to the start line, the wheelchair racers took off. And a couple of minutes later we were on our way. I felt really good and didn't feel like I was going to fast. At mile 1 I checked my split - 9:25. I thought that was perfect. If I was going to break 2 hours, I would have to run around a 9:00 minute pace. A 9:25 the first mile was good.

I felt really good through most of the race. I think I even hit the 10K mark at a new PR for me. I won't record it as such since it wasn't a stand alone 10K, but now I know I have it in me to go faster at that distance.

Between mile 10 and 11, however, I got a massive side cramp. This same thing happened to me last year during the Motive Half Marathon at about the same mile marker. I was going to try to run through it and just breathe deep, but I couldn't. I had to stop and walk and could barely breathe. For a second I wondered if my appendix would burst. That's how bad it hurt. And just like last year about 30-45 seconds later, the pain was gone and I was running again. It's the strangest thing. (I'm wondering if it might be the gel I take, but gels don't bother me in full marathons).

Just as I started running again, I could feel a pack of people approaching from behind. Without even looking, I knew what it was. The two hour pace group. They had been behind me at the start, so I knew if I still wanted to try to break 2 hours I would have to at least stay with them and maybe pick up the pace a little. I held with them the rest of the way and when I saw the finish line I tried to pick it up a little. When I crossed this finish line and got out of the way, I looked at my watch - 2:00:51. My official time may be just a few seconds faster, but it won't be much. Oh how I wish I hadn't cramped up. If I hadn't, I might have broken two hours. As it is though, I have a new PR for the half marathon distance.

Official results are as follows:
chip time: 2:00:48
total pace: 9:13/mile
Overall: 2049 out of 4451 runners
2308 females / 2143 males
class position: 170
gender position: 790

Here are my splits from the race according to my Garmin:
Mile 1: 9:25
Mile 2: 9:19
Mile 3: 8:59
Mile 4: 8:57
Mile 5: 8:24
Mile 6: 9:31
Mile 7: 9:22
Mile 8: 8:54
Mile 9: 9:16
Mile 10: 9:26
Mile 11: 10:05 (this is where I cramped)
Mile 12: 8:58
Mile 13: 9:09
.1 :59

After the race I got my clothes from the checked bags and put them on, got some food to eat and then headed back to the finish line. I had some friends running the race and wanted to see if I could catch them coming in. I was able to see two of them. For one, it was her first half marathon. I don't know what her chip time was, but her gun time was around 2:19 and I think that's pretty impressive for a first half marathon. My other friend came in a little later. We hung out for a while and then they took me back to my car (it's a point to point race and I didn't want to catch the shuttle).

All in all it was a very successful race.


Shauna said...

OOOOOOOOOOoooo! So CLOSE! Great work, especially coming off a marthon so recently. You are amazing! Good work!

Anonymous said...


i've got a partially torn acl and meniscus. i'm wondering what type of knee brace you use? i want to try for a full marathon. i've run a half before. i was told by some that donjoy 4titude was good but i've seen others using donjoy armor. the sales rep said that armor has a higher profile and slightly heavier than the 4titude. what's your opinion?