Thursday, March 19, 2009

Little Rock Half

I am way behind on posting so I'll try to make this one short. (lol....don't believe it)

Did the Little Rock 1/2 Marathon on Sunday. The day started out very stressful. First off, Saturday night the weather forecast called for a 42 degree start. Kind of borderline for me as to wearing long sleeve or short sleeve shirt and shorts or tights. Actually too warm for tights and I was hoping I could wear my favorite long sleeve that had gotten me through the 15k race and the 1/2 training run in the rain. After getting up Sunday morning, the temp was 50 degrees. Talk about missing the forecast. So now it was plan B, tech t shirt. No big deal other than the one I picked had never been tested on a long run. These are things that one needs to do as some shirts can chaff where others may not. I rolled the dice.

To add to the tension, we needed to meet Michele and some others at 6:15am for the drive down, at 6:45am my phone quit working right. I have a Blackberry Curve and the roller ball all of a sudden started hanging up. I thought no big deal, I'll just pop it out and clean it good with some canned air. I had done this several times with Annette's phone with no problems but after popping mine out, I could not get it to go back in place. It's kind of like doing surgery because the parts are so small and so easy to break. The harder I tried the more it would not go back in place. All I could think about is that I had to have my phone for at least after the race to find out where everyone is. And you can't do much of anything with a Blackberry if the ball does not work. I tried and I tried until finally, I broke it. Yep, I broke the ball, its 6:50am, I still needed to shower and get dressed. We had to meet at 6:15. And one other little thing, it was race day!

Lucky for me I had purchased a roller ball for Annette's phone when she was having trouble. So I grabbed it, out it in my phone and it went right in place. Phone worked, ball worked, everything was good other then it was now a few minutes past 6. Stress!!!

Somehow, I managed to shower, shave, get dressed and get all my gear together in about 10 minutes and at 6:15 we were walking out the door. Met Michele at Team 1 and then found out that Karen had overslept so we didn't have time to wait on her. Off to the races we went.

Since my stress level was now reduced, the race seemed no big deal. My goal was just to stay around a 10:00 average pace and have a PR. My pie in the sky was to run a 2:10. Not fast for some but with my pure lack of training so far this year, it would be a big task. I had only done one run over 10 miles and had only had three over 8 miles leading up to the race so my expectations were really more than my legs should be able to handle. My last half was last April.

After the usual bathroom visits, we found our starting coral and didn't have to wait long and we were off and running. I stayed with Annette, Michele and Jane for probably the first couple miles. We all started separating as we crossed the Broadway Bridge. I felt good and strong but by mile two my right shin and calf was tightening up. At 2.5 I grab water as I slogged through the water stop. By 3 or so the pain in my leg was gone. It was getting warmer and I was starting to sweat pretty good. Much warmer than I would have liked. The next water stop I tried to get some Gatorade down me which required me to walk fast through it. Didn't walk any more than 15 seconds and I was back running. The next stop was close to 6 miles and I wanted my accell gel so I kinda slogged through it. I was keeping a good pace, probably faster than I should have. Average pace here was probably 9:50 which was much faster than my goal so I decided I'd just go with it anyway and bank whatever time I could. I knew I would need it later.

I managed to keep my below 10 min pace up to about mile 10 where things fell apart for a few. There is a long incline leading up to the Governors Mansion and for some reason seeing that for about a mile or so just messes with my head. My legs were starting to tired too just from lack of training and I knew once I turned at the corner, it was only 5k to go. Here I made the fatal mistake of taking a quick walk break to rest my legs and catch my breath. Shouldn't have done it. What cost me time was after I started back running, two blocks later was the water stop. And it was time for my last gel. So, a fast walk here. All in all this probably cost me one minute in time, if that. From there on it was still rolling inclines but I felt better. Tried to push the pace when I could. My average pace was still around 10:05 per my garmin. Nothing spectacular from here other than I passed one of the Grand Prix guys that usually runs about the same time as me. He passed me back then I passed him again when he took a walk break. After that I was determined to make him work to pass me. It paid off in the end. I finished the last couple miles strong. It was nice seeing that finish line though. I knew I had a PR in the bag but I had blown my hopes of a 2:10. Ended up finishing at 2:13:45 which based on race distance was a 10:13 pace. My garmin showed the course a little long at 13.29 miles. Time was the same but my average pace per my garmin was 10:04. Either way it was still a big PR by almost 5 minutes. Still not happy about mile 10 and if it had been a little cooler I know I would have broke that 2:10. Little Rock is a tough course and really not one to PR on. Nashville is next for me at the end of April so hopefully I can train more and have another PR there.

1 comment:

ShirleyPerly said...

Congrats on your PR!!

Considering your training, I think you did really well. Long hills are tough. I usually have to play a certain song in my head over and over to make sure I keep my cadence up or else I'll lose my efficiency going up them. Same thing with climbing hills on a bike.

Good luck in Nashville!