Monday, April 9, 2012

Rockin Rabbit Half Marathon Race Recap

1:40:04. I sliced 7 minutes off from my previous half marathon.Today was one of those days where everything went right.
I woke up at 4:45 and was out the door by 5:10am.  I had to drive to the finish line, and then take a shuttle to the start line. I got to the start line around 6:10am and I had time to relax indoors in the casino.  I just tried to relax and make small talk with some of the fellow racers.
I lined up pretty close to the front. I was worried because the start line was pretty narrow. When the gun went off, I expected a bit of pushing and shoving but, it was a calm start.   I had a strategy for this race. Take it easy during the first 4 miles  and 'hold back". These first four miles climb 400 feet, but then the course descends for 4 miles. I hit 4 miles at 32:20 (8:05 pace). This was right were I wanted to be. When we hit the downhills, I wanted to run hard but, still conserve energy. At mile 6 we hit  a stretch of road that was concrete. I was trying not to think of how sore I would be later on. I wasn't sure if there would be energy gel or Gatorade on the course, so before the race I hid a packet of energy coconut water under my hat. I pulled it out and drank it fast, around the same time this guy came flying be me. I tried not to pay attention to anyone around me. I kept telling myself to focus on my own race, later on if I felt good I would try to "pick off" runners. At mile 7 there was another hilly climb, but my legs felt fresh and I was able to catch two runners on this stretch (including the guy that flew by me). The course then continued downhill. I hit the 10 mile mark at around 1:16:10.(7:36 per mile). I realized that if I could run a sub 24:00 for the last 5k I could break 1:40. 

The last 5k of the course was a trail 5k. It ran through train tunnels. At one point I couldn't see because the tunnels were so dark. The half marathoners also had to share the course with the 5k runners. Over the next 3 miles I was able to catch 3 more half marathon runners and several 5k runners.  I wish I would have started my finishing kick sooner. I saw the clock flashing 1:39 and I was hoping to come in under 1:40.  I finished 1:40:04. I think I did break 24:00 for the last 5k but, my math was a little fuzzy and it wasn't enough to go under 1:40.
I am on cloud nine right now.  This race far exceeded any expectations I had.  I finished 4th woman overall and 2nd in my age group. I didn't stick around for the awards. I had to hurry home, I am hoping to post photos from the race later on this week.


  1. Congrats on the PR! Seems like it was a tough course, but you killed it. I would've worried about tripping in those tunnels. They look dark.

  2. What a cool half marathon... Love that picture! We don't have anything like that around here. I can't believe you ran through train tunnels!! Great time too! Cutting off 7 minutes from your last half is huge!

  3. Ah...what a beautiful course through the historic railroad trails and an awesome account of your half marathon. Great job Dolly! You killed it--four seconds under or not. That is a fantastic time that only I could dream of so thanks for sharing!!

  4. Oh dang!!! I hope you are still on cloud 9, one week later. I am so impressed, I could never get a 7 minute PR on a tougher course! Although a beautiful course--the idea of running through tunnels seems kind of Disney-ish, in a fun way. Congrats, it must have been all those eager puppy-dog runs :)

    p.s. I will indeed be in Vegas, Friday afternoon of April 27th through the next afternoon. Caeser's palace. possible blogger meet-up!?