Monday, April 28, 2014

Mustang 50th Half Marathon Race Report

I really wanted to write this race report last week while the details were still fresh... But, I didn't get a chance to.   I hope I remember to include all of the important stuff.

My goal for this race was a sub 1:35 half marathon.  I came really close to my time goal.  I studied this course in my head.  I knew that there would be a lot of turns and loops, I also checked out the elevation profile using  I like to be as prepared as possible going into a race.  Here's a picture of the course map

Before the race

I signed up for this race a few months ago and I had the opportunity to submit my time to be placed in a seeded corral.  I submitted my time and I was told that I would be in corral "B".  I was satisfied because I knew I didn't belong in corral "A".

When  I arrived at the expo I picked up my race packet and I noticed that I was number "17". I went over to talk to one of the race officials and I asked about the seeded corrals.  I was told that the top 50 were going to be right up front.  I went home thinking, "maybe I have a chance at placing in the top 3".

I had been looking forward to this race for awhile and my race nerves/jitters were in full swing.  I started carb loading earlier in the week.  By Friday afternoon I was ready to jump out of my own skin, and eating was kind of hard.

Morning of the race

I went to bed at 1030pm on Friday night and I woke up at 430am.  I wanted to make my kids home made waffles before I left.  I ate a banana and drank some coffee while the waffles were cooking. I ate half of a waffle plain and then I smeared peanut butter and strawberry jelly on the other half and ate it in the car on the way to the race.  I had to choke down that waffle sandwich.  I was so nervous.

I left my house at 6am and  I got to the race site with 45 minutes to spare. It was just enough time to jog two miles, do some strides, use the port-a-johns, and make my way to my corral.  I wore throw away pajama pants and a throw away shirt to stay warm.  I didn't really need the throw away clothes,  it was a really nice warm morning.  I got to my corral and I felt like the guys and gals were kind of sizing each other up.  I felt like some of the guys were giving me the side eye, and the, "what's she doing up here" look.  I chatted with a few runners I recognized.  It made the time go by quickly.

The gun went off and I found my groove.   I looked down at my Garmin and saw 6:30 pace,  I backed off and tried to take in my surroundings. It was pretty surreal to be running around a NASCAR race track.

Mile 1-7:19

I kept telling myself to stay focused and run your own race. Don't make any big surges to catch anyone.  The real race happens in the later miles.

Mile 2 -7:16

The course left the race track and we were going up a slight incline the runners were becoming more spread out.  I grabbed a cup of Powerade and I dumped a cup of water on my head.

Mile 3- 7:35

Mile 4- 7:25

The incline was now a decline and I tried really hard not to fly down the decline.  I started to pass a few runners along this stretch

Mile 5- 6:57
Some men do not like being passed by a female runner.  They will fight you to the death even though there are still 8 more miles of a half marathon to run.  I had been running behind a tall man and when I would get close to him he would speed up.  Eventually there was a hill and I used this opportunity to shake him.

Mile 6- 7:06
We were along a stretch of road with zig-zagging loops that let you see the other runners ahead of you.  I noticed two female runners about 400 meters ahead of me.  I had no idea what place I was overall.

Mile 7- 6:57
At times I looked down at my Garmin and I saw 6:45 pace and I would get freaked out.  I told myself to trust my training  and just run by feel.  I dumped more water on my head and drank a little more powerade.

Mile 8- 6:57

The course was now headed back up the incline that we ran during  miles 3-4.

Mile 9-7:41

There was another dude that didn't want to get picked off by a girl runner.  He was a bit more obnoxious because I felt like he was weaving in front of me so I couldn't pass him.   I had a few  choice words with him when we almost tripped over each other going around a barricade.

Mile 10-7:31
I knew that we only had a 5k left and I really wanted to finish hard.   This mile had a slight decline

Mile 11- 6:58
We were entering the stadium and heading back towards the track, I could see the 2nd place female in my sights.

Mile 12-7:12
I passed the last aid station and I made my move to catch the 2nd place female.  I went around her and tried to open up.

Mile 13- 7:09
The 2nd place female came right up on my heels and I fought hard. But, in the end she had a much faster finishing kick than I did.

Mile .28- 1:57 (7:01 pace)

Final Finishing Time 1:36:04 (chip time)
Garmin Time 1:36:08  (13.28 miles at 7:14 pace)
3rd woman overall
31st out of 1703 finishers.

I've had a week to analyze and reanalyze this race. I definitely have some mixed feelings about my race.  I didn't meet my goal time but, I do take comfort in the fact that I did run a negative split race.

I'm bummed because the overall women's winner finished 42 seconds ahead of me.  It was a very close race between the top three ladies.  I wonder if I could have done anything earlier in the race that would have made a difference.

This may not have been the best race for a PR because of all of the twists and turns.  I didn't hit the tangents efficiently and I ended up running a long course.  I needed to average 7:15 per mile to go sub 1:35.  I ended up running 7:14 per mile but, I ran a long course so that doesn't matter.

Overall I'm very happy with how I performed on race day.

1 comment:

  1. 3rd place!

    I have to say, missing your goal by only....1 minute sounds a lot better than missing it by 20. haha. Ohhhhh, Boston. Anyway rock on Dolly, way to finish strong and steady. And check out those four sub-7 minute miles :)

    I find long twisty courses very frustrating when your watch and inner-clock say you are on PR pace. Anyway. Congrats!