This was probably the most convenient race of all time. My in-laws literally live 1.1 miles from the start/finish. So with that, I managed to coerce Jeremy to sign up for the race and join Kate and I. Kate was doing the 5K, which turned into a 4.2 miler, but that's another story.
The three of us drove to pick up the packets two hours before the start, then headed back home to chill for a bit. Then Jeremy and I ran to the start area. Great to meet up with some friends who live in the area including Eric M., Ty T., Matt H. and Tim T. Also great to see Ryan K. there and learn he was working the timing.
Was wearing long tights but it was warming up quicker than I thought it would. Borrowed Sarah E.'s phone and called Kate to ask her to bring the running shorts I had left back at her folks. Very glad I caught her in time.
|Jeremy and I. Trail Monsters invading the roads.|
|Just before the start.|
The guys in front were now pulling considerably ahead, but there was nobody really in sight behind us, so nice to not be on defense. Robert and I continued to cruise along together through no man's land.
The rolling hills were beginning to become more work. If you've ever run the Mid-Winter 10-Mile Classic, pretty similar.... no ginormous climbs, but some are steep enough to take some wind out of your sails. Speaking of wind, pretty strong and in our faces here. That wasn't exactly ideal.
Mile seven was a bitch. Looking at the elevation profile, it doesn't look like anything great.. maybe it was also that headwind, but I only managed a 7:00 split there. I had begun to wonder if the wheels were starting to come off.
To make matters slightly more complicated, my left quad was now bugging me. I apparently pulled it a little and was worried it would get worse. Definitely a bit of a mental distraction.
However, I got a whiff of blood as I saw a runner up ahead, White Shirt Guy, have to stop and stretch a few times. Looked like he was cramping up. This allowed me to gain ground, but he got his issues sorted out and stayed about 100 feet ahead for several miles. Splits for miles eight and nine were better, 6:23 and 6:37. All splits were highly variable, depending on the hills (and wind).
Alright, it was time to focus on reeling in White Shirt Guy. Fortunately, the left quad wasn't getting any worse. Ever so slowly I was getting closer.
Route turned into my in-laws neighborhood and I saw Jeremy and Tim T. coming back the other way as I ran up the final climb. Made the turn and then it was a downhill and a flat stretch to the end. Finally caught White Shirt Guy at the end of mile 12. Got to give him mad props for still keeping up a great pace despite the cramping issues.
Lemme rewind a bit. All throughout these final miles, I was somehow calculating a 1:26-ish finish. Glad I was wrong. Straight and flat final mile and I cranked with all I had, and as the finishing line grew closer I realized I had miscalculated and nailed down the 12-second PR with a time of 1:24:41. Stoked.
|Coming in to the finish.|
Shortly after I finished, I ducked to the side of the road and full-on vomited (hey look! Sesame seeds from this morning's bagel!). Jeremy very kindly offered to hold back my beard while I puked, but I declined.
Exchanged congrats with everyone and then went on a cool down. Ouch...yeah, I pulled the left quad. It's really nothing bad though. I've done this before, should only take a few days to heal up fully. Not really worried.
Awards were announced, which was kind of funny. Ryan King was doing the honors, and right before he announced my age group, he looked at me and said "Really?" I knew what he meant right away and he then confirmed it by explaining that it was because I was now in my 40s. He then said some very kind words and I got my certificate and whoopie pies for winning the 40-49 AG. Awesome.
Mad props to Jeremy for getting third in his AG (stacked) and nailing down ninth place with a speedy 1:21:34. Not bad for his first half marathon. Very fun day.
|Shaking hands with Ryan.|
|Photo bomb and an unimpressed woman. Great photo, thanks Kate!|
|Homemade whoopie pies for winning my AG? Sweet.|
Ran 13.1 miles @ 6:28/mile pace.
Official time: 1:24:41
Overall placing: 11th of 157
AG placing (40-49): 1st of 15
Mid-30s, sunny, windy.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, sleeveless shirt, long sleeved shirt, buff.