Monday, September 29, 2014

Run 2014: Fort4Fitness Half Marathon Recap

Well, we ran the Fort4Fitness Half Marathon on Saturday and it went fantastic!!! I was really, really pleased with how I did and my time was better than I expected. My over all time was 2:03:46 which averages out to be a 9:27 minute mile! I have never, ever run that fast for that long. My long runs are usually around a 10 minute mile and that's how I have been training for the last few months so this is huge. I guess the track repeats and tempo runs really did pay off. It's been two days and I still feel giddy everytime I think about my PR for this half marathon. I'm already looking forward to pushing my training next fall again and seeing what I can do next year.

Pre race selfie.

In general though the race went really well. My pace was challenging but wasn't unmanageable by any stretch of imagination. My pace wasn't as steady as I might have liked and it certainly wasn't negative splits. I started out a little faster than I intended but that's normal for a race. It's really easy to get swept along by the crowd and adrenaline. My second mile was a 8:51 and was my fastest. From there each of my miles gradually slowed by 3-5 seconds and by the 12th mile were down to 9:49. But I picked up the pace the last mile (which was a gradual uphill slope the entire way) and finished with a 9:33. I'm mostly just proud of my ability to maintain a strong pace even though I started out much faster than I meant to. It would have been so easy to burn myself out at the beginning and I wouldn't have been able to rally back.

Justin's view from corral B. I was further back in E.

I was pleased with my decision to wear my running pack. I was able to cruise through the water stations and not get hung up by the other runners. I did snag a gatorade at the aid station on mile 7 and take a couple of sips. I then spent the next two miles chugging water and trying to get the flavor out of my mouth. Ick. The sport beans that I carried worked well for me which is what I expected. I had fifteen beans and I ate them in fives. So I ate them at the end of miles 3, 7, & 11. That seemed to be a good balance and I had plenty of energy to sprint to the finish.

Me after the race and I was very, very sweaty.

I was a little less pleased with my clothing choices. Saturday morning I ended up settling on shorts, a tank top, and my arm warmers. I was definitely cold before the start but that didn't last long. By the end of the first mile I had stripped off my arm warmers and was carrying them. About a half mile later I was ready to take my shirt off. I made it a little further but at the end of mile three I hopped up on the sidwalk, stripped off my pack and shirt, shoved the shirt and arm warmers inside, flung the pack back on and got back on my way. I just couldn't stand being that hot even though it was about 56F outside. I was sweltering. So now I know that even if it is only 53 at the start I should go ahead and skip the shirt. (Note: I did not see a single other person, man or woman, going shirtless. But Justin said he saw several of both genders up with the fasties where he was. I did however see many, many people running in long sleeves, capris, tights, or some combination of the two. People are bat-shit crazy.)

My legs did very well during this race. I wore my ankle brace of course and that seemed to go fine. I didn't have any major complaints during this run. I know I had some aching in my right ankle at a few points. And I also got a couple of mild blisters. But I was really pleased with how I felt and the minimal amounts of aches and pains that I've had since then. I wore my calf compression sleeves all day Saturday after the race and those seemed to really help.

Justin is mostly dry courtesy of his long wait for me to finish.

And Justin's race? It went fantastic. He blew his previous time of 1:56:23 out of the water and set a new PR of 1:44:37. That averages out to exactly an 8 minute mile but his fastest, and last, mile was a 7:35. He finished up in 286th place out of the 2403 finishers of the race. And those last 3 miles? Yeah, he passed 162 people! Let's just say that Justin's a badass!

So by all accounts, it was a pretty darn good race for the both of us.

After race selfie. Feeling satisfied and very proud.

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