Sunday, January 25, 2009

week of 18 Jan -- Carlsbad half in 1:29:48!

  • Monday 5.83 0:55:11 9:28 132. Easy
  • Tuesday - 7.88 1:24:27 10:43 138 -- Includes Rock circuit. Running pace was low 9s.
  • Wednesday 12.11 1:38:32 8:08 146. Forgot the 10 x 10'' hills. Did the 3 x mile @GHMP (6:54, 6:57, 6:47) and 5x45'' at 3k. Misjudged route and went a little long (supposed to be 9-11 miles total)
  • Thursday 5.41 0:49:43 9:11 142
  • Friday 8.15 1:08:52 8:27 140
  • Saturday. 1 mile w/ my daughter in the kid's race. They didn't have a clock but it felt like about 9 minutes! Was supposed to be 3-4 miles easy
  • Sunday
  • -- 9:59 AM 0.46 0:04:19 9:28. My pitiful warmup. It took 30 minutes to park and I only had time to jog to the porta potty line and then get in the corral for the start.
  • -- 10:30 AM 13.18 1:29:56 6:49 179. Woohoo! The time is a little long because I forgot to hit my watch when I crossed.
  • -- My hamstring was strained (more below) and it felt like I was doing more harm than good in trying to do a cooldown run. Was supposed to do 4 miles
This Week 54 miles -- way under the 64 scheduled. The gap came from the 6.5 less I ran today and the 2-3 yesterday.

The big event was running the Carlsbad half.

Packet pickup

They put me in wave 7 (the slowest wave) when I transferred from the full to the half. Ugh. They told me they couldn't change it, but they didn't police the corral. Um, OK.

Getting to the race

Our hotel was 5 miles away and the race started at 7:30. I left at 6:15 and went 4.9 miles in about 10 minutes. The last 0.1 took 35 minutes. My warmup jog consisted of 0.5 miles to the porta potty line. I got in the corral 10 minutes before the start. Because of my bib situation, I want to make sure I got lined up. I got some stares in my corral (probably imagined) but no problems. I put myself a few feet in front of the 1:35 pacer.

The weather is fantastic. Overcast and low 50s. It stayed overcast and low- to mid-50s the whole race.

The race

I felt good right away at the start. My form felt great. My HRM hadn't quite settled, but I was seeing 6:4x on the garmin and I felt good. The1:35 pace kept catching me. I knew he was going too fast but it motivated me. We hit a big climb at the end of the first mile. My garmin clicked off at 7:00. Where's the mile marker? It came up about 20 seconds later. 7:20? Was it just the hill? Was it long?

1) 7:00 1.00 7:00 172 -- mile marker was at ~7:20

There's a big downhill I think and I'm moving. The mile marker is short and I see 6:18 (from the 7:00 lap), but Garmin pace is still 6:28! Holy cow. I feel good though and the HR is good.

2) 6:18 0.98 6:28 176 -- marker short, but garmin still said 6:28 pace!

I fall in with a group of pretty serious looking female runners and decide to hang with them. I always stick with age group runners and the leading females. Young guys are the worst for pacing off of. We see the ocean shortly after mile 2 and it is spectacular. The view is gorgeous for most of the rest on the race (see picture above).

There's a significant breeze. We decide it's a cross breeze. Maybe slightly in our faces.

3) 6:51 1.00 6:51 179

This feels like it's flat, but it must be a downhill, because I'm flying. It doesn't occur to me that maybe the cross breeze is at our backs.

4) 6:34 1.00 6:34 178 -- 6:34 @ 178? downhill and a tailwind?

There were lots of bands and the music was great. We hit the turnaround at beand I hit the gas a bit before I realize

5) 6:53 1.00 6:52 179
6) 6:46 1.01 6:42 178

There's a considerable climb in here and I feel a knot in my hamstring. Uh oh. As the miles go on, I start to feel a string start to develop in my hamstring like some muscle fiber is strained -- if you've felt this, you know what I mean. The pain grows over the course of the race.

When we turn around, it's very clear that the wind is in our face. I comment to the woman next to me about the oncoming runners, "Think they know it's a tailwind?" She responds, "I didn't."

The course has some climbs in it. It's nothing crazy and they are mostly gradual, but still I find the websites claim that this is one of America's fastest halfs a little dubious.

7) 6:59 1.00 7:01 179 -- big hill in here. 75' in about 0.2 miles
8) 6:53 1.01 6:50 180 -- back into the wind
9) 6:54 1.01 6:50 179

Somewhere a mile or so ago, a woman say "beat the hill, honey" to her husband and I, not really joking say, "what hill?" He laughs. Well, it's at the end of mile 10. It's not really that big (50 feet maybe), but at this point, any bump matters.

10) 6:55 1.00 6:54 179

I never quite get half marathons right. It seems like I can nail the pacing on a 10 miler every time (back a little off LT), but I'm always a little short in the half. I start to fade a bit. I think I have a decent pad, but the math is getting hard. The hamstring is really bothering me and I can tell it's affecting my form. I'm out of gas, too.

11) 7:01 1.01 6:58 181 -- starting to fade
12) 7:02 1.01 7:01 182

I hit 12 at 1:22:12. I think, 0.1 at 7:30 pace is 45 seconds, so I need mile 13 in 7:03 plus or minus. I'm still fading, but there's a great downhill, and the Garmin says I'm doing 6:50. I'm thinking I'm golden but then the Garmin trips over at 6:48, 13 seconds short of the mile 13 mark. Crap! Have I blown it?

13) 7:01 1.03 6:48 180 -- I retrospect, I think this marker was long

I turn the corner and run as fast as I can. I see the clock tick over 1:30:00 and see 1:30:01 when I cross. I forgot to hit my watch as I crossed. Then 2 seconds later I forget that I forgot to hit it. I'm cursing myself at not finding 4 more seconds. My watch say 1:29:56, but I've been off with the chip time before and I'm worried I'll end up at 1:30:00. Like I said, I totally forgot that moments earlier I let the watch run some after the finish.

13.1 + ???) 0:42 0.12 5:49 186 -- forgot to hit at finish, 8 secs after? (watch - chip). 34 secs is too fast for 0.1, so this was probably short the distance that 13 was long.

Post race

I had to run the car back to the hotel, so my wife could get the kids to Legoland at 10 when the park opened. I was going to do my warmdown, but I took a few steps and the hamstring really bothered me. I probably could have gutted out a few miles, but I decided that I'd just be doing damage. I ended up going to Legoland with the family and walking a bazillion miles. After we got back I checked the results and found

Overall: 186 out of 7148
Men: 160 out of 2864
M 35-39: 23 out of 472
Age/Grade: 67.16% Place: 436
Finish: 1:29:48 Pace: 6:51
Tag Time: 1:29:48
Gun Time: 1:30:01

: Pace:
6.6 Mile: 45:12 Pace: 6:51

1:29:48? Oh yeah, I let my watch run after the race for probably 8 seconds. Duh. Yea! This is by a long shot my best PR now. I'm amazed at how much better I do at races compared to workouts. The 3 x 1 mile at goal HMP were hard, short of goal pace, and on a flat course. My heart rates were very good though and from that perspective, it was the best I've done since last October. This seems like a huge jump, but I really believe I had an off day at the marathon and just hit it perfect today.

Still, I believe it was an improvement and I was very surprised to make this goal on relatively low mileage since the marathon. I definitely felt like I was more efficient. My form felt better and running at that pace wasn't as awkward as it usually is for me. The hamstring thing put a dent in that and made me even more aware of how important efficiency is. I'm excited to see what I can do with more mileage.


MN Ultra Runner said...

Nice job Greg! Hope that hammy heals up quick.

Mindi said...

Wow - excellent race - congrats on a big PR! Congrats to your daughter on her race too!