Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Season's First Race

Today was the Wells Fargo Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon. We use this as a tune up for our spring marathon which is at the end of the month. This is the second year we have run this so I have been looking forward to seeing how my time has improved from last year. At the beginning of the year I put together my race schedule with some goal times. You can see what I wrote here. I was determined to race this thing because I wanted to see where I was in comparison to last year. A couple of the girls wanted to run it a little slower and closer to marathon pace. And then the other two ladies were just in it for fun. 

The day started out cool (50 degrees) and clear with a little breeze. I was chilly at the start and my calves were sore. I was reassessing my goals like every 5 minutes. We started after the police escort decided to arrive. I had planned to start moderately and build into the race, but I had also read that the best way to run a half-marathon is to keep consistent splits. I ran my first mile about :35 faster than I wanted to. My second mile was about :20 faster than the first. As was the third. I was starting to think that maybe I had "screwed the pooch" on this one, but I decided to try to keep consistent splits through the whole race. The miles clicked off - all of them with in one or two seconds of each other. I was feeling good and strong and confident.

The weather was nearly perfect for a race. It got a little warmer as the morning went on, but nothing major and the breeze remained light and variable. Water stops were a problem. I had hydrated well before hand, but I had trouble grabbing water and gatorade. I would have like more, but between my fumbling and some of the volunteers holding on too tight, I didn't get as much as I wanted. For some reason, at mile 10 I fell off my pace - by about :20. I think it was about the time I was trying to get my gel packet open and it was really exhausting. I got right back on the train for miles 11 and 12 and then 13 came in about :08 slower. I think that last mile was slow because I had done the math in my head and knew about where I was going to come in with a mile of XX time. 

I felt good and strong the whole way. I kept reminding myself to concentrate on quick turnover and staying light on my feet - it really helped, although I didn't feel like I had another gear at the end, but it was not much of a detriment here. It gives me something to work on.

All-in-all a fantastic race for me. A PR of about :06 or :07 minutes - by my watch, 1:33:44 and the course was a little bit long. Great start to the season and a huge confidence booster for the rest of marathon training and the tri season.

Now, I sit here, alone in my house with my compression socks on, waiting for my GI distress to pass. Almost a perfect Sunday.

This might be interesting to know: I was 17th out of 252 in my division, 66th overall out of 1,050. Official time 1:33:41.


Mary said...

Wow...congrats T-odd. You rocked this race hard. Great job today. You should be proud. We are proud of you.

I think that's considered, leaving it all on the course.

Mike said...

Great job! Looks like the Minneapolis Marathon decided to make the huge steep hill a down rather than up. They posted a new course map today. I'm taking that as good news.

Charisa said...

Nice job - and you beat your goal of 1:35 - awesome!!!