Sunday, January 18, 2009

Clearwater Halfathon race report

I am so happy that I was able to run this half marathon!

I got up at 4 am this morning. Had a little coffee and a banana. Got out the door just before 5 am. It takes a little over an hour to get to Clearwater. Needed to be early for packet pickup.

I managed to find the place without getting lost! :) Got my bib and t-shirt (no goodie bags here) and headed back to the car to keep warm. Took 3 advils with water, with hopes it would keep the pain away. Temps were in the mid 40s. I wore my running pants, long sleeved wicking shirt and a vest that I got at the thrift store as a toss away if I needed to. I brought a short sleeved top to change into if I needed it, but it was still so cold at the start, I left on the long sleeved.

About 25 min. before the start I made a portapotty break. The race start was on the waterfront, so thought I would go take a photo with my little camera I planned on running with. That's when I discovered the battery was not charged! :( So I pulled out my cell phone that has a camera, took a photo of the big bridge we will run over twice, then went back to the car to drop off the camera. Got back to the starting line about 10 min before the race started. Tried to turn on my Garmin, but it wouldn't turn on! I had charged it all night, and had this problem before where it gets locked up. You use two buttons at once then turn it on. But of course I couldn't remember which two. As I walked back to my car again (good thing it was close) I tried a bunch of combos, but couldn't get it on. :( So, no camera and no watch to check my pace.

The race start was at 7:05, but I think it got going a little late. Anyway, no gun went off, the crowd just started moving. I placed myself in the middle, thinking I would keep a slower pace that way. Had a small hill right away as we ran away from the waterfront. Ran through the downtown area, then turned toward the bridge. That was a tall bridge! It was just about mile one when we got there and that's where they had the first photographer. Right in the middle of the huge crowd! Bad planning there. She must have missed 75% of the people.

At the bottom of the bridge I ran next to this guy who had a garmin. I asked him his pace, 10:15, so decided to stay with him for a while. It must have been around mile two (missed the sign) that I tossed the vest to the side of the road. I was warm already and wishing I had changed shirts.

At about mile 3, we got to the beach, ran next to that for a while. The perfect spot for a race photographer to snap our photos, but none there.

Hit the top of the second large bridge at mile 4. For some reason I thought it was mile 5, so when I got to the bottom and looked at the race clock that had 45:30, I couldn't believe it! I had my first full pack of sport beans as we turned into the waterfront park. We did a big loop through here. Soon enough I saw the 5 mile sign and knew I wasn't going to fast.

Just before leaving the park we ran past the 6 mile sign. The clock here had 1:01:43. Got a water here and walked through while drinking. I was feeling ok, but did start having some pain in the backside and leg. I got worried, because I didn't have any advil with me and I was only half through the race! But I put it out of my mind and the pain went away.

We had the turn around after mile 7, maybe 7.5? And started heading back. Hit the bridge again around mile 9 I guess. No sign. When I got to mile 10 I opened my second bag of sport beans. This is when I noticed that I had lemon lime! I don't like that flavor of Gatorade, so was worried, but they were good. Got water at the next waterstop and walked through it again. Still no clocks. I don't like not knowing my pace and time! Feeling much better than in previous half marathons, I guess because I was taking it easy and not "racing."

Hit the last water stop just before mile 12 and again walked through that. No clock. The tough part of the race was just ahead. The last big bridge starts around mile 12. I made it most of the way up, before taking a walk break. There were two other women walking near me, so I kept pace with them. Near the top I notice the race photographer ahead snapping photos. What! Taking photos of us as we struggle up the bridge! I started running. I wanted a nice photo! :) So I pulled ahead of the two women, so the photographer just had me to take photos of for quite a while as I ran towards her. :)

The best part of the race was this last half mile or so. Down hill! Down the bridge, then a ramp down to the waterfront, then a bit of flat, straight to the finish line. Since I didn't have my garmin to turn off as I ran across the finish line, I looked right at the photographer and raised up my arms and smiled. :) The clock time was 2:18:??. I was kinda surprised It wasn't a little faster, but happy with it. That is about my time on an average long run. Maybe my chip time will show about 30 seconds less.

After the race I got a banana and two bottles of water, then found a place to stretch.

Overall this was a good race. Nice course, but tough with the "hills." I'd run it again.

Chip time: 2:18:22; age: 38; Pace:10:34; age group: 25 out of 39; over all place: 363 out of 495

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