Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Halfathon

Ft Desoto Park. October 28, 2012

The Halloween Halfathon is the first race in a series of four. This is the first time that I've been able to sign up for all 4 races. When you complete all 4, you get an extra special bling and t-shirt. :)

Brenda, Amy, Leah and me before the race.
I arrived about an hour before the 7:05 am start time, getting a good spot not to far from the start/finish line. The plan was to meet up with fellow CAPS members Brenda, Leah and Amy, so I gave Brenda a call. She said she was headed to packet pickup and porta potties. Leah texted, saying she was here with her run group. We all took care of business and managed to find each other in the dark. I needed one more pit stop before we started, and so did Brenda, so we had to take our group shot while in line for the porta potties. We wished each other luck and then split up. I tried to get a little closer to the start, but not too close. One of the race participants sang the National Anthem, then a few words from the race director, and then we were off!

My plan was to make this a training/pacing run. I wanted to get a sense of how 5/1 intervals would feel during a race pace of 9:05 min miles. We would need that pace next month to get a sub 2 hour finish time in Miami. I ran the first mile before starting the intervals. It was still kind of dark for the first mile or so. The first 5K is a big loop that takes you back by the starting line. We headed south and then turned back just before mile 1. Very strong wind hit us (from the north). Yikes, the last couple of miles of the race were going to be tough! Just after mile 1, we turn right into a side area, that we run an out and back on. It's fun to see the lead runners and catch glimpses of people behind us. I have to take special care here when I stop to walk, since the road is narrow and the race is still congested at this point. Coming out of the small loop, we turn north again, run around the end of the road loop, turn into the parking lot, and head back past the starting line. I missed most of my interval here since it hit right before we passed the start area. I didn't want to walk with all the people there cheering!
Miles 1 through 3: 8:38, 9:12, 9:03

For the next couple of miles, we had the wind at our back. Wonderful! It was hard to take the walking breaks, because I was feeling so good. I did have some nice eye candy. This guy was running in front of me for a bit. No shirt, nice muscles. :) I would pass him and then he would pass me during run breaks. Left him behind after a while. Running at a faster pace to get back up to my goal pace seemed to be harder then just running an even pace without walk breaks. Hopefully it will work out OK in Miami. Once the road curved to the left, we got the cross wind. Most of the time it wasn't too bad. But there would be times when it would catch you and swill around, making it challenging. I think it was around mile 6 that the lead runner passed me on his way back. He had a large lead. I kept waiting for more runners to come by, but it was a while before that happened.
Miles 4 through 7 - 8:59, 9:24, 8:52, 9:27

I managed to keep up the average goal pace until just before mile 8. We got to the end of the road, where there is a wide open view of the Skyway Bridge, before rounding the circle and heading back. I was still leap frogging the same few people. This one woman had commented early that she was trying to pace off of me, but when I saw her just after mile 9, I told her it would probably be the last time she saw me. I was slowing down. My goal had been to get to mile 9/10 at the set pace, before easing up, so I wasn't to upset with slowing down. I knew the last few miles would be tough, since we were going to be heading into the wind.
Mile 8 through 10 - 9:15, 9:38, 9:28

Just after we hit mile 10.5, the road started curving back to the right and into the northern wind. By 10.8 (I looked at my Garmin!) we were in the full force of the wind. Oye! I plugged along, enjoying my walk breaks when they came and pushing through the run portion when it was time to run again. I tried tucking in behind other runners when I had the chance, but that didn't do anything! I just kept telling myself, it would be over in a couple of miles. Eventually we got to the end of the road again, ran around the big half circle, took the turn into the parking lot and headed toward the finish. All along, the mile markers had been showing up after I would have them on my Garmin. So, when I ran by mile 13, my Garmin was showing 13.1 at 2:03. This would have been my second best half marathon time! Boo. I made the turn in the parking lot, straight shot toward the finish line. An annoying guy, that I didn't even realize was behind me, shot passed me to finish right before me! Oh, well. I heard the announcer call out my name, so I raised my arms up in the air and finished with a smile on my face.
Miles 11 though 13.26 - 10:02, 10:13, 9:49, 2:11
Finish: 2:04:16

My next half is November 18th. I plan to get in a few speed workouts at the track. Hopefully that will help me keep up the faster pace needed to run those faster intervals during the race! I had a great time meeting up with Brenda, Amy and Leah today.

CAPS group photo! Laura, Jenni, Melissa, Crystal, Brenda, Amy, Leah, me,
Kris, Stephanie, Ness, Sally and Jackie.

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