Sunday, March 21, 2010

Race Report: New Bedford Half

Last year I wrote a ton about this race. This year I'm writing a bit less but this was an interesting race.

Place   Time       Pace  Gun Time
991     1:48:10.4  8:16  1:49:17.6

I saw the Hoyts again, really cool to run with them, they are such legends, and Dick Hoyt is a majorly driven athlete. This year's race was well run, like last year's, but this year they had start and finish times which was really nice (see above). The race did go off a bit late, but that wasn't a big deal and the day was pleasant.

There are three good hills between miles 2 & 3 and they get progressively longer. I weathered those well, and carried some good speed into the long flat portion of the course -- from about mile 4-6 it's flat, on top of a plateau, then the course drops back to sea level for 7-12 and then climbs brutally from 12-13. I was feeling good through 8, came across ten about 2 minutes ahead of last year's pace started struggling after that as I began to think about time etc, and then the wheels fell of my wagon at 11.5. I bonked despite eating some Gu along the way and hydrating.

My legs felt like they filled with blood and I just couldn't make them move. I walked for about a minute or so, got my legs back and then ran up the last brutal hill -- I broke down at the crest, took ten paces to compose myself, saw the second to last turn up ahead and found my well of strength to finish with a kick. I'd like to tap into that well more often -- I need to find it when I hit trouble spots like I did at 11.5. I'm not sure what it is -- but why I could barely move my legs 1.5 miles earlier and then I'm sprinting I don't know. I really want to find that adrenaline trigger and not require the homestretch. I'm not sure if it's just a commitment to finish strong, put on a good show in front of a big crowd (because I broke down in front of a big crowd) I don't know what it is. If I reflect on it my mind is fairly blank in those final moments, there are no mantras, no exhortations -- just a focus on the finish line and desire to.... I don't know what, be strong, finish strong, be true to myself, honor the race....

I approached today as a total trainer. If I'd trained for this in particular and bonked I'd be irate, but it was a good lesson, a good workout and a decent time. I learned that I'm not ready to run 8 sub-8 miles for 13.1 miles (11.5, yes; 13.1, no). I had one mile on the big hills early that was 9:09, but I had a few between then and 10 that were 7:30-40s.... Looking forward to 20 next week -- paying the price now for good runs in the future. Oops, wrote a bunch.

Posted via email from Cherry Blossom Ten

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