Wednesday, March 30, 2011

AHCHM Race Report

I was "disconnected" the final days leading up to Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon so I didn't have any other training reports to offer. As we flew to Houston Friday I reviewed my race plan, got psyched up about being in warmer weather and decided to just go with what the day provided me.

Without further delay....let's race.

The race start was scheduled for 7AM which meant we needed to get up around 4:30AM to get ready and drive to the venue about 30 minutes away. To get primo parking we needed to be there by 6AM before they started shutting down the roads we would be running on.

I had prepped most of my gear the night before so I didn't have much to do race morning. Aimee and I got in the line for the crappers to be as light as we could for the run. Once I was done I pealed off my top shirt, stuffed it in my bag and handed it off to our friends who were doing the relay. I gave everyone high fives and Aimee a kiss before heading out for a short warm-up.

We wouldn't be needing much of a warm-up today. The morning temperature was already 75 degrees. The humidity was also a little on the high side. Considering we had been training in temps below 35 all winter I was praying to acclimate quickly. The temp difference between Cleveland and Houston was 45 degrees.

With my estimated finish time I was seeded in the first corral. I positioned myself about three rows back from the front and got ready to run. With the ringing of the bell we were on our way.

I was able to settle in pretty quickly with my pace and breathing. My race plan called for a quick start for the first 1.5 - 2 miles, my first mile was 6:49 and number two was 6:54, then settle into a good pace that was a fast rhythm until the midway point.

During mile 2 I was a little concerned. My feet were already starting to burn. The balls of each foot were on fire. They weren't quite ready to race yet. I pushed the feeling out of my mind and pressed forward. Mile 3 ended with a 6:59. I was running with another guy at this point and we were pretty much alone sitting in the top 50. We hung out a bit together through mile 5 at 35 minutes and mile 6 with a 7:23. I think I lost him at the mid-way point. I powered through the aid station and he might have stopped to get something to drink.

Looking at the race results I was the first person in the age group to reach the half-way point with a 46:17 running a 7:04/mile pace. I was happy with that. The 7 min/mile pace is what I was hoping for based upon my training.

After the halfway point lies the "Go Zone". In my plan the "go zone" would last until mile 10. The final three miles would be the "get time" zone where I push for what it's worth and capture what little time I can while hanging on.

My feet were still burning and the heat/humidity were starting to take their toll.....on everyone. Mile 7 was 7:23 and I could feel the energy being drained from my body. My mind was also taking a beating from the course. I didn't know the course. Normally I would have wanted to drive the course the day prior, but considering who we were with Aimee and I were probably the only ones that would have been interested in doing that. So without a course preview I wasn't mentally prepared like I should have been. Several sections of the course were long which added to the mind games of an already long race.

I was running alone since the half-way point. I had no one to work with. I had to keep bringing myself back into the race and not let my mind wander too far from the immediate task of completing each mile.

My feet were still burning. My legs were getting heavier. My knees were starting to ache. I was hot even though the sun was hidden by some thin clouds.

A couple guys caught up to me and I just couldn't go with them.

Mile 8 = 7:26
Mile 9 = 7:44
Mile 10 = 7:36

The "go zone" is over and the final 5k is when I need to be pushing myself for the last 20 minutes of the race. Time to leave it all on the course. Unfortunately 90% of me was already on the course.

Mile 11 = 8:05
Mile 12 = 8:16

Near the end of mile 12 I saw a guy ahead of me walking. He had passed me a couple miles back. I was going to offer him some words of encouragement when he started running again. He was still 50 yards ahead of me.

The final mile is on the campus of the community college we started in. After we made the final turn I heard footsteps behind me. Next thing I know a 5'2" woman is passing me. Now I don't mind being chicked at all. If she is a stronger runner than I that's fine. In fact I was going to use her strength to pull me along.

I dug in and started to push myself to stay in her wake. She pulled me past the guy in front of me. Then she kept pulling away, but I kept up the effort knowing the finish line was getting closer with each stride.

She helped me pull a 7:47 for the last mile and I reached the finish line 45 seconds later.

My finish time of 1:37:21 landed me in 3rd place for the 40 - 44 age group. Having the 1st and 2nd place masters coming from my age group also helped with the standings. My overall ranking was 33rd.

I hate to consider this a sub-par performance due to me making the podium but I was 7 minutes off my goal time. Everyone was suffering so I will say it was a fair result against some good competition.

Both feet got blisters on the balls, my left got the worst of it. My right knee is tight and sore, time to rest, ice, stretch and electro-stim to repair.

Below are some pictures from race day.

Okay I'm looking not too bad here.


These three are in the finishing chute. See how quickly my demeanor changes.

Finishing strong

Finish line in sight

Shoot me now!!!!!


5-Hour Energy was a sponsor for the race. I took a picture for the girl handing them out. I don't use the product but the post race picture was great. The guy next to me was 2nd in the 40 - 44 age group.


Aimee and I post race. Somehow we were managing smiles.


Aimee showing off the Texas sized finishers medal. It was a baseball theme for the race.

Accepting my award from Angie the race director. She is doing Ironman Texas in May...it will be her first.

Showing off my awards to Aimee. Also notice the Great Race Nutrition shirt I am wearing.

Back at our friends house I started icing my legs, especially my right knee. The beer also helped with the pain.


My left foot had a very nice blister started. It was more blood than water in the blister. I just left it alone.


Here is my left blister Wednesday morning. The fluid and puffiness is gone, just some discoloration.


I forgot to add a picture of the swag we brought back with us. This years theme was baseball. Angie is a huge Yankee's fan. Starting in the bottom left corner and going counter-clockwise:

In the packet pickup bag was the beer coozie, oval sticker, socks that say "suck it up cupcake", technical shirt, and tech hat.

After we crossed the finish line you get the towel soaked in ice water and medal.

I received a plaque and baseball signed by Angie for my 3rd place finish.

The "Perfect Game" on the back of the shirt is Angie's hope for the race to go perfectly for everyone..whatever goals they may have and for everyone to enjoy the race she has organized for the past 4 years.

All she has to do now is include shorts with the swag and a person could run the race decked out in Angie-wear.

4 comments:

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats!!

Janet Edwards said...

Ouchies, ouchies! No wonder the balls of your feet were burning! It has certainly got to be a body shock to acclimate to that temperature change! Way to gut it out and the post race pics rock! This report sounds a little like like my fall Columbus half report when I was targetting a 1:30 half and fell off! Next time ;-)

Christi said...

Great job! I love the swag.

Michael said...

Just found your blog. Great race report. Congrats!