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Monday, June 01, 2009

Concord Distance Classic Half-Marathon

So, I actually raced yesterday for the first time in months. Matt had signed up for the Concord Distance Classic half-marathon and he wasn't totally prepared, so I figured I could join him being only slightly more prepared than him.

A few days before the race, the race director sent out a rather frantic e-mail basically telling us that way more people signed up than he expected. Parking would be tight and there would be limited bathroom opportunities (3 businesses in the plaza opened up the doors for runners to use the bathrooms - absolutely no porta potties).

Knowing that fact, Matt and I didn't get there until 30 minutes before it was supposed to start. We snagged the last parking spot in one of the lots, then headed for the registration area. I was pleasantly surprised with how organized the volunteers were and with the nice drawstring bags and no-sleeved running tech shirts that we got.

We stopped back at the car to drop off our goodies and to pee basically in the open next to one of the office buildings. Hey, I'm not shy about stuff like that!!

The morning was very sunny, but quite cool in the shade (perfect running temperatures). I still opted for my red CTC tank running top paired with my black Triks skort. We ran into some good friends there (SY, Salty, CV, etc.) Here is a picture of me waiting for the start.

Our plan was to run together and to pace about 10 minute miles with an overall goal time of 2:11. It was just another training run given our respective undertraining instead of a race. We were just hoping to survive it and not go above a 10 minute overall pace.

The race started about five minutes late and I was chilly, but soon we were on our way. The pack took off and apparently, I felt the need to keep with them. Matt let me pace. We hit the first mile marker in 9:06. Oops, a little fast. Matt asked me to reign it in a little, so I didn't blow myself up. The next mile was a little slower, but probably a little too fast. I kept saying "but we are going downhill and I want to bank some time before hitting the uphills".

Around mile 2, we spotted my in-laws, who are always the best fan support! Then, a mile later, I saw GP, who was a welcome surprise! I kept up a fairly even pace for the first 6 miles.

The uphills finally came just after mile 6. I was actually glad to see them, because I knew that I could catch some people here. All of my training during the winter with the downtown girls on the hills in the Flats and my recent training with Hallie on the N. Chagrin hills was about to pay off. When you see my splits later, you may disagree, but some of the hills were steep and some were long, but I was steadily plowing through the crowd. It was just after mile 6 when I started putting a gap on Matt unintentionally. I wondered what happened to him, but found out later, he was taking these and uploading them to Facebook while running:

I figured he would eventually catch up, so I kept plowing along. I recalled from the race director's e-mail that there was a water stop at mile 8. I took my chocolate Hammer gel right before that aid station. When I got there with the chocolate paste taste in my mouth, all they had was red Powerade and no water. Now, I have been around long enough to know that you aren't supposed to combine Powerade and gel, but I really needed a drink. My stomach threatened to rebel, but I told it to suck it up and thankfully it did. About that time, Matt caught up with me again, partly because I intentionally walked the aid station (only time I walked the whole race) in the hopes of regrouping. He told me that if I was feeling good I should go for it. I was, so I did. He took this picture a half-mile later.

Just after mile 10 marker, the course started heading downhill again. I picked the pace back up despite my groaning knees. I saw a group of 6 people walking in front of me. I almost caught them when they started running again. I hate when that happens. I never did catch up with them again.

My legs never really did get that dead feeling like they usually do around mile 10. I either paced myself well, or coming in undertrained was a good thing. I was able to pick the pace back up and finish strong at 2:07:58. I started to head backward on the course to find Matt, but all of a sudden he was right behind me. Turns out that he tried to catch me by the finish line, but I beat him by 12 seconds. It was the first time I've ever beaten him in a race, but to be fair, he was taking pictures instead of running his hardest.

Overall, I was pleased with my performance. I feel like I can continue with this half-baked training plan and still be able to perform well at Dances with Dirt in September. It makes me feel better about putting my whole training life on hold while we try to start a family.

In other news, my newbies training sessions have been going well. I did three in May, have one scheduled in June and another in July. The July session will be a full triathlon practice including T1 and T2. I even got official permission from Lake Metroparks!

Oh, and I'm racing a sprint triathlon in Illinois this weekend with my high school friend who now lives in Minnesota. Can't wait!!

Finally, splits for those who like those:
Mile 1: 9:06
2: 9:40
3: 9:42
4: 9:30
5: 9:35
6 & 7: 19:51 (beginning of hills and I missed mile 6 marker)
8: 10:11
9: 10:21
10: 10:30
11: 9:40
12: 9:17
13: 9:32
.1: 1:04


Blogger Trisaratops said...

Congratulations on a solid race!! You rock. That is awesome--minimal training, and look what you can still hammer out?! Nicely done! :) Kick some booty this weekend and have fun!

8:06 AM

Blogger E-Speed said...

Great job Jen! Salty told me those hills were hard! You did an awesome job out there!

9:11 AM

Blogger Matt Collister said...

I think you should give yourself more credit on your speed.

11:04 AM

Blogger The Salty One said...

If you didn't think those hills were that bad, you weren't pushing hard enough! Haha. You did great!! I am so sorry we missed you at the end.

12:52 PM

Blogger The Salty One said...

Oh, and I second Sara--kick some booty this weekend!! Can't wait to hear all about it :)

12:53 PM

Blogger triguyjt said...

thats a great effort and enjoyed reading the report...
heard from several others who did the race and they said it was a very good experience...
seems like the Half is the distance as evidenced by how many signed up for a first time event....
enjoy the tri this weekend...

7:21 PM


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