Stomp the Grapes half-marathon
Yesterday, I ran the Stomp the Grapes half-marathon. While my training has been half-baked at best, I seem to be running a lot faster than I did pre-baby. So, 7 months post-baby, I attempted to best my PR of 2:02:41 set back at the Cleveland half-marathon in May 2007. Luckily for me, Bridget said she would pace me.
Yesterday's weather was cold and windy. Can't blame the race directors for that, but I do have a list of grievances (as well as some kudos):
Grievance #1: 12 PM race start (sure, it gave the weather a chance to warm up but it took the whole damn day especially because you had to be there no later than 10:45 in order to park)
Kudos #1: Race swag was pretty cool - tech shirt, tech hat and tech socks all with the race logo on them
Kudos #2: Heated porto john units
Grievance #2: Aid stations few and far between (luckily, I brought my fuel belt)
Grievance #3: Putting all the hills on the second half of the course
Grievance #4: Point to point race with no parking at the finish line (sure they were willing to bus spectators to the finish line, but I didn't want my mom freezing in the cold for two hours so she couldn't come)
Grievance #5: Nothing but water at the finish line and no direction as to where the drop bags were for those of us with fuzzy heads
Grievance #6: 3 porto-potties at the finish and nowhere private to change
Grievance #7: Only 8 busses during peak time to bus back to start, which then made Bridget and me stand in the cold for an hour before finally getting back (we didn't even bother going to finisher's party because we were so chilled to the bone)
Kudos #3: Bus drivers were really nice and worked their butts off to get to/from
But, enough bitching, lets get to the race.
My friend Salty told me to try to hold sub-9 minute pace for each mile then unleash at the end. I told Bridget the plan and she tried her hardest to hold me to that. We really rocked it for the first 7 miles with each mile between 8:48 and 8:58, but then the hills started, my tummy rebelled and the wheels fell off the cart. I don't know if it was the stomach flu earlier that week, starting way too fast, being hungry from missing lunch (did eat some beforehand and some during the race but apparently not enough), the hilly back half or what, but my tummy was not a happy camper. I also had a strange pain in my left hip that I've never experienced before. It probably was the lack of hill training. But, despite all that I finished in 2:02:08, which was a 33 second PR!
I do think I have a sub-2 performance in me, but the cards were not right for it yesterday. So, even though I am not a huge fan of the Fall Classic half-marathon, I will be trying for that sub-2 in two weeks. Wish me luck!