Saturday, October 29, 2011

13.10 miles in 1:54:

i don't like to eat less than two hours before a race, so i got up at 5:00 this morning so and ate a peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich. i kind of ate on the go while i made sure i had everything i needed for the race. i'd think of something, jump up and go get it. i was finished with my food before 6:00 despite all the interruptions, so i was good to go.

i woke my wife up around 6:00 and when she was ready, we drove up to the church to pick up the prize goodies our ladies were providing and to take on marc and nate who were traveling with us. with everything loaded up and everyone on board, we headed to haviland.

when we got there, we picked up our packets, pinned on our numbers and then went out for a warm up run. got done with that around 7:30 and waited around for the 8:00 start.

right at 8:00 the half marathon pack was lined up ready to go. we had prayer led by one of the women running and then adam "fired" the starter's pistol.

i ran the first couple of miles with ryan. and travis at a little under 8:00 pace. i felt good, but knew if i kept running with them, i was going to pay for it later, so i backed off my pace a little and settled in to what i thought would get me my 1:50 finish.

i made it to the 5K mark at 24:47 and continued on out into the country. about that time i got "chicked" by the second and third place overall female finishers. they were running strong and i let them go.

the cross country section was much nicer this year than last year. the grass was mowed and i could see where my foot was going to land, so it didn't slow me down any. i was glad for that. i came out onto the sand road doing well.

running north was awesome. i kept my pace under the 8:23 pace i needed for a 1:50 finish for most of the time. my pace climbed above that only on the small rolling hills. on the third or fourth rise, i hit a wall. i could not get my feet to move faster than 9:00 pace. ugh! it was irritating, but what could i do? you can only go as fast as your feet will carry you.

i hit the 10K mark at 51:20. i was really happy with that. my time for the 10K last year was 53:38. ha, ha! take that, skinny kid!

i got to the end of the northbound section and turned around. that's when i discovered that the wind which had been at my back for all that time had picked up. it was like smashing your face into a tree. it was awful! my pace dropped seriously and i was passed by a couple of runners. i kept plodding along and never stopped though i seriously considered it numerous times. "just a little walk," the voices said. i refused to give in.

when i got back to the turn which put me on the same stretch of road as the 10K runners, i found myself right behind a guy in a red and grey tech tee. he was holding his side like he had a cramp when i first saw him. he was only a little way ahead of me when he stopped to walk. i got close to him, but he started running again. we played that yo-yo game for most of the rest of the race. he finally ditched me in the last half mile or so.

last year when i hit the city limits of haviland, i found the energy to run harder. i had nothing this time. i did what i could. i ran up the little incline to the corner leading to the finish line and then pushed as much as i could. when i crossed the line, the clock read 1:54:32. i missed my goal, but still feel pretty good about my run. despite feeling awful, i still posted my second fastest half marathon time ever. i bested my march trail half's time by nearly ten minutes.

after the race, i walked a bit to cool down and then gathered the dailymilers for a quick photo. there were quite a few more than the six or so that participated last year. (i'll post the picture in a bit.)

they had some trouble with their tracking software, so i'm not sure about my age group finish or my place overall. i know one 40-49 year old was ahead of me and one was behind me, so unless the fourth guy who was registered was one of the others ahead of me, i finished second among the middle-agers! we'll have to wait till the results are posted to be sure on that.

so there you have it. i ran the best i could considering the conditions and i finished a few minutes slower than i wanted to. i'll get that 1:50 sometime. for now, i need to rest up. i'm helping pace my friend adam on his 100-mile run later on this evening. hope i can walk by then.
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