Tomoka Half Marathon - Run

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Ormond Beach, Florida
United States
75F / 24C
Total Time = 1h 52m 37s
Overall Rank = 67/677
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 2/56
Pre-race routine:

Got up at a stupid early time -3:00am! and walked the dog. Ate an english muffin with a little PB and otherwise got myself together. The rain started shortly before I headed out to pick up Susan. After picking her up, we were supposed to meet up with Gideon, but he bailed because of the weather.
We then drove the hour + drive to Ormond Beach in the driving rain. All the way I kept saying by the time we got to the site the rain would be over and we'd have great weather for the run. I was right on one of those points.
Event warmup:

  • 1h 52m 37s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 36s  min/mile

When we got to Ormond Beach the rain was down to a drizzle and by the time we got out of the car, it stopped. Unfortunately, it completely cleared up, so we had bright sun shine the entire run. Thankfully, there was shade on the course, but it was HOT. Also, because of the storms, the county was late putting up the cones in the road, so we were 30 minutes late starting. That helped add to the hot factor. The storm was only giving us a break before the rest of the front came through, so we also had a lot of wind, which was both good and bad.

The race started and ended at The Casements, John D. Rockefeller's winter home. It sits right on the Halifax river and is 2 blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. It is a beautiful place and was a nice setting for the race. The first mile heads through the surrounding neighborhood before heading west and over the causeway. It was so windy that I had to hold my hat on my head and work hard not to get blown off the bridge!
Once down the bridge, we turned right and ran along the river. Well, I assume the river was there as the view was blocked by homes. The route was just a long straight away until about mile 6 when we ducked into Tomoka State park. The roughly 2 miles in the park was on hard pack sand that wasn't so hard packed because of the rain. There were also a number of fairly large puddles to navigate. I enjoyed being off the pavement and the park is nice, but I could definitely feel the effect of the soft sand on my running.
After completing this loop we were back on the road heading back to the Casements. We did take a mile or so detour into the neighborhood which gave us a better view of the river and the causeway we would have to scale right before the finish.
Going into the race I had no real expectation about time. Plan was just to run how I felt. Around mile 8 I realized that I was on pace to PR. It would not be by a lot, but it would be a PR. It was about this time that I was really starting to feel last weekend's double hill workout and about the time my hamstring started to bark at me. I tried to ignore everything (probably not the smartest idea given my hamstring injury) and just work the pace by focusing on people ahead of me I wanted to catch and pass.
At mile 10 I knew the PR was in sight, but it would be really, really close. The wind was directly in our faces the entire way back and as the sun got higher, the wind did too, so I know I was working pretty hard to maintain ( or try to maintain)pace.
The causeway came with just about a mile to go. It sucked!!! I knew my pace would drop, but hoped I could make it up on the backside. While going up the causeway I felt like I was going to throw up, so I know i was working as hard as i dared. Then happily, miraculously I was at the top. The finish was just to the right after getting to the bottom. PR was looking good! Except, the course did not go right to the finish line :( At the bottom of the causeway, instead of going right and across the street and into the Casements, we went left and around and then under the bridge. I pushed as hard as I could push, but i was dead and my PR was out. But not by much.
My almost 5 year old PR is 1:52:xx. I don't remember what the xx is, but for some reason i think it is about :19. So, I was this close!!!!
While disappointed by coming so close to a new PR, i am very happy with this effort. This was a tougher course and tougher conditions then the course I set the PR, so this was a better effort on my part.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. If I hadn't run the double hill workout last weekend my legs would have been in better shape, but I did that because I am trying to prepare for running the smoky mountain relay and am happy that i got that workout done.
Post race
Warm down:

Got water, found and used the real (and air conditioned) bathrooms in the Casements, spoke with some people I knew, got a microbrew and waited for Susan to finish. Then got a second brew just as she was finishing!
Then went to breakfast and ate way, way, way more calories than I burned (and it was great)!!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Conditions and genetics.

Event comments:

I'm glad I did this race, but I was not thrilled with the course. An out and back, almost completely straight in each direction. That type of course bores me. The venue was pretty and the race outfit did a great job overall.
This was the first year for this race (they also had a marathon), turn out was less than expected b/c a lot of people bailed because of the storms.

Last updated: 2014-03-04 12:00 AM
01:52:37 | 13.1 miles | 08m 36s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/56
Overall: 67/677
Performance: Good
Course: The course was basically an out and back along the intercoastal going over the causeway crossing at the start and then right at the end.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]