Thrill in the Hills - RunHalf Marathon

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Winder, Georgia
United States
52F / 11C
Total Time = 2h 14m 10s
Overall Rank = 252/491
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 30/57
Pre-race routine:

Up at 6:15; checked weather - not good but it was what I expected. Made bagels and tea to go; grabbed some water, left about 6:45. Arrived about 7:35.
Event warmup:

Not much. Parked in the mud; walked to the check-in building in the mud; found the rest-room (bonus: real indoor toilets, not a portables). Decided to run in a windbreaker (allegedly water-resistant) to repel some of the rain. Stretched under a picnic shelter; then jogged up to the start point. Final bio-break over by the big transmission line tower.
  • 2h 14m 10s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 14s  min/mile

This was my first Half Mary and I had been following a good program for about 10 weeks, with only one run missed all winter so far (3 runs per week). The training plan was built around a 2-hour pace and I was working up to that very nicely. Having done a shorter trail run back in the fall, I realized that trail pace is a good bit slower than street pace, so I figured I could maybe do about 2:10. But with all the rain, mud, and water on the course today I knew it would be even slower, so I just decided to try to finish without injury.

With only a watch, it was hard to check splits with no mileage markers on the course. The water stops were approx. 4, 7, and 10 miles so that was the only way to check pace. The hills were really just kind of short rollers, nothing too steep, except when we had to run under the power lines in maybe 3 or 4 places - those were pretty steep. I slowed down a bit at the 3 water stops, making sure to drink a full cup before resuming pace. You really had to concentrate on your footing and I found it helpful to stay within view of the person in front of me to try to learn from their steps. For maybe the first half I tried to avoid many of the puddles but by the end I was just splashing right through them since I was pretty much saturated at that point.

Obviously it was a challenging day at the races, but to complete the distance for the first time under adverse conditions made it all the more satisfying.
What would you do differently?:

Not much - maybe leave the windbreaker in the car - I had to tie it around my waist after about 4 miles because I was too hot and it was soaked through anyway. Just happy to finish this one.
Post race
Warm down:

More like cool-down. After about 5 minutes of water, gatorade, and bananas, I was starting to shiver. Checked the preliminary results which had been printed out, tried to hose off my mud-splattered legs, then went to the car to change.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Mud. Rain. Puddles.

Event comments:

A good event despite the poor weather. Would like to try it again next year on a nice clear day.

Last updated: 2009-01-20 12:00 AM
02:14:10 | 13.1 miles | 10m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 30/57
Overall: 252/491
Performance: Good
sorry, no Garmin :-(.
Course: Long, continuous single loop on bike trails and power line right-of-way, circling the lake. The course had received maybe 4-5 inches of rain before, during, and after the race and, as a result, every step was either in mud, or ankle-deep puddles, or sometimes worse. Slow, steady rain throughout the day, with temps in the low 50s. Footing was very tricky and I was happy to fall down only one time.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4