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Rockford Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Rockford, Illinois
United States
Chicago Events
48F / 9C
Total Time = 1h 53m 47s
Overall Rank = 167/590
Age Group = F35-39
Age Group Rank = 6/54
Pre-race routine:

Stayed at my sister's house overnight since she's 15 minutes from the race venue. Got up around 5am, took my shower (forgot my stuff, so used my nephews -- my hair smelled like Go-Go Grape and the rest of me like Atomic Tangerine... sweeeeet!), and got out of the house without too much fuss. Had my half of a bagel on the way there, then a couple of fig newtons. Found a parking spot right across the street from the main park where everything but the start line was, got my chip, found a LOT of unused women's bathrooms (indoors -- warm AND had toilet paper! -- score!) and then sat in my car until it was time to warm up.
Event warmup:

Did about 10 minutes of easy jogging with 4x20" pickups tossed in to get the legs moving. Found my place at the starting line (just behind the 8m/m folks) and then waited and got COLD while the start was delayed. It was high 40's but winds were 15-20mph, gusting a little higher than that.
  • 1h 53m 47s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 41s  min/mile

Believe me when I say I can write a novel about this race. And, also believe me when I tell you that it's not something anyone wants to actually read. :)

Story of the day was probably the wind. Tough wind that against us for the first 5 miles or so. I expended a LOT of energy fighting that and the inclines for the first part of the race -- too much energy, probably -- but I did it with the knowledge that almost the entire last 6 miles would be with a big tailwind to help me out.

And that's where my assumptions proved faulty: I was going along, ticked miles 6-9.5 off in decent fashion. I was hurting and stumbling along, but making it okay. And then, in a very cruel twist of fate, the wind shifted. All of a sudden I'm running into that same wind. Again. Honestly, it broke my spirit. I kept going, but stopped looking at my garmin because I knew I was going too slow, but couldn't do anything about it.

Around mile 12, I had enough. I stopped. Walked. Wasted about a minute. I was SO CLOSE. But it didn't matter. I was exhausted, close to tears, just DONE. Finally told myself to HTFU and start running again, but the damage was done. When I crossed the finish line a minute slower than my PR, that's where I did myself in.

The HR/pace details....
Lap 1 08m 41s Max HR 164 Avg HR 156
Lap 2 08m 43s Max HR 169 Avg HR 166
Lap 3 08m 33s Max HR 173 Avg HR 169
Lap 4 08m 35s Max HR 174 Avg HR 171
Lap 5 08m 48s Max HR 175 Avg HR 170
Lap 6 08m 23s Max HR 177 Avg HR 173
Lap 7 08m 36s Max HR 178 Avg HR 174
Lap 8 08m 18s Max HR 176 Avg HR 174
Lap 9 08m 25s Max HR 177 Avg HR 174
Lap 10 08m 52s Max HR 177 Avg HR 173
Lap 11 08m 58s Max HR 176 Avg HR 172
Lap 12 08m 38s Max HR 179 Avg HR 177
Lap 13 10m 19s Max HR 178 Avg HR 171

My z4 starts at 167. I ran 80% of this race in z4/z5 -- and that's not something I can pull off. Looking back, my PR was probably lost around mile 3 when I was already averaging z4, though I don't think I could have slowed down too much more than I already was.
What would you do differently?:

The plan was this:
Miles 1-3: 8:30-8:45
Miles 4-9: 8:15-8:30
Miles 10-12: 8:00-8:15
Last mile: sub 8m/m.

Hit the mark at the beginning, but after that, had slowed it down because of the wind, but maybe not enough. Hard to tell. I still think that if the wind hadn't become an issue again the last 3 miles of the race, that I could have held that 8:20-8:30 pace and brought it under 1:52.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around trying to find my sister -- she was my only supporter out there. My parents backed out at the last minute, and my nephew decided that "he didn't want to walk around". Disappointing, but Julie did a great job seeing me a couple of times on the course.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Wind. Training. Better mental fortitude.

Event comments:

This is the first year for this race (or, at least, the first time in over 20 years that they put it on) and they did an OUTSTANDING job. The course was well-marked, had tons of water stops and lots of volunteers everywhere. The goody bag had a ton of stuff in it, and the post-race food was abundant. They had a live band playing -- and they were dang good! -- but it was a little cold for me to stick around. Oh - and they also had 2 different groups set up for stretching/massages, which meant that the line wasn't 20 people deep.

Perhaps the only thing I would change (though it didn't affect me), is that they did not offer race day packet pickup. With the field only being around 1000, they probably could have supported that.

Nicely done, Rockford! I'll come back for this one. Though I didn't, it's a good PR course, too.

Last updated: 2008-03-24 12:00 AM
01:53:47 | 13.1 miles | 08m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 6/54
Overall: 167/590
Performance: Bad
Course: Long rectangle. About 5 miles north, and 6 miles back south to the finish. The rest was east/west. A little hilly (hilly is probably an overstatement, though) in the first 4-5 miles, but flattened out after that.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-05-20 7:52 AM

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Southwest Chicago 'burbs
Subject: Rockford Half Marathon

2008-05-20 9:11 AM
in reply to: #1412965

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Silver member
Subject: RE: Rockford Half Marathon

I was riding my bike that day. I know how bad the winds were. SUCK MONKEY!

(I just like to say that... and if SUCK MONKEY doesn't make you laugh, nothing will.)

I'm still quite impressed.

Nice job. You did great. Kiss 


2008-05-20 9:11 AM
in reply to: #1412965

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Subject: RE: Rockford Half Marathon
While not what you expected, still a really solid race.  And you proved your mental toughness.  I think you did an awesome job!!
2008-05-20 2:20 PM
in reply to: #1412965

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Extreme Veteran
Algonquin, IL
Subject: RE: Rockford Half Marathon
I was out there with you and I can definitely relate with your report.  The wind felt like it was always in my face.  It was also hillier than I thought it was going to be.  Hey! Great job anyway.  I think this race really taught me how to HTFU!  I wish I knew you were going to be out there.  I would have liked to have said Hi!
2008-05-20 5:23 PM
in reply to: #1412965

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Oak Park, IL
Subject: RE: Rockford Half Marathon
Wow - the way you set it up, I thought the race was a complete disaster!  Not the case at all my friend!  You have a TON to be proud of!  Only one minute slower than your PR on a day with 20mph winds?  You're a rock star!!  And just think how easy it will feel to run your next race with no wind.   Good job Laura.
2008-05-20 8:34 PM
in reply to: #1412965

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Wellington, North Island
Subject: RE: Rockford Half Marathon
I agree with Jen. Being only a minute behind your PR with tough winds is pretty impressive. I rode in that wind the day before and it nearly did me in. Racing in it had to test your metal. Great job!

Edited by MissKelly 2008-05-20 8:34 PM

2008-05-21 9:55 AM
in reply to: #1412965

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NW Suburbs, Illinois
Subject: RE: Rockford Half Marathon

You are crazy, that is a great race.  Only one minute of a PR, with that kind of wind and hills.  Not to mention, 6 out of 54, puts you in the top 10%.  Some good take aways, too.  You know you can run over 167 for over 1.5 hours.  Nice to know that kind of stuff.  And although, you ended up slowing down, next time you will remember this race and will do better b/c of it.

Like I said, great race and enjoy if for that!

2008-05-22 5:39 AM
in reply to: #1412965

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Granvile, Ohio
Silver member
Subject: RE: Rockford Half Marathon

Laura, are you kidding me?  Damned impressive job out there!  You had some nasty conditions and you pushed through them.  Be proud that you were so close to that PR.  I'm sorry that the race wasn't what you wanted it to be, but you hung in there and finished the race and with a damned nice time.  You'll get that PR and it will be Oh.So.Sweet.

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