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Mercedes Half-Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Birmingham, Alabama
United States
Birmingham Marathon, Inc.
50F / 10C
Total Time = 1h 34m 32s
Overall Rank = 117/2954
Age Group = Male 25-29
Age Group Rank = 18/167
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 0445, ate breakfast, showered and watched espn news. I stayed in Fultondale which is about 5 miles North of the race start. Left the hotel around 0545 so I could get a good parking space.
Event warmup:

I sat in the car and listened to music until 0630. Hit the port-o-pottie then started the race warm-up. I jogged a few laps around the block, then I included a few picks-ups. Drank some water, took a power gel and weighed myself. Locked up the car and headed to the start corral.

  • 1h 34m 32s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 13s  min/mile

Race goal was 1:38-1:40.

Problems before the race even started. My coach said to warm-up and weigh as close as possible to the start. So I did. The starter corral was packed, I made it up to the 9:00/mile group. Crap, I'm going to have to do alot of weaving.

Race gun goes off and it takes maybe 30 seconds to reach the start line/timing mats. I stayed to the far right of the road the first few turns of the course, because all of the turns are to the left and I was moving way faster than the crowd. The course stayed crowded up until the 4 mile point. After that I found a guy running the pace I wanted and matched him stride for stride. Why think about pace when someone else can do it. Followed this guy up till mile 6, this is when the course turned into a uphill, downhill, repeat. My mark/pacer was fading on the uphills so I was off to find a new one. Same scenario happened three more times until I hit mile ten.

This is the point were coach wanted me to starting running at race pace. Training Pace = 155-175 bpm and Race Pace = 175-185 bpm. Passed by the race clock at mile 11 and it said 1:21 and change. Close to mile 12 I could feel a cramp coming on in my left calf and I thought oh crap. Went though mile 12 and the clock said 1:27 and change. At this point I'm thinking screw 1:38, I'm going to go under 1:35. So I pushed as hard as I could while trying to hold off the cramp. After mile 12 there were two guys handing out beer and oeros, dang I so wanted an oreo. ;) Made the turn onto 20th street and thought crap I forgot about the little downhill and following uphill. This is were the cramp finally hit me. Made it through the up hill and the final 200 yards before the finishing shoot. Made the last two turns and I could see 1:34:00 on the race clock, so I kinda shut it down because a sub 1:35 was in the bag.
What would you do differently?:

Start out in the back of the 7:00/mile group. Have and use salt tablets. Made good decisions and paced well. I passed 46 +/- a few people in the last 5K.

Half Marathon Progression
Feb 08 - 1:50
Nov 08 - 1:42
Feb 09 - 1:34

Post race
Warm down:

Returned my chip, got my finishers shirt and medal. Walked to the car to weigh and stretch.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Needed salt tablets and drink more. I was supposed to use salt tablets but my LBS were both out and neither of the two vendors at the expo had any.

Event comments:

This race was very good. They changed the course from 08, but was still challenging.

Last updated: 2009-01-06 12:00 AM
01:34:32 | 13.1 miles | 07m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 18/167
Overall: 117/2954
Performance: Good
Average HR 171 Max HR 191 10K - 44:54 21/167 AG, 7:15/mile 13.1 - 1:34:32 18/167 AG, 7:13/mile
Course: Race starts out in Downtown Birmingham, then loops south through UAB and the east for a bit. Then the course returns back to downtown. Downtown portion of the run is mostly flat. The UAB portion and eastern trek is rolling hills.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %1%
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-02-16 3:49 PM

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Huntsville, AL
Subject: Mercedes Half-Marathon

2009-02-17 11:28 AM
in reply to: #1964989

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Extreme Veteran
Bend, OR
Subject: RE: Mercedes Half-Marathon
Awesome job on your race! Congrats on the progression and PR.  Must be the coach  Good luck on the rest of your season.
2009-02-17 7:12 PM
in reply to: #1964989

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somewhere in the northwest
Subject: RE: Mercedes Half-Marathon
Awsome race and congrats on the PR.
2009-02-20 11:41 AM
in reply to: #1966325

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Huntsville, AL
Subject: RE: Mercedes Half-Marathon

Omega - 2009-02-17 11:28 AM Awesome job on your race! Congrats on the progression and PR.  Must be the coach  Good luck on the rest of your season.

Its gotta be the Coach.

2009-02-22 8:12 AM
in reply to: #1964989

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Long Island
Subject: RE: Mercedes Half-Marathon
Nice run Mark. Those times keep dropin and you'll be to boston in no time.
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