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Bidwell Classic Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Chico, California
United States
Chico Running Club
60F / 16C
Total Time = 1h 48m 34s
Overall Rank = 133/468
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 15/
Pre-race routine:

Slept pretty well the night before, didn't have the usual coughing spasms I beeen fighting lately. Woke up around 6:00 AM had my usual bagel with peanut butter, cup of coffee, and about 8 ounces of cytomax. Took a shower, got my stuff together, and headed into the race around 8:00. As I'm driving in, I realize that I only brought one GU - and didn't bring anything for "pre-race". I usually have a bananna and a GU before the race, to "top off" the tank.

Made a quick detour to Raley's, and I still made it to the race before the start of the 5k group. Took a few photo's of that group, then started getting warmed up for my wave. They were pretty organized this year, even had a sweat check, which I took advantage of.
Event warmup:

Lots of walking around, a few tempo runs, and some light stretching.
  • 1h 48m 34s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 17s  min/mile

Run went really, really well for me. I didn't set too high of hopes, after my disappointing 5k a few weeks ago, I really was afraid that I was going to go slower than my previous best time of 1 hour 52 minutes and 41 seconds on this course.

I knew that I was "faster than I used to be" after my marathon in December, but my run training has really suffered the last month or so. First, my near hospitalization with Poisen Oak put me out of commission in January, then I picked up a head cold in February that just will not let go (even now, a month later).

I tried a new strategy this time, to counter my usual tendency to "go out to fast". Since this race was chip timed, I went clear to the back of the pack at the starting line - so it was a full 30 seconds before I made it across the starting line once the horn went off. It also was "wall to wall" runners, so that forced me to keep a more realistic pace. The first four miles were low 8's, but at least I didn't do any of the crazy 7 minute miles that tend to hurt me later on in the race.

I really tried to focus on running on light feet, quick pace, but keeping my heart rate and breathing under control. I did really well the first 6 miles, keeping my times under 8'15". At mile 7, we begin the second loop, and it has a slight uphill gradient - plus my legs were starting to "feel" the pain. Mile times increased to around 8'30", I figured I could live with this, as long as I could pick up the pace the last three miles (the downhill portion).

That all sounded really good in theory, but mile 10 my split was 8'26". I remember thinking to myself, I have to find someone to pace off of, to keep my pace from slipping. Just about that time, my pace angel comes up along side of me - a beautiful girl with an Auburn Running Club top, we struck up a short conversation in between labored breaths. She said that she was not in shape to PR herself, but seemed interested in helping me meet my goal of 1 hour and 50 minutes.

Running with her was great - she was keeping a strong pace, and helped keep me motivated, even when it was getting really hard. She had a favorite saying or montra that she let me borrow - "Don't think, Just Run". That really made a lot of sense, as sometimes you need to just shut up, ignore the watch, and ignore the pain - just keep running. About mile 11, she came up with another one - "you will never get this 15 minutes back". She also encourage me to move my arms faster, and said my "legs will follow". We managed to pass a few runners, which was great for my spirt (which was getting pretty weak at that point). Mile 11 she nearly killed me with a 8'01" pace, I slowed down to a 8'15" pace the next mile, and by then it was into the chute, and I kicked out with whatever I had left (which was not very much).

It took me a few seconds to recover enough to even have the ladies take off my timing chip, then I went over and formally introduced myself. Her name was Desiree, and no, she wasn't a coach - but said that she had been running for years, and liked to help motivate other runners in her races.

What would you do differently?:

Not much I could have improved on - I cut 4 minutes and 6 seconds off my time on this course in 2007, and I'm still not completely healthy.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around a lot, drank a couple of recharge drinks, had some bananas and apples. Stretched quite a bit, then found an open massage table an had a massage student work on my legs. That was heavenly, out in the park, with the music playing, on a beautiful day, getting a massage - what a great way to wait for the results to be posted.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing - I exceeded my expectations

Event comments:

Julie and Nikki just keep getting these races dialed in better and better. Chip timing was perfect, the weather was great, the sponsors had a feast for us when we finished, and everything started ON TIME!!!

Great Job

Last updated: 2009-03-07 12:00 AM
01:48:34 | 13.1 miles | 08m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/468
Performance: Good
Mile 1 8'18" Mile 2 8'9" Mile 3 8'9" Mile 4 8'00 Mile 5 8'05" Mile 6 8'14" Mile 7 8'25" Mile 8 8'35" Mile 9 8'33" Mile 10 8'26" Mile 11 8'01" Mile 12 8'15" Mile 13 8'28" Mile 13.1 57"
Course: Two loops around Bidwell Park. First 3 miles has a slight upgradient, next 3 has slight downgradient.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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

2009-03-08 5:23 PM

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Durham, CA
Subject: Bidwell Classic Half Marathon

2009-03-10 10:17 AM
in reply to: #2005050

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Ida, Michigan
Subject: RE: Bidwell Classic Half Marathon
For not being 100% you ran a great race.  Congratulations on the course PR.
2009-03-12 9:44 PM
in reply to: #2008220

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Durham, CA
Subject: RE: Bidwell Classic Half Marathon

cathrone - 2009-03-10 7:17 AM For not being 100% you ran a great race.  Congratulations on the course PR.

Hey Craig,

Thanks for checking in, and thanks for the congratulations.  I was pretty stoked after the race, and been riding pretty high all week!!!!



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