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Caesar Rodney Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Wilmington, Delaware
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 2h 06m 23s
Overall Rank = 1041/1850
Age Group = Men 40-44
Age Group Rank = 118/151
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at around 7am. Had a big bowl of oatmeal, with peanut butter, a banana and some granola mixed in. Plus a cup of coffee. On the way to the race, which was only about 1/2 hour away, drank a bottled water. About 45 minutes before the race, drank a 16oz water with some Heed electrolyte mix in it. Walked around the race, found a couple of my friends that were also racing.
Event warmup:

Used the port-a-potty about 15-20 minutes before the race. Chatted it up with my friends, did about 5-7 minutes of stretching. Had 1 or 2 cups of gatorade and walked down to the starting area.
  • 2h 06m 23s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 39s  min/mile

What a fantastic race! We started out at 10th and King Streets in downtown Wilmington. My goal for the race was to keep a nice steady pace around 9.5 min/mile for the first 9 miles and then hammer it with everything I had left for the last 4 miles.

I had used the port-a-potty about 15-20 minutes before the start of the race, but standing there waiting for the race to start, I had an overwhelming urge to go again. There was no time to go and I actuall wondered to myself if I could pee while I was running. It's commonplace in triathlons, so why not in a 1/2 marathon?

The race was started by the firing of a cannon, which scared the living sh*t out of just about everyone. I started running and just hoped the sensation would go away, which it sometimes does. Got to mile 1 and was working my plan... the digital timer they had there said 9:26, so I was right on pace, however my bladder was ready to explode.

I planned on running the race with my friend, Ralph. We had set similar goals for the race (his a little more aggressive than mine), so I thought we'd do a nice job of pacing eachother. Bladder wasn't feeling any better, and actually worse. Up ahead, I saw a few people jumping out of the pack to go behing a building. Apparently they were having the same issue as me. So I made a decision that I'd rather take a couple minutes now to relieve myself rather than feel uncomfortable the entire race. I didn't think I'd have a chance of catching Ralph after a couple minute break, so I told him I'd see him at the finish line. I jumped behind this building, took care of business, and then it was off to the races again.

The next few miles were uneventful. The course was flat and I made a conscious effort to pick up the pace just a little to try and make up for my little "break". The pack had thinned out a little and I settled into a nice groove. Coming back through downtown Wilmington was great with the streets lined with people cheering on the runners.

Then I got to mile 6 and I knew the toughest part of the course was coming up. On the elevation map, from miles 6.5 - 9, there is a 700 foot elevation gain with a couple of challenging hills. I thought if I could average 10 min/miles through this part, I'd be able to beat my goal of 2:10 and possibly reach my stretch goal of finishing in 2 hours. I made it through surprisingly well. I glance frequently at my Garmin and the pace seemed to stay below 10 most of the time. And the hills weren't as bad as I had imagined.

Once we got through Rockford Park and out to Rt. 52, I saw the 10 mile mark. I knew I was at the highest elevation point and that the rest of the course was mostly downhill back into Wilmington. I wanted to try and do 8:30 min/mi the rest of the way. At each aid station, I did 1 cup of gatorade and 1 cup of water. I was feeling perfectly hydrated, legs felt strong and I had no cramps or blisters, so... HAMMER TIME!

I picked up the pace and frequently looked at my Garmin and the pace was consistently below 9... like in the 8:40 range. Nice! At mile 11, who do I see up ahead? My friend, Ralph. I caught up to him quickly and lightly slapped him on the back (scared the crap out of him!). I said, "come on Ralphy... let's finish it up strong!" I could tell he was struggling. He said, "I'll try", but I was past him in no time.

So down the hills I continued. I was feeling great and really going as fast as I possilby could. Once I got back into the neighborhoods surrounding the city, I knew I was almost home. My Garmin said 12.8 miles, but I knew that distance was further than I had actually gone. I figured I had about 1/2 mile to go.

One last aid station... gatorade, water, no slowing down. Made the final right turn and we were back into the city. Once I was back on Market Street, I knew the finish line was only blocks away. Those few blocks were slightly uphill, so I was pushing with everything I had. HR was close to max (180-ish), legs were burning. Streets were lined with hundreds of people with cowbells, signs, all of them cheering. I popped the iPod earbuds... didn't want to miss this. It was awesome.

Crested the hill, and then I saw it... THE FINISH LINE. Sprinted with everything I had left in the tank, which wasn't anything. I saw the timer at the top said 2:06. I would beat my 2:10 goal by 3+ minutes. Crossed the finish line and almost collapsed. I knew in my heart and soul that I left everything out on that course. I raced the exact race I wanted to race (except for my little pee break). Negative splits the last 5 miles. Under 10 min/mi on the 2.5 mile elevation gain. My 13th mile was my fastest mile. Awesome race!
What would you do differently?:

Pretty much nothing. Maybe drink a little less before the race and then drink more during, but not even sure about that because I was able to finish so strong.
Post race
Warm down:

Drank a bunch of water and gatorade. Walked around and chatted with my friends Ralph, Tony and Amy. Walked back to the car and ate a cliff bar. Got home and tried taking an ice bath, but only lasted about 3-4 minutes. That sh*t is excruciating!!! Showered, coached my daugher's softball practice and then enjoyed some cocktails out in the backyard. What an terrific day!!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Weighing 225 lbs. I'd like to get down to 210 for the upcoming tri season, but I'm not obsessing about it. With all the training I have coming up, the weight will come off.

Event comments:

Didn't stick around for post race activities, so I can't really speak to that, but this is a fun course and overall, a great race. There were aid stations every 2-3 miles with lots of volunteers. Being held within the city of Wilmington, there are tons of spectators and it's a very exciting race. I will definitely do this race again because it sets the stage for a great triathlon season. My running has never been stronger and that tends to be one of the weakest parts of my tri racing.

Last updated: 2010-02-02 12:00 AM
02:06:23 | 13.1 miles | 09m 39s  min/mile
Age Group: 118/151
Overall: 1041/1850
Performance: Good
Course: The course was relatively flat for the first 6.5 miles. Wove through downtown Wilmington and down toward Frawley Stadium (where the Blue Rocks play). Through a few neighborhoods and then down by the riverfront, which was the most scenic part of the race. Then back through downtown Wilmington and up through various windy roads and into Rockford Park. Miles 6.5 to 9 were a 700 ft. elevation gain. Course then turned out to Rt. 52 and the turnaround at mile 9-ish was at DuPont Middle School. Then on back to Rockford Park, where the next 2.5 miles were the same 700 ft. elevation we just came up (but this time, heading downhill). Back into downtown Wilmington and finished at 10th and Market.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %1%
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-03-22 9:55 AM

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West Grove, PA
Subject: Caesar Rodney Half Marathon

2010-03-22 10:28 AM
in reply to: #2739907

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Subject: RE: Caesar Rodney Half Marathon
Fantastic race Bill!!  It always feels so good to finish strong with your best mile pace. 
2010-03-22 11:06 AM
in reply to: #2739907

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Subject: RE: Caesar Rodney Half Marathon

Great work. Nice race and you beat your goals. Next time hydrate earlier, and taper the liquid a bit more before the race. Otherwise like you said it was spot on.

2010-03-22 11:26 AM
in reply to: #2739907

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Midcoast Maine
Subject: RE: Caesar Rodney Half Marathon
What a fantastic job. You paced well, you didn't collapse due to adversity (glad you took care of it before it affected more of the race) and you had a great time.

Now - about those ice baths...I can't do it - much too painful. At this point, I'd rather suffer with the soreness the next couple of days than go through that again.

2010-03-22 11:57 AM
in reply to: #2739907

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2010-03-22 12:31 PM
in reply to: #2739907

Bronze member
Subject: RE: Caesar Rodney Half Marathon
Great job. it looks like you enjoyed it from start to finish (esp after the pee break )

2010-03-22 2:46 PM
in reply to: #2739907

Subject: RE: Caesar Rodney Half Marathon
Awesome race Bill.  Great discipline on pacing, and that paid off with a strong finish and a great experience.  This race is a great kickoff to your tri season.
2010-03-22 9:28 PM
in reply to: #2739907

East Side of the Bay
Subject: RE: Caesar Rodney Half Marathon
Awesome race Bill. Great pacing and strong work conquering those hills.  Must have felt sweet to negative split!!!
2010-03-22 9:42 PM
in reply to: #2739907

West Allis, WI
Subject: RE: Caesar Rodney Half Marathon
Eeeeeaaaawwwwwsome job out there Bill! Great RR!
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