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Suffolk County Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Selden, New York
United States
Suffolk County Half Marathon
32F / 0C
Total Time = 1h 30m 10s
Overall Rank = 25/436
Age Group = m35-39
Age Group Rank = 5/28
Pre-race routine:

Slept in a little and didn't roll out of bed till 5:40 AM. Kids were restless last night and woke me up a few times, and my crazy pre-Race dreams didn't help either. :) I only had a banana, cup of black coffee and a tri-berry gel. I knew I was going to be riding the Pain Cave Roller Coaster into Hurtville, so I didn't want anything coming back up on me. Please I did some very minor-carbo loading two days prior, so I knew my glycogen stores were topped off.
Event warmup:

Hung out the the BT Crew!! Me, mscotthall, sammeg, Sevenride, and Luby ... and I saw my friend Dan from my Tri Team. I jogged back and forth from the car. 30 minutes prior to the Race start I drank a small shot of EFS Pre-Race. It's like a Red Bull times 3 :) If you handle caffeine well, I highly suggest trying this product. I used it twice in training (using half the recommended dosage the first time) to be sure I would tolerate it on Race Day. If you don't handle caffeine well - then stay far away from this product.
  • 1h 30m 10s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 53s  min/mile

So the buzz words of the day were: Wind and Cold. It was 32 degrees at the start - which didn't bother me none. I donned a tiny racing singlet top and tiny race ready shorts, arm-warmers and gloves. I was Ready to Rock!! What I wasn't ready for was the wind. I mean, I'd experienced the winds on this course before, but we always had tailwinds from miles 2 thru 6. Shitty headwinds from 7 thru 11. And then tailwinds for the final mile and a half ride to the finish.

Today was bizzaro day. Today it was the opposite. Fuuuudge. In reality it probably made for a faster race actually, but (of course) it was not what *I* had anticipated so my tiny little grey matter was not happy.

Miles 1 & 2 and felt decent - 6:19 and 6:36. At the first turn-around the wind slammed us in the face and it was a rude awakening. For miles 2 thru 4 I was in no-mans-land. I couldn't catch the couple of runners just ahead of me, and nobody was passing me. I kept seeing a 7:00 pace on my garmin and I wasn't pleased. I passed the 3-mile mark at 19:53 and was pleased to know that had I done the 5k, I would've had a sun 20. I also knew I was ahead of the 1:30 schedule. But still, the wind just wreaked havoc with me mentally. Miles 3 & 4 were 6:59 & 6:57.

Right around mile 4 I became mentally tired from battling the wind. A runner just in front of me actually just stopped, turned around, and started walking back to the finish line at around mile 3.5. It was unrelenting, I was alone, and for a moment - yeah, I thought about just letting go of Race Pace and making it a training run. BUT JUST THEN, I heard footsteps behind me and breathing. It was a three-person pack!!! Two girls (angels really :)) running side by side (who would eventually finish 1st and 2nd OA) and my friend Andre drafting off both of them!! My cousin introduced me to Andre a few years back, and just last weekend at the Kings Park 15k, he finished a mere 3 seconds ahead of me. I Thanked God and hopped onto this Chick Express!! :) One girl was clad in a neon pink shirt and the other in a flourescent green tech shirt. For the next two miles I just stared at the ground and rode their coat-tails. At a few points I thought about suggesting I do some of the work, but the truth was: the entire time I was in 'Pain Cave' survival mode and only looked up maybe once or twice. I had no idea of my surrooundings. Lap 5 & 6 were 6:54 & 7:01.

At the turn-around everyone rejoiced that we would now enjoy tailwinds for miles 7 thru 11. The girls rejoiced so much they surged and dropped me and Andre. I KNEW I was guaranteed a sub 1:30 if I could go with them, but I just couldn't. They dropped down to a 6:30 gear and I just didn't have that gear 10k in. So I kept Andre within 20 yards and just ran my race.

I started feeling a touch better every mile from 7 thru 10. (6:45, 6:45 & 6:53) but a stitch in my right side was growing and I just had no desire to drink or take in any gels. I was just so focused on my form and breathing and not losing more ground to the runners in front of me. I was definitely pushing the red-line at this point.

At the Mile 10 marker I started seeing little circles in the sky and my stomach was threatening mutiny, my arms were tingling, but I decided with 5k left - it was med tent or sub 1:30. I could make out 1:08:something on the digital display and knew I needed to 'just hold it together' for 5k. Two runners surged past me, and I had no answer. I was pumping my arms and focusing on form. I knew I only had a few miles left to gain some extra time before the final mile and a half turn-around when I would get smacked with headwinds. Mile 10 & 11 were 7:03 & 6:47.

Just before the last turn-around I past Andre, and only a few minutes later, BAM. Effing Headwinds. My entire race was going to come down to a long, painful 1-mile straightaway. I buried my head and just turned over the legs as fast as I could. Andre powered past me and I immediately jumped into his draft. He led me up an overpass, down it, and then to the last gentle climb. I didn't dare look at my watch, and I just kept holding my form. We caught two runners that were consistently in front of us, so I knew we were pressing - but then a runner came out of no-where and surged past all three of us. I was semi-coherent at this point and with about a 1/4 mile left, I knew I had to make a move if I were to grab my dream. I stepped out from Andre's draft and the wind hit me like a wall. I held my head up high and pressed forward and left the three surrounding runners behind me. I was in such a state, the display clock for 13 miles was blurry. I'm not sure if it was from the pain, or the wind blowing around my oakley's and warping my eyeballs. I could see 1:29:something and I just emptied the tank. My final turn and 1/10th of a mile surge to the line was at a 5:38 pace. But sadly my 13th mile was at a 7:15 pace.

I left IT ALL out on that course. After crossing the line I had to sit on the curb for a good 3 to 4 minutes and the paramedics checked on me twice. Had I eaten more than a banana for breakfast, it would surely of come up. I was happy to have PR'ed by a minute, but still disappointed that I missed by goal by less than :01 second per mile, and had it in my grasp until that final mile.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Truth is, had the two women and Andre not passed me at mile 4 - and had I not jumped on - I would've probably finished a minute or two slower overall.

Truth is, I'm disappointed I missed my goal - but I am grateful and know it's a privelege to be able to run 13.1 miles, regardless of the time. Oh, and Rule #1 is: You can't complain when you PR.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked/run/shuffled back to get my jogging pants and fleece. Applauded other runners finishing, and found Mr. Mike Hall on his final mile victory lap. CONGRATS TO MIKE ON ANOTHER HUGE PR! THIS ONE BY 5 MINUTES!!! Needless to say, between the wind and cold, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to get Mike to do this race again. And Congrats to Ted on a PR and his first Half Marathon!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

See Rule #1. :)

Event comments:

I've said it before, this is a no-frills race. And yes it's flat and fast, but there's always going to be some negative factor - and for this course it's wind. Aside from the topography and weather, the ROTC does most of the volunteer and aid station work - AND THEY ARE AWESOME!! Lots of my friends were there, there are markers for every mile and lots of digital displays, and the post-Race spread was pretty darn decent this year. Normally the 32 degree temps don't bother me, but I think since it's been such an abrnormally cold and lonnnnnnnng Winter, the cold became a factor this year. Hopefully next year it will be warmer :)

Last updated: 2010-12-15 12:00 AM
01:30:10 | 13.1 miles | 06m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/28
Overall: 25/436
Performance: Good
Course: Out & back from Suffolk Community College, down to Mark Tree road, to the L.I.E and back to the college. Fast and mostly flat.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
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] 4

2011-03-27 12:19 PM

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Subject: Suffolk County Half Marathon

2011-03-27 12:37 PM
in reply to: #3416475

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Dirt Road
Subject: RE: Suffolk County Half Marathon
Great race report. I especially liked you recognizing the blessing of being able to run that far. BTW 6:53's ...smokin to me.
2011-03-27 12:51 PM
in reply to: #3416475

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Long Island, NY
Subject: RE: Suffolk County Half Marathon
It's those damn Girl Scouts and their delicious cookies!
2011-03-27 1:37 PM
in reply to: #3416475

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Suffolk County Half Marathon
Way to dig so so so deep, leave it all out there, and drive relentlessly toward your goal. Huge congrats on the PR! The slim 11 seconds is proof that with even more stellar training like what you've put in so far, you're going to go waaaaay under 1:30 in May. This dream will become a reality.

One of my favorite parts: "For the next two miles I just stared at the ground and rode their coat-tails." Oh suuuure, you were just staring at the ground with all that pace booty right in front of you Smart work on the drafting on a windy day.
2011-03-27 1:44 PM
in reply to: #3416475

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Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Suffolk County Half Marathon

Wow...Bobby, that was an awesome race.  You left everything out there...I like your comment "Medical tent or 1:30" almost made both!

The fact that you were able to almost pull a 1:30 with very limited taper in windy conditions is just awesome.

2011-03-27 2:31 PM
in reply to: #3416475

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Extreme Veteran
Long Island
Subject: RE: Suffolk County Half Marathon

Congrats on the PR Bobby, great race. You nailed it in your report...WINDY!!! Way to fight through it physically and mentally.


2011-03-27 10:33 PM
in reply to: #3416475

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Subject: RE: Suffolk County Half Marathon

Great report, there is one part I am not sure you are telling the truth though:

"... hopped onto this Chick Express!! One girl was clad in a neon pink shirt and the other in a flourescent green tech shirt. For the next two miles I just stared at the ground and rode their coat-tails."

...these hot chicks are running in front of you and your staring at the ground??!!  Wink LOL!!

Great job!!  BLAZING FAST!!!!

2011-03-30 10:23 PM
in reply to: #3416475

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Sun Prairie, WI
Subject: RE: Suffolk County Half Marathon
Great race under some tough conditions.  Next 1/2 you'll be sub 1:30 no problem!  Way to push it to the limit.
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