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Martian Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Dearborn, Michigan
United States
Martian Marathon
35F / 2C
Total Time = 1h 24m 18s
Overall Rank = 22/1836
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 3/135
Pre-race routine:

The first two months of the year to a triathlete is like an all you can eat buffet when you’re starving. You look at all the delicious races and the prices that will rise in a couple of weeks and say, ‘Ooh! I’ll take one of those vicious bike races, and I’m sure I can make some room for a half-marathon the following weekend, and hey, the Triple-T Ohio wasn’t so bad last year, right? No reason why we can’t sneak 4 half-Ironmans into the season, with an October marathon for dessert before cyclocross starts.
Event warmup:

Maybe next time I’ll make sure there are at least *two weeks* between races. Since the Barry-Roubaix 65 mile bike race last weekend, I’ve been fighting some patellofemoral knee pain along with general post-race soreness, even considering not running this race I’d already registered for to prevent further knee injury. Plus I'd been having one of those streaks of days where there was more dread than killer instinct for the race. But what the hell, the knee was still attached and feeling decent come race day, so let’s roll the dice and see how much we can suffer.
  • 1h 24m 18s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 26s  min/mile

Weather was predicted as snow and wind, but we got sun and less wind instead. Gorgeous day to run. I must’ve seeded myself well because I quickly found a pack of long legged gazelles doing 6:30s to draft behind as the first half of the race would be into the wind. These guys were solid and steady, like mighty riggers on high seas. I usually run more like Captain Cook, surging and fading, with a few spells of crazy for good measure. We ticked the pace down to 6:22s and maintained there nicely.

I stuck behind this one Asian guy who could’ve been a hi-volume shampoo model his hair was so thick and bouncy. My mix of Animal Collective, Sleigh Bells, Springsteen, Phoenix and others was bumping dub-club mix, so I just rocked out and watched this guy’s head become one of those WMP visualization settings. Who needs ‘shrooms when you’ve got running, am I wrong?

These runners were tangent masters. They cut lines through the course I’d never have seen on my own. So I stuck with them through the turnaround (out-n-back) when hair model made me look like a knock-off brand and I faded back a couple of seconds per mile. Breathing was good, but the legs were starting to feel the deep down, still-recovering fatigue, so I held on to the heels of this other guy running in an Etsy style knit hat with two heart tattoos on his ankles, one red, the other black.

I spent miles 8-11 contemplating what those hearts meant. Ying/yang riff? God/man dichotomy? Drunk Valentine’s Day decision? Poker player with a wicked tell? Jury’s out on this one.

While I was running with this guy I could stand the suffering. He was steady as a metronome and it allowed me to shut down the demons that said slow down, you're in too much pain, you can't compete at this, you're a weak and shitty runner, so you might as well give up. Instead, I could enjoy the music, let him dictate the pace and truly enjoy myself.

Blasted though if I didn't crack a bit on miles 11-12 as a few of us jockeyed for position, feeling surges of suckage and those euphoric visions of crossing the finish. Throughout the last mile I was running well, though when I looked at my Garmin it showed an overall average pace of 6:25s and I was already at 1:25, with a few hundred yards to go. That’s when I noticed we were well past 13.1, so something was up. I kicked down the final third of a mile and clipped four dudes on the final straight. Sa da tay! Sepatown!
What would you do differently?:

Schedule my races with ample recovery time
Post race
Warm down:

The great news is I got 3rd in my AG and top 25 OA, which I’ve never done in a mid-sized race. Super stoked about that!

The sort of disappointing news is that I ran a faster pace than last year's race, but I had a slower time. It looks by all accounts of everyone we talked to after the race that the turn-around section of miles 6-7 was 1.4 miles, so the turn around was too far out. Whatevs, I ran the best race I could and had a blast and my knee didn’t explode, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Update (4/4/11) from the race's Facebook page: "The half course measured long, at 13.4 miles. We have no idea how the turn around got there, but we overheard you say some crop circles were spotted in the area. The results will be posted to reflect the pace you ran for 13.4 and we're working on getting you a time for 13.1 based on that pace. Please be patient with us, it's been a long trip back to Mars."

Update (4/6/11): RD has corrected the times to reflect 13.1 miles. 1:24:18 new PB for ME!!!

Last updated: 2011-02-27 12:00 AM
01:24:18 | 13.1 miles | 06m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/135
Overall: 22/1836
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2011-04-03 8:31 PM

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: Martian Half Marathon

2011-04-03 10:28 PM
in reply to: #3428009

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ann arbor, michigan
Subject: RE: Martian Half Marathon
Nice race and great time. I am jealous of your speed. Way to stick it out at the end.
2011-04-04 8:58 AM
in reply to: #3428009

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Subject: RE: Martian Half Marathon
How true about the 'all you can eat buffet'.  You nailed that on the head.  Way to pace of some gazelles.  It's such a no-brainer to run with a pack or pace off someone else; especially since Running alone is not your focus.  And I can really identify with booking too many races, or not tapering enough due to training, and mid-race the lungs and mind are feeling great -- but then you feel that deep-down fatigue.  Whatya gonna do? 

When all is said and done, despite the Race Clock, you know you PR'ed the 13.1 mile distance and your standings also are 100% proof of a great race and jump in fitness. 

It's going to be a great race year for you Ryan!!
2011-04-04 9:06 AM
in reply to: #3428009

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Norton Shores, MI
Subject: RE: Martian Half Marathon
Awesome Race!! That is an awesome time this early in the season (or any part of the season).  I enjoyed the read too...especially the commentary regarding the hearts and the drunk valentines day decision..haha. 
2011-04-04 10:47 AM
in reply to: #3428009

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Martian Half Marathon
Thanks for the positive mojo! You guys are gearing up for some phenomenal seasons yourselves. Looking forward to seeing y'all throw the hammer down this summer and reading about it in your Race Reports

Edited by yeats 2011-04-04 10:48 AM
2011-04-04 12:45 PM
in reply to: #3428009

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Extreme Veteran
Denver CO
Subject: RE: Martian Half Marathon

Wa da tah!

Nice work out there. That's a hell of a pace! You must be one of the guys that gets discussed at gatherings now. You're definitely one the scene.

2011-04-04 8:51 PM
in reply to: #3428009

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Subject: RE: Martian Half Marathon
You are becoming quite the speedy!!!!!!!! Awesome race, AND race report! Looking forward to many more PR's this season! 
2011-04-04 10:01 PM
in reply to: #3428009

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Wellington, North Island
Subject: RE: Martian Half Marathon

Your race reports always crack me up. Nice job on the race and the AG spot!

It's great the race organizers could both take responsibility and add some humor to admitting the course was marked wrong.

2011-04-07 9:21 AM
in reply to: #3428009

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Subject: RE: Martian Half Marathon

OMG...the asian shampoo model!  LOL!  My kid was in an orchestra for 4 years at Troy High filled with Asian kids...and LOTS OF BLACK BOUNCY HAIR!   I know part of the reason she ended up at U of M is that the asian population is closer to her high school than small private Butler's was.   

So, congrats young sir on yet another fine race and race report.  Not only do I appreciate your writing style, but your honesty in your reports.  It's nice to hear that even you speedy folks deal with the devil in all its shapes,sizes and voices in training and come race day.  Makes me feel like one of the cool kids even though I'm not cool or a kid!

It was great to see you two live and in person getting your awards!   I could say I'm looking forward to TTT, but that would be a lie.  I am looking forward to the socializing part of TTT though. 

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