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Glen Arbor Solstice half marathon - Run

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Glen Arbor, Michigan
United States
Endurance Evolution
Total Time = 1h 28m 57s
Overall Rank = 4/204?
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 1/?
Pre-race routine:

Up in the morning, usual big bowl of oatmeal with raisins, banana, cup of coffee. The start of this race was only about three miles from my Northern MI cottage so I was able to leave pretty late and still have plenty of time
Event warmup:

ran about a mile and a half total with about six x 30 seconds race pace strides. I was all finished with about 12 minutes left until race start
  • 1h 28m 57s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 47s  min/mile

This was the first running of the Glen Arbor Solstice HM around Glen Lake. I have been pondering a run around Glen Lake for the last year so when this race was announced I signed up immediately. The timing of the race was not ideal as it was only six days after my early season "A" race, the Eagleman HIM. I was not really adequately recovered but I felt OK and decided that I could handle this race.

A very local, small town feel to this race. A lot of chatting and good natured discussion in the minutes leading up to the gun. When the gun went off I was surprised at the number of people who took off at a dead run. I decided to run at around 7:00 pace and just keep within myself, not knowing how my legs would react to racing so soon after a HIM.

Interestingly enough, running at 7:00 pace, with the pace creeping down into the 6:50s, I started to reel in a bunch of those fast starters over the first three miles. I don't know how many I passed but I would guess around 15 or so????? I was really feeling pretty darn good. Between miles three and four is the first real climb. As I hit the start of the climb there was only one guy in sight about 100 yards ahead of me. I caught him about 1/2 way up the climb and started chatting. He asked about my Muncie shirt and if I was racing Muncie again as he had just signed up. We talked Tris for a bit. It turns out he had done the Grand Rapids HIM a week earlier so he was running on tired legs as well. We were very well suited running together and pushed each other unconsciously. Our paced dipped into the low 6:30s and I was still feeling pretty good. He told me that there were only five people in front of us. Cool. At around mile 6.5 he decided to pull back and I decided to see if I could catch any of the five.

As I was cruising along, eventually I could see a runner about a 1/4 mile ahead of me. Now I had a target. :) The most feared part of this inaugural run was the climb to inspiration point. This is about one mile of super steep, relentless climb to a point overlooking the lake. By the time we hit the start of the climb he was only about 200 yards in front of me and I decided to catch him by the top. I really like to run up hill. I think I am good at it and have mostly conquered all of the inner doubts that happen on tough climbs. This climb, however, was pretty darn brutal. It was steep from the start to the finish. My pace dropped to around 8:45 for most of this mile. Ouch. I did not catch runner number five by the top but caught up to him about 40 yards over the peak. Again, another extremely nice guy. A high school cross country coach who was whipping himself into shape so he could run with his athletes. This is a pretty steep descent as a reward for the climb and we were able to carry on a relaxed conversation while clicking off a 6:35ish mile.

At the ten mile marker my watch said 1:11:20ish. It looked to me like I had no chance at a sub 1:30 HM but I had to try. I told my running partner that "anyone can run a hard 5K." He wished me luck and I dropped the hammer as much as I could. Miles 10-13.1 have no real hills, just some gently rolling terrain. It did not take very long for me to start to really hurt. I was trying not to look at the Garmin because I did not want to know how far I had left. Whenever I did look it was consistently showing that I was running in the high 5 minute mile pace; 5:48, 5:50, 5:46. I figured that the satellites must not be working right but I was hurting pretty bad. I looked over my shoulder and could no longer see any pursuers. At the 12 mile mark I thought briefly about just relaxing and cruising in as no one could catch me but my mental math said that sub 1:30 was attainable again. I just kept going as hard as I could and crossed in 1:28:57, a PR at the distance for me.

I will say that the hills made this tough. I think that on a flat course I have a much faster HM in me. The winner, a college cross country runner went 1:19:53 so just 9 minutes faster than me.

Overall very happy with this.
What would you do differently?:

Do this on rested legs
Post race
Warm down:

Chatted. Walked some. Fluids. Calories

What limited your ability to perform faster:

See rested leg issue.

Event comments:

I will gladly come back and do this again. Endurance Evolution puts on a great race.

Last updated: 2012-06-17 12:00 AM
01:28:57 | 13.1 miles | 06m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/?
Overall: 5/204?
Performance: Good
Course: Big giant loop around Glen Lake with Approximately 2, 900 feet of climbing total according to the Garmin, which I totally believe because this was one hilly half marathon.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-06-24 8:13 PM

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ann arbor, michigan
Subject: Glen Arbor Solstice half marathon

2012-06-24 9:29 PM
in reply to: #4278009

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Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Glen Arbor Solstice half marathon

Very nice race.  I am convinced that having a target is very important when you are near the front of the pack.  Self-motivation is just much harder than "I need to catch that person" or "I need to prevent that person from catching me".

Yes, I'd say that on a flat course, you are looking at more like 1:27 or even 1:26 with the proper motivation.  Keep up the great work!

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