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Long Branch Half Marathon - Run

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Oceanport, New Jersey
United States
US Road Sports & Entertainment Group
50F / 10C
Total Time = 2h 02m 53s
Overall Rank = 1086/2217
Age Group = F 30-34
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Up by 5 am and out the door by 5:25 or so. We stayed at my step mom's house since she lived about 15 minutes from the start. Michael was nice enough to drive and we were there and parked pretty quickly. I had been stressing about the logistics of this race for two days since it's a point to point.
Event warmup:

Ate a Clif bar and drank some water and Gatorade. We stood around in a racetrack parking lot shivering in the wind for awhile. I was glad to be there early enough to not feel rushed and to not wait in lines for the bathroom, but man it was chilly out! Gear check was easy and we saw bomb dogs sniffing everything. Could not find a garbage can, I imagine they got rid of them all as a precaution. Managed to get into our corrals with more than enough time.
  • 2h 02m 23s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 19s  min/mile

The week of the race I decided to go with the 2 hour pace group and if I couldn't do it, oh well. There were two guys pacing for 2 hours and I decided to stay with the guy who I had chatted with a week or two before on his blog. Race morning I made the decision to wear a watch but not hit the splits or look at them. I also tried not to look at the mile marker clocks.

I'd say miles 1-8 were actually pretty uneventful. I hung on and while it was obviously faster than I've ever gone and I could feel it, I wasn't dying or breathing too heavily. I took part of a gel around the mile 5 water station. The other pacer was really loud and pretty funny, he'd tell the spectators to cheer for us and he'd pump his pace flag and say thanks when people would clap as we'd go by. He announced the halfway point and said we were exactly on target for a 2 hours race. That was pretty exiting.

The race gave a 10k split - 56:31 - which is a big PR for me. I always have crappy 10k races and often choose hard and hot races. So it's good to know I'll sometime have a big stand alone 10k PR.

I think somewhere around mile 8 I started to slow down and it was getting harder to keep up with the group. Eventually I had to let them go and was a bit bummed but still pretty happy overall with how things had been going. I still chose not to look at my watch or the clocks but I felt like I was going slooooow. For a mile or two I was just kinda plodding along (or that's how it felt) and then took a gel at the mile 10 water station. That may have perked me up and I let myself look at the mile 11 clock. At 1:43:xx I figured if I could manage a 10 mile average pace for the rest of the race I'd still come in under 2:05. At mile 12 I looked at the clock again and saw I should come in under 2:05 but I didn't want to worry about how much and just kept running.

The final mile and change were along the beach and man it was windy. I had bursts of speed and would try to keep up with and pass some runners. I kept looking for the finish, I knew it had to be close. My shins were cramping and that was not cool. I wanted to finish strong so badly so I pushed through.

Never saw a mile 13 marker or clock but I pushed it to the finish and was thrilled to see 2:03 and a few seconds on my watch.

The race bibs had QR codes, which was pretty cool, and I was quickly able to see I had come in under 2:03 once I had my phone. Not quite a sub 2 hour finish but man that's a 5 minute and change PR so I was really happy.
What would you do differently?:

Not let myself slow down so much from miles 8-10. Maybe more miles in training will get me there.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked through the tent with food and grabbed my gear bag easily. Found Michael, Laura and Travis and we hung out until Laura's mom was done. My mom was nice enough to wait for us at the finish for probably 2 hours so she could drive us back to our cars.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Crapping out at mile 8. But I know I can go sub 2. Might not be this year, as I may not even run another half, but I'm going to get it eventually.

Event comments:

While I'm not a fan of point to point since getting to the race, getting back to the car and getting out the parking lot (oy) were not exactly fun, this is a great race otherwise. Course was decent and they do their best to communicate lots about the race, getting ready for the race, etc.

Last updated: 2013-02-05 12:00 AM
02:02:23 | 13.1 miles | 09m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/2217
Performance: Good
Course: Point to point from the racetrack in Oceanport to the beach in Long Branch.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-05-10 9:37 AM

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Subject: Long Branch Half Marathon

2013-05-10 12:56 PM
in reply to: #4736407

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Extreme Veteran
Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Long Branch Half Marathon

::dancing pink elephants::

Once again, congratulations!  You ran a very smart, solid race.  You've come so far with your running recently - so proud!  I have no doubt you'll break 2 hours soon.

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