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TMC, Fleet Feet Veterans Day Half Marathon - Run

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Tucson, Arizona
United States
Everyone Runs
52F / 11C
Total Time = 1h 36m 43s
Overall Rank = 32/405
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 4/24
Pre-race routine:

had a small bowl of cereal. Juice. coffee.
Event warmup:

easy jog 0.7mi. with standard dynamic warm-up activities. felt OK. Ready to run.
  • 1h 36m 43s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 23s  min/mile

I didn't really know what my pace should be for this race. Having been injured most of the year and just bringing it back, and not having any other recent running races, there was no way for me to tell. Spent some time on the internet trying to figure out how to take the times from last weekend's Oly Tri, which was on a mountainous trail (and subsequent to a swim and bike ride), and using that to predict where I should be. After accounting for elevation, climbing, temp and it being a stand-alone, and then moving the pace from a 10K to a HM, I figured should be able to take 20 sec/min off my 7:44 pace from last weekend. (am I anal, or what?). I set my Garmin's virtual pacer accordingly.

The race starts out on a nice soft high school running track- which is really sweet to run on. Tried to go out at a comfortably sustainable pace and not burn myself out too early. Garmin said I was hoofing it at about a 7:34 pace, which seemed a touch on the easy side, but right what I wanted to feel for the 1st couple miles, to ease into the race. After the 1st 1/2 mile of slight downhill, the course climbs a gentle 100ft to mile 2, so I let my pace fall off to 7:40, while I allowed a small group of runners to pull away from me. (some of whom I reeled in later).

I wasn't exactly sure what my LT HR was, but I though it was in the upper 150's. Sadly, I looked down and saw that I was already tagging 158. I didn't know how much I had to play with above that, as I was planning on going out at 95%LT not 100%. The intensity level still felt light and smooth and the next few miles were 7:15-7:25ish, depending on incline. I was chatting with other runners and my breathing wasn't too stressed. Made it a point to thank every volunteer. So far so good.

The cool morning was giving way to a nice strong sun, so even though it was still in the 50's, doused myself with water to help stay cool. My pace and intensity was just shy of or right at threshold, and I slowly watched my HR drift into the low 160's, and then by mile 9 or so, the upper 160's. 168 has got to be above my LT!?, but, I seem to be able to hold it.

At 9miles, there's an out and return, where I got to see the race leaders. Based on prior years' results, I was hoping that if I got in under 1:40, I'd have a good shot at an age group podium spot. The 1st three that I passed were clearly in their 20's, but the 4th guy looked my age. Wow- that's some fast old man out there. then, a few more younguns, and 3 more old (like around my age) runners. WTF? Well, I wasn't sure what age group they were in, but there were a few runners within 50-100yards ahead of me that looked like they might be in my age group.

So, with only a few miles to go, and a slow climb for the next 2 miles, it was time to paint some targets on the backs of those potential competitors ahead of me. This is when the race starts to hurt, as I didn't have much more to give. HR is already at LT or above in the upper 160's, starting to get some pain in the hammy and calf. Breathing is telling me I'm on the edge. but I might have 5-10 seconds/mile to advance. I did eventually ease pass all my targets, brought it into the last 2 mile home stretch and took the HR to 170+. Two fewer girls were going to 'chick' me today as I eased pass them. As I made the final turns towards the uphill into the finish, there was nobody all that close to me to either run down or run from, so I mostly just held my pace and didn't kill myself to take off a few more seconds. Garmin says mile 12 came in at 7:09 and 13 at 7:05. the last 0.12 it claims a 6:41 pace, so I guess I did push it a little coming around the track.

Totally thrilled that I was able to truly run the half today, all pretty close to or at LT. I love HM's as just the best, most fun, stress free race distance. Could I have run it faster? perhaps a little, but I'm pretty happy with my 1:36:43 (7:22 avg pace). Not a PR, but the best running I've done this calendar year. Mostly- I'm just overjoyed at even being able to run.

P.S. I didn't get an age group podium spot with the coveted etched beer mug (Darn!). I came in 4th, and I tip my hat to the old men that earned their spots ahead of me. One ran a 1:22 (wow), and two others were 1:28's; all way ahead of me. Pretty fast field out there today in the old-man categories.
What would you do differently?:

nothing. loved this race.
Post race
Warm down:

walking. water. light jogging. then got a quick massage.

Event comments:

Steve Landau always does a great job. tons of volunteers. course extremely well marked and safe. and- he gives out etched beer mugs as awards. unfortunately- I didn't get one this year.

Last updated: 2013-07-30 12:00 AM
01:36:43 | 13.1 miles | 07m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/24
Overall: 32/405
Performance: Good
Course: Some gentle hills. Garmin claims 250ft of elevation ups and downs.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %2 lb
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
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

2013-11-10 2:45 PM

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Subject: TMC, Fleet Feet Veterans Day Half Marathon

2013-11-11 9:15 AM
in reply to: #4896030

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Vestavia Hills
Subject: RE: TMC, Fleet Feet Veterans Day Half Marathon
Wow rocked it - imagine if it were an "a" race with a full taper. Well done with the race day decisions ...the results it yielded speak for themselves.
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I expected to hurt after the marathon, and I did but there was nothing that I was immediately alarmed about. Since then, the foot pain that popped up after the marathon has not really gone away.
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Steady is our walk. Ignoring the pain that is radiating from my feet, I continue to place one foot in front of the other. Again I wonder, “Why am I doing this?”
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Yesterday I ran 10 miles. At mile 7 it started feeling sore. At mile 9.5 I got a shooting pain and walked the last 1/2 mile. I have a half Ironman to do in a week and a half. What are my chances?