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Ann Arbor Half Marathon - Run

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Ann Arbor, Michigan
United States
27F / -3C
Total Time = 1h 29m 5s
Overall Rank = 14/1000
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 2/55
Pre-race routine:

This race is 12 minutes from my house so I stayed home as long as possible.

Ate a large bown of oatmeal, banana and obligatory cup of coffee.

Left my house with 45 minutes to start. Parked maybe a 1/4 mile from start line. Stayed in car until 15 minutes to gun to try to stay warm.
Event warmup:

A couple things. The temperature was supposed to be in the high 40s/low 50s for this race. Instead there was a weather change so it was 27 degrees in the morning with 10 mph constant breeze from the Northwest which hade it "feel" like 18 degrees. With this being an out and back it meant that half of the run would be in to the wind.

I chose to wear way more clothes than originally planned, tri-shorts, compression tights, compression top, long sleeve top, short sleeve top, thin wool hat, thin gloves. This ended up being almost perfect. A little bit cool when running in to the wind but almost perfect when the wind was at my back.

Warm up consisted of easy jog the 1/4 mile to the start line. Wore one of my ancient medical school sweatshirts to the start line with the idea of dropping it at the start line and kissing it good bye--more later :)

Socialized a bit while waiting for the race to start. Ran in to one of my old med school profs that I would have never recognized but he saw the sweatshirt so we talked for a bit. Fun.

Had to pee as we were counting down to the start but resigned myself to holding it for the next 90 minutes :)
  • 1h 29m 5s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 48s  min/mile

I was not sure where my fitness was starting this race. My PR is 1:22:52 and I knew I was not in that kind of shape and even if I was, this is not a PR course. Way too hilly.

Made the mental decision that I was going to go out at 6:50 pace and refuse to go slower and that is pretty much what happened. The hills on this course made that difficult for several sections but I just mentally hardened-up for those sections and got through. Fastest miles were back to back 6:34s in the middle and a 6:20 for the last mile. Slowest was a 6:52 coming up out of the Arb (which was a long, steep uphill). In retrospect, I probably could have pushed the flats and downhills in to the 6:30s or even high 6:20s for much more of the race (since I was able to hold under 6:50 for the uphills). I just had not embraced the idea of suffering that much.

The layout of this race is such that you can't see too far ahead or behind at any point in time. I had absolutely no idea how many people were ahead of me. At about the 4.5 mile mark, the small pack that I was in came upon a guy, jogging on the course, going about half our speed. As we passed him he told us our overall place in the race. As I went by he said, "your are number 19." I was surprised that I was that close to the front. I made it my goal to pass as many as possible from that point on. Got to 13th overall at one point but at mile 11 a guy blew by me like I was standing still. Tried to go with him but after about a 1/4 mile I realized he was running in a different league than me and let him go. He ended up finishing 9th OA so he made up some serious time. Don't have any idea what he was doing for the first 11 miles. In retrospect, I think that he was the only person to pass me in the entire race (after the first 100 yards or so). Weird.

Final pace was 6:43/mile for 13.25 miles. I thought that I ran the tangents pretty well, and wonder if the course change in the Arb didn't make this a little bit long. My official race pace is 6:47/mile for 13.1 but Garmin pace was 6:43 for 13.25. Either way, under 6:50 so satisfied, if not elated.

Guy who won my AG went 1:22:xx and I was not in anywhere near that shape on this course on this day so the AG win was never an issue (although I did not know that at the time).

What would you do differently?:

Push a little more on the downhills and flats.
Post race
Warm down:

I did not realize that there was a bag drop for warm clothes. The finish line was about 1.25 miles from where I parked. Obviously it was pretty darn cold and as soon as I stopped running I cooled off. Made the executive decision that I had to get back to the car and warm clothes. Grabbed a cookie and a bottle of water and very tentatively jogged the mile back to my car and warm clothes. Staying for awards was not worth freezing for.

On the way back to the car I went past the start line and there was my sweatshirt on the side of the road. Bonus! I was freezing and I wasn't totally ready to say goodbye to it, so I picked it up, put it on, and jogged the last 1/4 mile to the car.

Amazing thing, I was back in my house 2:10 after the start gun. Most of my family was still in bed.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Mental fortitude/HTFU.

Still not in midseason shape. This will improve but you can't maintain peak fitness all of the time. This is a hard course, so going sub 1:30 is a very respectable run. I was sore for almost a week so It would seem that I got pretty close to my "performance edge."

Event comments:

Good race. Glad they moved it up to March and away from the iconic Dexter-Ann Arbor run that it was originally competing with.

Last updated: 2014-04-07 12:00 AM
01:29:05 | 13.1 miles | 06m 48s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/55
Overall: 14/1000
Performance: Good
Course: Semi-out and back starting by the UM football stadium, running through downtown Ann Arbor, up Liberty then North University through campus and out Geddes. Geddes all the way out to Huron River Drive near WCC.St Jos Hospital, turn in to Gallup park then out on to Fuller, past the VA medical center, on to UM medical center campus then down, down, down in to the Arb. Painfully back up, up, up out of the Arb (course was altered and this is where I think I ran some extra mileage.....) Through the medical school campus, through UM campus, down William and back on to Main street to finish. Very neat course. Very hilly.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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

2014-04-07 8:15 AM

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ann arbor, michigan
Subject: Ann Arbor Half Marathon

2014-04-07 8:56 AM
in reply to: #4977617

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South Alabama
Subject: RE: Ann Arbor Half Marathon

Nice job Jason! I think the race indicates that you are in good shape heading into the tri season. As always, I envy your run.

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