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Ocean City MD Half Marathon - Run


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Ocean City, Maryland
United States
OC Tri-Running
65F / 18C
Sunny
Total Time = 1h 57m 59s
Overall Rank = 564/2302
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 48/129
Pre-race routine:

So I was planning on taking off of work the day before and heading down to the beach with the friends I was staying with so we could enjoy a nice relaxing day at the beach before the race, attend packet pick up and have a nice dinner. Unfortunately, I was told two weeks before race day that I was going to have to work until 9pm on Friday to attend an awards ceremony at my work because I found out I was the receipient of two awards. Spent Friday night at the awards banquet getting my awards and left around 9pm and drove all night in the rain to Ocean City and arrived at my friends condo at midnight. Luckily, they had already made the bed for my wife and I so I got changed and slept on the sofa bed. Within 10 minutes, I could hear the ticking of the wall clock so I needed to get up and remove it from the wall and put it in another room so I could get some sleep. After that, the guy in the condo above us wanted to be up and walking around all night. All in all, I got about 3-4hrs of sleep before the alarm went off at 5am.

I got up, changed and had my PB sandwich and some frosted mini wheats. We then drove down to the boardwalk and met my friend Justin who had my race packet that he so generously picked up for me the night before. Hit the bathroom and then got on the bus that drove us to Assateague Island for the start of the race. At this point, we waited for 30minutes for the race to start.
Event warmup:

Walked around and tried to keep warm. Before the race started, it was overcast with high winds.
Run
  • 1h 57m 59s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 01s  min/mile
Comments:

This was my first race of the season and I have been trying to do this race for the past two years but my work schedule has got in the way of that. Huge local race with lots of friends who go down every year for an early beach weekend and flat PR course. I knew that they would pull out something special this year since it was the 10yr anniversary of the event and they did by switching the starting and finishing locations so you finish in OC on the boardwalk instead of the state park.

I lined up with my friend Lisa who was going for a 2:15 pace and tried to find my friends Justin and Deena who I was going to pace off of for a 2:00 split but I could not find them. I then found a 2:00 pacer (Corrine) who was very friendly and motivating and I decided to try and pace off her. I was not sure until the very last minute how I was going to run this race. For IM training, I have been doing all of my long runs at a 4:1 run/walk pace around 9:30-9:45 but I wanted to challenge myself and see how close I could get to 2:00. I decided when the gun went off that I would see if I could pace the 2hr group for the first 10k and then after that, if I needed to fall back I would fall back to the 2:10group.

I felt really good the first 5K and was able to hang with the 2hr pacer. She was a 2x Iron Distance Triathlon Finisher so her talking to me about racing and training did a lot to motivate me and distract me. After the first 5K my calf started to hurt a bit but I just ran through it and it went away. I decided to keep the pace until the 10K mark and I did not stop to walk until the 10K part. Once I grabbed my water (every 2 miles) I decided there was no need to walk for a full minute so I just downed the water and caught up to the 2hr group. At this point, I looked at my watch and noticed we were running 8:30's and the pacer told me she always tries to go a little faster then the pace time if she can. I said ok and continued to hang with her and decided at mile 8 I would stop and walk at the water station but only for 30 seconds. After the first walk break, I caught back up to the group and decided it was not hard to catch up with them and this plan worked well. So I stopped at miles 8, 10 and 12 for 30 second breaks while taking in gatorade and water and caught back up to the group. At the mile 12 marker I knew I was on pace to break 2hrs and my pacer told me that if I stayed with her I would finish right at 2hrs and if I was ahead of her, I would be sub 2hrs. I do not know what happened but as we were coming out of the town and crossing the RT50 bridge into Ocean City I just caught my second wind and ran sub 9min/miles for the last 2 miles. I kept looking back and could not see my pacer in sight so I felt confident that I was going to finish sub 2hr. After crossing the bridge (cool view) we ran through the inlet and onto the boardwalk for the last mile. This was an out and back section on the boardwalk that wrapped around the Pier and all of the rides/games then back onto the boardwalk for a finish at the Inlet Pier. Coming onto the boardwalk I gave it everything I had. I imagined myself racing IMMT in August and knowing that I was going to finish fine and in time but I wanted to push myself as hard as I could. Most of this comes from a dissapointing time from my HIM in October where I knew I was going to finish the race in time and just walked the last 5 miles of the race because I could. I vowed not to give up like that again and used that as even more motivation to go sub 2hr. I crossed the finish line in a sprint and came across at 1:57:59 and set a Half Marathon PR by 24minutes!!!

After getting my HUGE AND AWESOME finishers medal, I grabbed some water and waited for friends at the finish. I saw my pacer Corrine come in a few minutes behind me and I gave her a big hug and thanked her for pushing me and talking to me. She was really great and I appreciated all of her motivating, pace calculations and energy she brought to the race. Started to stretch and met up with Justin, Deena and Lisa who all finished in 2-2:15. Got some post race food and went home.

Some important things to note about this race:

1.) My goal for this race was 2:10 and my stretch goal was 2hrs. I had no idea I could go sub 2hrs and I was in disbelief with my time. Definitely a confidence booster going into my final 15 weeks of IM training.

2.) I feel like I nailed my nutrition plan. I put 4 gels into a 5oz gel flask and filled with water. Sipped on it when I needed it and took water/gatorade at every aid station. This is my plan for IMMT in August and it seemed to work out well. No cravings for solids or salt. When I finished the race I was a little hungry but had energy (I attribute the hunger to lack of calories at breakfast which I know I didnt eat enough).

3.) Small field of only 2300 runners and it seemed like we were spaced out pretty well. Since I can't listen to music at IMMT I decided to go without headphones for this to build mental toughness. At points it was boring but I managed. I think at IMMT there will be more people to talk to on the run course (hopefully)

4.) I wore my new Brooks Transcends for this race and my feet thanked me for it. I only have about 60 miles on them so I wasnt sure if I should wear them for this race or my Saucony's but they felt fine and held up well.

5.) I learned that pushing myself outside of my comfort zone won't kill me and I am capable of much more then I thought I was. Looks like this IM training is starting to pay off.

6.) Although a boring course, It had a great vibe and a great start/finish and it made for a fun weekend at the beach with friends.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing!! I rocked this race and it felt great.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around and got food/water. Met up with friends after the race, stretched and went home to enjoy the weekend at the beach. After the race was over and we showered, we got about 4hrs of beach time in which was awesome!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing. I ran the best race of my life to date. Very happy with my performance.

Event comments:

I liked the race and thought for the price it was a decent value.

Great Volunteers and they even had diffrent flavor gatorade options which was a nice touch.

The location of the race is great. Starting at a State Park on the water, looking at the skyline of Ocean City in the backdrop was cool. Cool local vibe too

Last mile of the race and the finish line were awesome.

Great shirt and finishers medal!

Some things I think they can improve on:

1.) Aid Stations- every 2miles is what they had which was not bad but closer to every mile would have been better. Not a huge gripe just what I am used to at larger events.

2.) Post race food- Half a banana, granola bar and pretzels. I had to argue with the person at the food tent to get my slice of pizza because I didn't have my food ticket with me. Apparently, a medal and race bib were not enough. Eventually I did get my So-So pizza slice and luke warm cup of chicken noodle soup. Maybe some better food options or new sponsors? Lots of food options in OC so I think they can do better and provide a litte bit more

3.) No post race music or party. Being at the beach and having great weather, I thought there would be something but I saw nothing. Maybe I missed it but I doubt it.

Overall I enjoyed myself. The main 10 miles of the course was pretty boring but for $60 and a weekend at the beach, I will be back one day.


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Last updated: 2014-04-29 12:00 AM
Running
01:57:59 | 13.1 miles | 09m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 48/129
Overall: 564/2302
Performance: Good
Course: Flat course from Assateague Island to Ocean City, MD with a finish on the Boardwalk. The first mile alond the shore was nice and the final two miles going across the RT50 bridge into Ocean City, on the boardwalk and around the pier to the finish were amazing. The rest of the course was bland farmland and sections through residential areas. Nothing fancy but it was pretty boring course
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

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