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Saratoga Palio Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Saratoga Springs, New York
United States
The Melanie Foundation
68F / 20C
Total Time = 1h 29m 51s
Overall Rank = 30/1044
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 7/55
Pre-race routine:

Had french toast for breakfast, then had to linger around before leaving because even though I knew I had a BM waiting, it didn't want to come. Eventually I couldn't wait any longer and had to just get in the car. When I parked I really felt like I had to go and started getting a bit worried about it. Walking to the start I found a port-a-potty down some alley that had not been used recently as it was clean and emptied out. Took a minute, but I was finally able to go, and felt SO much better. What a relief!
Event warmup:

Did an easy 1 mile with a few pickups in the middle. Stretched a bit and got in position near the front.
  • 1h 29m 51s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 52s  min/mile

My goal was to go under 1:30, but I wasn't sure how that would go given my limited training this season. The heavy, humid conditions were not helping either; at times it felt like a struggle to breathe the damp air. I started out with a similar plan to last year: run about 6:45 to start, and adjust from there. Last year I was able to comfortably lower the pace as I went, this year I was just hoping to stay there or make small adjustments up (knowing a 6:52 is required for sub-1:30). It was going okay for the first half of the run, but it was definitely a hard pace. Once I hit the hill in the 9th mile, my pace went over 7:00/mi, and I was really struggling to bring it back down. Somewhere in the 10-11 mile range, I really thought I was losing my goal. I started to get very disappointed in myself and just went dark in general. I hit mile 12 and realized all was not lost if I could just somehow summon the courage to hammer this last mile home. It took all I had, but I ran that 13th mile in 6:43 (amazing how hard that felt compared to my 6:40 opening mile). Coming around the turn to the finish there were two guys right in front of me, and I just went into coked-out orangutan mode (watch says I ran the last tenth of a mile at a 4:53/mi pace) and sprinted past them. I barely snuck in under 1:30, and could not have been happier.
What would you do differently?:

Given my training, I'd say I ran to the maximum potential today. I might have brought some nutrition with me given how few aid stations there were, and went with a tri top due to the conditions, but can't say either would've made me faster.
Post race
Warm down:

After giving everything I had towards the end, I really felt like vomiting after crossing the line. I knew laying down would be a mistake (also there was no where dry to do so), so I just walked/stumbled around for a bit. This year I was smart and signed up for a massage before the masses finished. Great decision too, probably the best post race massage I've had.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training during PA school has been less than ideal, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Even though this wasn't a PR, I'm extremely proud of my performance. It was really looking like I was going to lose my goal, and instead of accepting it, I chose to fight with everything I had left to get it back. It's amazing how much those 9 seconds mean to me.

Event comments:

Second year doing this race, and I really love it. Fun, fast course, big crowds, and this year the after party at Druthers was awesome.

Last updated: 2016-09-19 12:00 AM
01:29:51 | 13.1 miles | 06m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 7/55
Overall: 30/1044
Performance: Good
Course: Mostly flat course that twists through the state park for the majority. Only one real hill around mile 8-9.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2016-09-19 10:37 AM

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The Catskills
Subject: Saratoga Palio Half Marathon
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General Discussion Race Reports! » Saratoga Palio Half Marathon Rss Feed  

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Training for a specific running event is not as easy as it might seem. Here are some tips and a weekly plan to avoid overtraining and to improve your performance.
date : May 24, 2010
author : Coach AJ
comments : 0
My question is am I playing with fire entering the half marathon this close to my primary goal for this season which is the HIM?
date : November 17, 2008
author : mat steinmetz
comments : 7
I just started doing tris this summer and I have two under my belt, both sprints. Is it reasonable to build up for a Oly in early ‘09, with a HIM in Oct of ‘09
date : June 10, 2008
author : kns57
comments : 0
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?”
date : July 10, 2007
author : Ontherun
comments : 0
Having three seasons under my belt I thought I knew what I was doing. That all changed with a few new challenges and a bunch of new friends.
date : October 24, 2005
author : mikericci
comments : 0
This program should be used for an athlete whose goal is to run a marathon in the 1:30-2:30 range and has a good running base in the past 8-12 weeks.
date : October 2, 2005
author : smeeko
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I will assume you have not run consistently more than 6 miles and have never completed a half-marathon. I believe running your first half-marathon is a big task which requires dedication and work.
date : January 10, 2005
author : ewkfit
comments : 0
My training was taking off. I had never felt stronger. I was making bigger strides than I ever had. I was stronger and faster than I had imagined myself ever being.