Sunday, May 16, 2010

Historic Half 2010

This was not the race I was hoping to have. Or maybe not the run either. If you're interested in how I did, I'll tell you now. 4th place, 1:17:24. There.

I started my warmup this morning and had to throw up within the first three minutes. I was dry-heaving in the first 20 seconds, but then I had to go in for the real deal. That was nice... all my hydration and food efforts from the morning were gone. I kept going on the warmup since I'd told a bunch of kids recently to throw up and get back on the line. It was unpleasant. I stopped at my car at Wal-Mart to get some water and continued on my merry way. I saw Nick and he ran with me some too.

After warming up and stretching, I went to Wal-Mart to use the restroom. That line was ridiculous. There were people waiting in front of me that weren't even running either race. I don't know what some people were doing in there... checking their email or something, but I felt bad for the 15 people in line behind me as I ran out of their with 10 minutes before the race started.

I saw Tim and Greg on my way to the line and they took my bag to put in the store. So no bag at bag check... whatever. I was jogging to the line--in a hurry but trying not to run fast-- during the national anthem but made it with plenty of time. I didn't see ANYONE fast in that crowd. We were all caught off guard when the gun went off, because it was an actual colonial reenactor firing his riffle.

So I'm immediately in the lead. I didn't want to be. I was running slow, but now slow enough. By the time we got to Cowan, it was me and another guy, then a gap. I wanted to be with the pack in the back, but I felt like it was so slow. It wasn't slow enough-- 5:30. I held back a lot down Cowan passing KC, running 5:44. I thought that at was good. We kept about the same pace for the third mile through Westwood, but then ran another 5:30 down Rt. 3. From there it was a pretty steady string in the 5:40's. Every time we went through a water-stop, I'd gain some ground on him but he'd surge to catch up to me. We weaved around town running next to each other. Then we got down to Caroline and I started to feel tired. He put a little gap on me going around the corner onto Amelia towards Sophia. I closed it to the library, but then he went again and I didn't respond. That was the 8th mile, 5:42. My next mile was bad, 5:55. He seemed like he was right in front of me, but I just couldn't get to him. I'm sure he maintained the same pace we'd been doing, the gap wasn't that big.

Around 15K I got passed by another person. Dave Lovegrove road by on his bike and tried to encourage me to go with him, but I was unable to. I just had no energy. We turned onto Rt. 1 and headed towards the hospital, and at mile 10 I got passed again, by some kid who goes to W&M, ran for Team Blitz, quit, and didn't know my name. The rest of the race was pretty useless. I stopped running under 6 minute pace, hit 6:49 going up the hospital hill, and then 6:23 up to the top of Cowan. Scott was running up Cowan too, trying to pull me along, but I had nothing.

I was running scared on the last mile, and managed to run 5:59 and 37 for the last 1.1. I looked back past Sheetz and thought that I saw someone in yellow coming-- I assumed it was Pat Quinn, but it was not and he was too far back to get me.

So while the winner handily defeated me, that winning time is still pathetic. I am very glad that I ran the race; if I'd seen those results I would have thought "I could have won!" But now I know that I couldn't. That's what being sick and not running much will do to you. This is by far the slowest half-marathon I've run since I became "competitive." In 2003 I ran 81-minutes, and in 2004 I ran 76-minutes. So this takes the cake. 2 year ago this was the worst race I'd run in a long time in 75:02.

When pictures are available, I'll post some of them.

Time to move on to bigger and better things. Time to get motivated, and time to stop running slowly.

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