Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rockford Half Marathon: The Long Version

2011 Rockford Half Marathon - The Stats

Official Time: 1:40:43
Pace: 7:42
Overall: 46/589
Age Group: 1/53
Female: 6/307

Garmin distance: 13.27 miles
Garmin time: 1:40:57
Garmin pace: 7:36


Sometimes you can train your best and the result does not turn out according to your plan.

I woke up at the insanely early hour of 3:40 a.m. to prepare for the race.  My blood sugar was 70, which I was happy with.  I'd rather be a little on the low side prior to a race than high.  I got ready to go and had breakfast and was out my door by 4:10 to pick up my friend T was who also running with me.  This was her 1st half, so it was exciting to be running the same race.  We also did the Peanut Butter Duathlon together in April.

It takes about an hour and a half to get from where I live to Rockford, and I wanted to get there around 5:30-5:45.  We had to pick up our packets, and I wanted to make sure i had enough time to stretch and warm-up beforehand, especially since the winter weather decided to make a return. 

We got to Rockford at 5:45, got our packets, searched for indoor bathrooms with no luck, and went back to my car.  I was also checking a bag, so I knew that was going to take a few extra minutes.  Although that does not seem like a lot to do, by the time we went back to my car, attached our timing chips, and decided what we were wearing for the race, it was already 6:30.  I quickly tested my blood sugar, only to see a 56.  I had a Clif bar and thought I was going to be fine by the start of the race.  I had to go to the bathroom again, as the nerves were getting to me, but the line was longer.  By the time we made it through the line, it was already 6:45.  I did a 3 minute warm-up jog and attempted to stretch.  I knew I had not planned properly.  I had to get lined  up for the race, and started near the front.  The gun went off and I went out, into a fierce wind.

My plan was the run with the 3:20 marathon pacer for the first 12 miles, and then go ahead for the last 1.1 miles.  I was a little ahead of him my first mile, but ran with him the following three.  After checking my Garmin multiple times, I noticed that the pacer was running about 10 seconds faster per mile than he should have been.  This frustrated me.  10 seconds is a big time split to be off by.  I decided  not to run with him because I was afraid I would run out of energy. 

There were not many people doing the race.  When I signed up I thought there would be many more people running.  After I backed off the 3:20 pace group, I felt lonely.  There were not many people running around me.  I knew I was near the front just based on where I started in relation to the start line, but I felt lonely.  I decided not to run with my music.  I struggled with negative thinking from miles 5-9, which were all into the wind. 

By mile 9, I realized that I still had a shot of breaking 1:40 if I pushed myself.  I told myself that I was a stronger runner and could do it.  I now had the wind helping me along to run faster. 

There is not a whole lot more to say about the race.  I kept looking at my Garmin and had hope.  When I got to mile 13 on my Garmin, I knew that I would break 1:40 with my Garmin time, but not with the race time.  This made me so sad, upset, and frustrated.  I thought I did a good job of not running an extra step.  Either I did a poor job, or the course was a bit long.  It was most likely an error on my part.  I had enough left in me to have a decent finish, crossing the line at 1:40:43.  It was not as good as my last half, but still my second best half ever.

After finishing I printed out my results and got my bag out of gear check.  I tested my blood sugar and saw the best number I've ever seen post-race on the screen.

I wanted to do a celebratory dance after seeing this number.

I then shivered in the cold weather for the next 50 minutes, waiting for T to finish.  She did, and was so proud.  It was neat to be able to share the experience with her. 

Sometimes I forget about the accomplishment of running 13.1 miles and just agonize over my time, or what I wish I would have run.  However, it is an accomplishment just to finish that many miles, regardless of time.  It was good for me to be reminded of that. 

This race was a great learning experience for me.  I learned:
  • Training runs should be done outside, not on a treadmill.
  • I did not eat anything during the race.  I drank water and a little Gatorade, but did not eat any glucose tablets like I have in the past.  I also left my pump on 100%.  All of these things helped me determine what I should do the future.
  • I don't give myself enough credit for the runner I've become.  I'm a lot better than what I used to be.
  • There will also be another race to PR at. 
  • Sometimes having a diabetes PR is just as good as a running PR.

I'm not done with running half marathons this year.  I want to do at least 1 more and try to PR.  However, I know that races are not going anywhere, and I'm not either.  I can get that 1:30-something time for my half.  It just motivates me to work harder next time. 

Finally, my Garmin stats and then a few pictures from the race.

Mile 1- 7:25
Mile 2- 7:26
Mile 3- 7:28
Mile 4- 7:37
Mile 5- 7:30
Mile 6- 7:51
Mile 7- 7:52
Mile 8- 7:43
Mile 9- 7:27
Mile 10- 7:43
Mile 11- 7:44
Mile 12-7:44
Mile 13-7:32
0.27-1:55 (7:00 pace)

My race bib, age group medal and finisher's medal.

T crossing the finish line...she's in orange.

My medals.  I hate the design because it looks like the girl is going to pass out at any second and the guy is strong and sprinting to the finish. 

Back of age group medal.

Finisher medal...for half marathon #8.

1 comment:

  1. You amaze me. You are a super duper runner and I only DREAM of running a 1:40. We ran a half on the same day and I struggled to finish with a 2:18. What are your secrets?