Monday, September 10, 2007

Numbers

Instead of the usual, woke up at 5:15 AM race report I'm going to do one of those 10 things about the half yesterday.

1. The weather was, um interesting. There was a light rain which can be nice. But there was 90% humidity and the temps were about 68-70. Eww. It's deceptive because it's not the kind of weather that you feel like, "oh crap. It's hot I'm going to run like sh*t." You start running and you look at your watch at the mile marker and you say, "really?! I don't feel like I'm running that slow!" The humidity makes you sweat like a hog and elevates your heartrate and there's just not a whole heck of a lot you can do about it.

2. I almost missed the start. I did my warm-up with mrp and we finished our strides and were trotting a long to the start when all of a sudden I heard the guy say "Ready!" and then he shook the bell. Oopsy! I was a bit far back so I hustled and fumbled with my watch. I messed up and missed timing the first minute or so. I think my first mile was 6:30 or so. A little faster if anything. Mile two was 6:40 something and by mile three I knew 6:3x pace wasn't going to happen. Like I said in #1--the weather just wouldn't let it.

3. I raced others but maintained focus on my own race. By mile 1 I was running with a little pack of women. There were about four of us running closely at any given time. (One of those people was my friend *P* and it was nice to have her company for a mile or two.) There was a lot of jockying for the lead of our pack. I really tried hard to ignore it and run my own race. I knew what I should run and I was sticking to it. At about mile 3 there is a huge downhill. I think this is where I lost two of the pack members. One was still hanging with me. As we made it to mile 4 or so we were catching up to another woman. As I got closer to this new woman I lost the old one too. I passed the new woman and never saw any of these runners again. But, I didn't pick up the pace either. I was holding steady right around 6:50 even and that felt like the right effort, even though it was disappointingly slow.

4. I hung in there in no man's land. After I left those women I was pretty much alone. It was a bit mentally tough to keep the pace when I knew I wasn't going to achieve my goal time, especially when there was nobody around to focus on or to distract me. At mile markers and water stops people told me I was 3rd woman, so this made me happy. I wanted to place overall so this was the one thing that motivated me to hang on and see it through. Somehow, I managed to hold a very consistent pace.

5. I conquered the hill. In the middle of mile 9 there is the one big uphill of the course. My race strategy for this course is to hang out until after that hill, hit the mile 10 marker and then hit the last 5k hard. So, I look forward to that hill. If I make it there strong, I'm in good shape. Again, even though I was slower than I wanted to be I felt strong as the hill approached. As I made my way around a bend before the hill I saw some people up ahead. One of them was female! Woo! Maybe I can get second?! As I got closer I realized it was my friend *T* running with a couple male friends. I knew she wasn't racing, so she was probably finished with her tempo. Yep. Right after the hill I passed her and her group. As I passed she said, "don't mind us, we're just jogging." "Thanks," I said sarcastically. Heh. At that moment as I was huffing and puffing I did not want to hear about anyone jogging. She said I was second and looking strong. She said first was about two minutes ahead. She didn't know who it was but she wearing pink. Hmmm.

6. I found help! I reached the summit and then the 10 mile marker knowing I was second. I knew it was probably not going to happen but there was a chance the woman in first could slow down so why not go after it? I decided to push on in the hope of spotting our pink mystery woman ahead. So, off I went. Within about a minute or so a guy passed me but then hung right in front of me. I realized it was one of *T's* friends who had come to help me push it home. Cool! It was great because I was still in noman's (or woman's) land.

7. I finished strong and felt good doing it. I felt pretty tired but I managed to keep dropping the pace over the last 5k. I ran something like 6:40, 6:27, 6:20 the last 3 miles and then ran for my dignity over the last .1. I accidently erased my splits from my watch. I know. I have 8 years of post-secondary education and I can't work a digital watch. Anyway, I missed my pr by 1 second. Argh.

8. I came in second and that was great. This race hasn't had the strongest female presence the last few years, but it's still a bigger race so I'll take it! First place, pink mystery lady, beat me by 1:45. Not bad. She was from about 2 hours away so that's why no one knew who it was. She was very sweet and told me she had thought she would run a 1:23 and instead just barely broke 1:27. That made me feel better. I wanted to run a 1:25 or 1:26 so I'll take the 1:28:39, I guess.

9. The numbers messed with my head. It was one of those races where I think I knew deep down I raced very well, but the numbers said otherwise and made me doubt myself for a second. That's hard for this girl who minored in math in college. Numbers mean more to me than they should. I was driving home from the grocery store hours after the race and I almost shed a tear thinking about all the work I've done over the past three months and I run 1 second slower!!! ARGH. But then again, I couldn't have hung in there yesterday if I was in the shape I was in May. I've come a long way whether the numbers say so or not.

10. I ran a good race, did what I needed to do, and had fun. Really. I can't ask for more than that. I got to see some friends and meet new ones. I got to run hard and race. I felt pretty good and strong. I did great with the water stops. I took a gu and it went down fine. It might not have been the time I hoped for but, you know what. I'll take it!

9 comments:

Quinto Sol said...

Congrats on the 2nd OA placing... I think you did great... finishing w/i 3 minutes of your goal with such humidity and NO taper will always be welcomed in my book :-) BTW, I think you are definitely in sub-1:26 shape.

Congrats to mrp, he did pretty well himself... sub 1:22... hmmm, not too shabby.

Jim said...

Add my congrats Salty. A very fine race indeed. you're definitley cruising!

E-Speed said...

Great job! You are doing awesome. I always have something go wrong at the race. You've done the training you know that it was the weather that screwed up your PR attempt, not you or your speedy legs.

Joseph P. Wood said...

Great job, Salty. That's a solid performance sans taper--bodes well for your marathon.

PS--I gave you props on the blog by-the-by...

GP said...

You always run fantastic races (and give great reports), and I'm glad you're happy with this one. It sounds like you were quite the speed demon! Many congrats to you!

Uptown Girl said...

Fantastic report and an even better run race. Well done!

DaisyDuc said...

Again, another fantastic race. It was definitely a less than ideal race day, yet you hung tough for a nice finish and beat and awful lot of others!!!

Oh I wish I had been your friend just jogging that fast!

Great job as always!!!!

Papa Louie said...

Great numbers you ran well. Congrats on your 2nd OA.

Lloyd said...

Fun course, if you can figure out the line to run. The road camber is brutal.

Congrats on 2nd OA. I heard the humidity was a factor this year. From reading about your training this year, 1:26 seems where you're at.

A great race, but probably a diluted field due to the Buckeye HM on the same day. My two best-ever HMs are on this course.