Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 10-11 and Canyonlands Half Marathon race report

The past several weeks were resting weeks as I planned to run in the Moab Canyonlands Half Marathon. I wanted to see what the past few months had done for me in base building and see if I could again execute on a longer event not by being fast but being smart in a longer race.
I had several good workouts leading up the race week and then spent most of the week in Valencia working with clients that came into town. Landing in Grand Junction on Thursday afternoon was a great start to the weekend and it was fun to connect with John, Nicole, Nancy, Keith and Beth. We made it to Moab in time to get a late afternoon ride in. We stayed on the south end of town and headed up towards the La Sal Mountain range. The weather was great and it was nice to get some sun on our backs. Months on the trainer really allow you to be thankful when you get back outside.

The race started at 10am so we all had a pretty easy morning getting food and things set-up. The group of runners grew as Tony, the Cross’s, Dave and Margaret and Paula and Scott joined us in Moab and ran the 5 miler or Half. We had to take a school bus up the canyon next to the Colorado river and were dropped off with plenty of time to get in a good warm-up run. I lost the group after warm-up and decided to seed myself near the 2:20 pace group. My goal coming into the event was to execute a steady build and not to exceed the ability to control my effort over the entire event knowing that the last 3 miles were the courses toughest miles.

The gun went off and we slowly moved forward for two minutes as the faster runners took off. I hit start on the Garmin and I was off trying to keep the first mile really easy. It was a pretty steep downhill and I was passed by waves and waves of people even thought I seeded myself near the 10-11 minute mile pace groups. This continued for the first 3 miles where I did not pass one person and was passed by hundreds of others maybe even thousands! Mile 1-3 (10:19, 10:30, 10:33). I felt really good with the first 3 miles and as we passed by marker 3 I wanted to pick-up the pace slowly and build for the next 7 miles. It was kind of funny because just as I started to increase my speed at the start of mile 4 the wave of people passing me stopped and I alone began to move forward though the sea of runners. Mile 4-6 (10:01, 9:52, 9:11). I was told that the first 6 miles of the race were going to be the fastest and it would be a hard 2nd half. To complicate my race plan the wind today was pretty aggressive and the sun was out and it was hot. I was not carrying any water and relied on the aid stations. I had wanted to break 2 hour mark for my first half marathon but as I pushed my effort on 7, 8 and 9 I came to terms with the fact that I would not. I focused on my main goal of execution and keep smiling as I was passing hundreds of people. Mile 7-9 ( 9:17, 8:51, 8:49 ) Mile 10-13.1 had a pretty good hill climb and then we exited out of the canyon and hit a steady climb to the finish line. I made the decision to not push any harder than what I could maintain for the next 3 miles since I was at the top end of my effort and holding steady. I was running near 185bpm’s for the last 2 miles and had to get 3 more done. When the runners came out of the canyon we went under the road and had a little climb back up to the main road. I made the right turn and looked up and saw nothing but people walking the river and cool canyon to look at was gone and it was the ugly part of the race couse. The wind was pretty extreme at this point and the effort to keep the same pace as the last mile of the canyon was not a reality for me. I was not able to tuck behind anyone since most runners were running slower than I was at this point OR walking. I did my best to stay in control and deal with the pain that I was in after running so hot for nearly 45 minutes. I had 2 (ish) miles left and I wanted to keep it even. I closed my eyes and thought of Anne and the kids and that helped carry me to the last mile. I still was running pretty strong and passing groups of people walking or running a lot slower. I saw Keith towards the last quarter mile and we ran in together. (He kept his tradition alive and ran up the canyon first with John so ended up running near 24 miles that day)

I had seen him and John at the start of the race and then Dave at mile 12 but no one else the entire race. I kept the gas on the entire day and did not die in the 2nd half. I was able to have a steady climb and felt great with my finish. I loved the race, the group that I ran it with and most of all that I was able to run smart. My training is paying off and I excited to continue to push towards IMCDA. I will keep working on building my base and making the training time pay off. I am so thankful for coach Beth to help me get to where I am today and to Anne and the kids for allowing me to chase my dream. This weekend gave me more confidence in what I can do and the desire to train hard again. I have a few builds until Rev3 Knoxville 70.3 Triathlon in May and look forward to training smart. Mile 10-13.1 ( 9:04, 10:05, 9:35 ) Total time 2:07:25
Love you Anne,

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. Great read. I just started running about 5 months ago after taking about 32 yrs off from running. I ran the 5 mile course of this 1/2 marathon, and was able to finish 10 in my age group. I am working hard on running smarter.