Monday, May 14, 2012

Race Report: Brookings Half Marathon

After approximately 45 minutes of sleep Friday night, it was somehow already time to wake up for half marathon #14!  Let me be the first to give you a tip:  traveling on multiple flights from the other side of the world will likely give you some sort of bug to fight off.  Said bug will take form in 5 minute long sneezing and coughing fits.  Do not plan to sleep next to this friend, you will not sleep.  At 2:15am after not yet sleeping, I ran downstairs to hit the couch, only to still be kept up by the sneezing and coughing fits.  She's lucky I love her (and that I got decent sleep Thursday night!).  Still can't believe she got sick to take the focus off of me and my PR attempt for the weekend....... bahahahah (our running joke for the weekend......)

I don't function well off no sleep, so when it was time to get up, I thought I had oodles of time to get ready.  Turns out we didn't.  Per usual my stomach was really wonky, and I found myself waiting in line for the portapotties for the 3rd time (4th time?) as the star spangled banner was being sung.  After finishing up, I couldn't find the bag drop, and then couldn't find Megan's family to give my bag to for safe keeping.  Once I finally found them, stupid me forgot to retrieve my GU gels from the pocket of the sweatshirt I was wearing.  A fact I realized about 3 minutes in to the race.  Harumph.

I ran to the start (warm up!) and nestled myself between the 8 and 9 min. signs.  Said 3 cheers to the running gods for the gorgeous weather, and I was off!  My race plan was to take the first 6 miles fairly easy, so that I'd only have to run h-a-r-d for the last 7.  When I told Jenn my race plan, she thought it sounded good, but she warned me not to freak out if I was faster than that but my HR was still conservative.  I kept hearing her advice for the first few miles.  Because it was delightfully 40 degrees, my heart was barely working, and my legs were flying.  Miles 1-3 I planned to run around 8:45.

1. 8:40
2. 8:30
3. 8:50

During the 2nd and 3rd miles, I made some new friends while chatting it up with some people.  I was looking for some people to pace off of, and ended up striking up convos with some running buddies.  One guy was running the marathon, and was quick to tell me that "this is not a hill!" when I jokingly said "here we go guys, this is the big one!" while going up a very small and slight incline (Brookings is known for being pretty flat).  Later I found some guys who agreed that they would carry me across the finish line if I died along the way because I was GU-less (me, overly dramatic??  nooooooooooooo.).  They were willing to do it for only a beer.  Nice chaps.

After realizing I didn't have any GU I figured I'd just run as hard as I could and see what happened.  Never know unless you try right?  Miles 4-6 were supposed to be 8:35 pace.  There were a couple of long gradual slight inclines that slowed me down a bit, but I had a bit of time banked up from my faster than planned race start.  Wheeeeeeeeeeeee running is fun!

4. 8:32
5. 8:48
6. 8:40
Mile 7 I started to feel just a smidge tired, which makes sense because I usually GU around 45 minutes, so that's about when it'd be taking effect.  I was hoping I'd either see Megan's family to get a GU or find a discarded one dropped on the ground (yes, I was looking like a hawk!).  I was also drinking powerade at the aid stations instead of water in hopes that would give me a little boost.  While simultaneously praying to the running gods that it wouldn't destroy my always too sensitive stomach.  :P

I finally turned on my music at mile 7, since I was feeling tired, and knew it was time to "pick it up."  I saw Megan's little sister around here, and she said she'd try to find me some fuel before she saw me next.  I thought if I could see her by mile 9 maybe I could pull of a skin of my teeth PR, but when mile 9 came and went I realized it was probably not possible anymore.  In shockingly un-Jeri-like fashion, I didn't throw in the towel.  Just keeeeeeeeeep swimming.  :)

Around mile 9.5 there was this crazy sharp incline through a park, that I felt like I was crawling up.  Of course Kyle and his parents were there cheering and snapping pics, I'm sure those pictures will be great.  Once I got to the top of the "hill" I couldn't even thunder down the other side, since running hard downhill causes my IT bands to seize.  Womp womp.  My goal pace through these miles was 8:25... uh... not so much. :)

7. 8:32
8. 8:50
9. 8:29
10. 9:14
Finally around 11.5 I saw Megan's little sister, and told her I loved her when she handed me some sport beans.  I took a couple, and just tried to focus on picking off people in front of me and not getting passed.  At mile 11 we went away from the finish line, and it was the only part of the race I didn't enjoy.  For one, I was tired, for two, the sun had come up and we were running right in to it, on the most gradual incline.  Barf.  My legs would not go any faster.  I just kept telling myself that once I got to the top, I got to turn around and hammer down it to the finish.  The few girls that scooted by me had bulls eyes on their backs for mile 13.  ;)  I picked it up as much as I could the final 1.5 miles and kept calculating my remaining running time based on an 8 minute pace (spoiler alert, I wasn't running an 8 minute pace, but whatever my brain seemed to think I was).

As I rounded the corner to the finish line, I heard the announcer say, "and coming to the finish line is # (whatever I was) Jeri _____ finishing half marathon #14, with #15 coming next weekend in Green Bay.  GO PACK GO!"  I threw up some fist pumps, and then realized I should not waste any energy.  :)

11. 8:46
12. 9:21
13. 8:31
.17 1:17 (7:26 pace)

My final time was a 1:55:07 which is my 5th fastest time, I think, but one of my best races mentally.
Average HR 171
Max HR 205

Field Placement:128 / 347 (36.9%)
Age group:25 – 29
Group Placement:6 / 41 (14.6%)
Gender Placement:43 / 204 (21.1%)

Since I'm feeling pretty good post-race (who am I, right???), I'm hoping that I can be recovered by this weekend and maybe take another crack at my race plan.  It's supposed to be a much warmer day, but it's worth a shot. 

Also, any race weekend spent with these girls is guaranteed to be a great one, PR or not.


Amy - the gazelle said...

Ahhh...Brookings. I wish I'd been a runner when I lived there. I was never even aware of things like races while in college.

Nice job on the fuel-less half mary!

Katie said...

205?! good lord.

and I have eaten dropped Gu.

Jen Feeny said...

Way to rock it girl, finishing feeling great is always the best way to finish!