Friday, June 7, 2013

2013 Eisenhower Half Marathon Race Report

Well since I just got back from Afghanistan in March and promptly went on 30 days leave, there is nothing like waiting until the day before a race to sign up, especially if it's a half marathon and you hadn't run more than 7 miles at one time prior to racing it.

I'm that guy.  But I did have a good year base from my time "downrange", so that helps a bunch.  Well now I have to knock out this race report, as it was "only" two months ago, so let's get this party started shall we?

Well signed up late for this race, and I made the one hour trip on race day to Abilene, a beautiful little town in Central Kansas, and boy, was it chilly.  I stripped down as much as I was going to and warmed up a little here and there, and headed over to the line a bit early.  i did duck in to the Greyhound Museum right across the street and was greeted by two nice grayhounds, so have much ear rubs (which I hope "channeled" some speed to me), I headed back out to the line and got in the "8:30 per mile" pace area.  I figured I'd be good there, but who knows.  Got a little National Anthem in, and off we went!  Went out in the first mile moderately fast and settled in for the long haul. 

This course was pretty flat as it is an out and back with a little loop in a park in the middle.  As I was running, each mile that would tick by, I would tell myself "only x miles to go!"  Since I started somewhat slow, I mainly passed people and didn't get passed, so that was good on the old ego, and about the halfway point ran up to a younger guy who was from the K-State ROTC unit in Manhattan and struck up a nice two mile conversation, which I didn't know pushed my pace to about 6:50s per mile.  Yikes!

This race started the marathoners and the halfs all together, with the full marathoners doing two times the route, which I think is cruel as they get to see the finish line and have to run away from it.  Bummer.  But as I was talking to him about running, the military and things, I noticed that he was going the full, and he had been running right around 7 min pace the whole way.  Wow, to be young again!  But after a bit I slowed my pace as I was heating up a bit in the park on the way back through and didn't want to blow up within 5K of the finish line.

The last 5K zoomed on by and the runners as we got closer to town, started to mix with the 10K runners, so I couldn't tell where I stood, so I just let loose with everything else I had and crossed the line (and NOT puking!) in a new PR of 1:40:39, which was 6 minutes better than my only other half marathon.  So bonus!  And on little to no training up to the race.  I hung around at the finish line for a bit and thanked the volunteers and then went to the pancake breakfast for some post-race yummies!  I am glad I did, because as they posted results, I figured that I was far enough back not to place, but ended up in 3rd in my AG (M30-39) even though in tris I would be aged up (which would have gotten me 2nd in the 40-49, but oh well), so I got to hang out and get a AG medal.  Very cool, as I wasn't really expecting it and was using this race as a nice long fast workout, but I'll take it.

Ended up 24th overall, which was another surprise, so overall, I give my effort a nice B average, with a better grade if I would have trained up more, but it is early in the year.

So not a bad start to the racing season, especially since I skipped a few races early, like the Dallas Rock n' Roll Half, but I think it will help me overall this year.  If I can find some photos, I'll post them later!

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