Monday, February 25, 2013

RACE REPORT: Colchester Half Marathon [2013]

Here's the situation:
It's Friday night.  You just got an email stating that the marathon on Sunday that you trained for may be cancelled; they are holding out until Saturday early evening to make the call.  Your back up race - a local Saturday half marathon - is in the mid-morning, 6 hours before the weather call.  What do you do?!

My decision came down to one fact...

It's my birthday weekend and I had my heart set on running SOMETHING!

Therefore, Saturday morning I woke up and decided I was going to run!  I packed my bag, drove half an hour to the local race, paid a whopping $15 for race-day registration, and geared myself up for a mental exercise - sticking to marathon pace.  Why?  'Cause I may very well have a marathon the next day and I was happy enough just enjoying myself on this run.


Overall, the Colchester Half Marathon was awesome.  Here's why.
  • Incredible Race Director.  The race director was so enthusiastic that he ran with us at some points of the race giving high fives, screaming encouragements, and being a complete running geek.  You couldn't help but laugh.  Great atmosphere!!
  • Weather.  It originally was slated to be high 30's and rainy and ended up only being a slight mist.  A slight bit cold for my fingers, but much better than expected.
  • Price.  Can you beat $15 for a half marathon?  It's only $12 if you preregister.
  • Post Race Offerings.  Showers, massage, food.  Did I mention this was only $15?!
  • Food.  The food was awesome and there was PLENTY of it!

But wait!, I needed a way to make it fun.  "It's my birthday, so why not wear a party hat?"  You know, those cone hats with the strap under your chin.  Yup, I wore it!

My goal was to stick to both my nutrition and pacing plans no matter what; 8:00 pace and a GU every 3 miles.  Here's my pacing...

7:54
7:44
8:24
7:37
7:27
7:55
9:28
Did I mention that this race was hilly?
8:09
7:52
7:39
7:41
7:40
8:00
0:41 
The last 0.1 mile

FINISH - 1:44:24
(7:58 pace)

I finished at a 7:58 pace, only 2 seconds per mile faster than I wanted.  I consider that a success!!  And I felt great.  There was a little tightness in my hip flexors, but other than that, my breathing was relaxed and conversational on all but two hills and my legs felt fresh the entire race.  Awesome!!

One thing I did learn though, GU is very solid below 40 degrees.  I had tried buying Clif gels at another bike shop on Friday, but they didn't have any.  Clif are significantly more liquid.  Oh-well.  Next time!

Oh!, and while I got a lot of "Is it really your birthday?" comments during the run, I found one other person with the same birthday (he was running his very first half marathon) and a lady who's birthday was the day before.  That somewhat made my day.  THIS really made my day, but it has nothing to do with running.

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Questions
1.  What would you have done?  Held out for the marathon in order to be fresher for the PR, run the half instead of the full, or gone for broke and run both?

2.  When you don't race for a PR, do you still have goals or are you out just for a fun time?


Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

7 comments:

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Happy Birthday and congrats on the race

CautiouslyAudacious said...

Sounds like you made the right decision and didn't have to wear trash bags! But why don't I see a picture of you wearing your birthday hat!!?? $15 seriously and with post race amenities that is beyond awesome!

Coy Martinez said...

PICTURES! PICTURES! You can't wear a hat like that and not show us! :)

Erika said...

Great job! And Happy (belated) Birthday!! I hope to hold that same pace for my half in less than 2 weeks - although I'm feeling VERY undertrained :(

Anonymous said...

I was there - HUGE props to the 7:40 and 8:00 minute miles at the end. Good work!

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

very nice!

it's all about pace said...

nice splits