|Savannah Grace meeting Papa J for the first time, a few minutes|
after she came into the world on Friday night!!!
Course: Rolling Hills
Weather: 54 degrees, 7 mph South wind, 58% humidity, thunderstorms & hails at the end of the race
Health: Good, no issues
Conditioning: Good, but not great
Race Weight: 176
SWAG: Short Sleeve Technical t-shirt
Food: Average race food, plus BBQ chicken
Volunteer Support: Good
Race Organization: Good
Water Stops: Good
Place: 26th/2,199 Overall, 2nd Place out of 88 in 45-49AG
Summary: Grandchild #2 was born the night before, so the outcome of the race really didn't matter much compared to that. But as far as training, I overcame a ton of setbacks during this session, and ran a fairly good race, albeit not what I originally set out to do. But it was a pretty solid day that should be a nice springboard into summer marathon training.
|I wrote Savannah Grace's name on my bib for inspiration ... which helped, |
but the pouring rain smudged it a little
|Finisher medal, and cool award for 2nd Place in the 40-45 Age Group|
Even though I knew I would be nowhere near 1:25, I definitely wanted to improve my PR of 1:28:09, ran last year at The Indy 500 Festival. And based on my training times compared to last year, that should have been no problem. But the Indy course is the single flattest course I've ever ran. And on Saturday, I really felt like I would have been in the low 1:27's on that same course, but the hills at Garmin really seemed to slow me down a little more than anticipated. I just fought it for much of the second half of the race.
|2014 Garmin Wickedly Fast Half Marathon elevation chart, only 350 ft total ascent, but quite a few rolling hills and climbs|
|Incredible looking clouds that brought heavy rain|
and thunderstorms toward the end of the race
The Garmin Half is nicknamed "Wickedly Fast", but since they rerouted the course a couple of years ago, I would call it anything but "fast". In fact, the female winner was only 1:29:30, which is not blazing for a race this size. There's only 350 ft of total ascent on the course, but many of the inclines, though short, are steep, and enough to severely break your pace. Plus, the three mile stretch from 8.5 to 11.5 is a gradual uphill that really seemed to hinder my pace. In fact, that's where I lost my race on Saturday. I just couldn't hold the pace through that stretch. I felt like I was running strong, but every time I looked down at my watch, I was about 30 seconds off my time.
It started raining during mile 12, but the skies were black! There was a ton of lighting, and I really thought they would stop the remainder of the race, but they never did. About five minutes after I crossed the finish line, it began pouring. About 5 minutes after that, it began hailing. It was pretty intense for a little bit. Michael was still on the course and said it was miserable.
It was pretty much the perfect morning for running, with temps in the mid 50's and not much wind. I initially wanted to use last year's PR as a pace guide. And for the first few miles, I was a little below last year's time as anticipated, and really felt good. My pace was solid, breathing was easy, and my legs felt strong and ready.
Miles 4-6 were the first real challenge of the race. There were fairly sharp up & downs, with a long, gradual mile climb. I had planned on being around 6:40 pace during that stretch, and managed it fairly well. For most of it, I really felt my legs wanting to accelerate, and had to keep consciously slowing myself down. Which is usually a great sign.
|Consistently rolling hills and a few steep inclines at The Garmin Half Marathon in Olathe, KS|
|Michael finish strong soaking wet after the downpour|
So I kept grinding out those last few miles at a disappointing pace, and just as the rain was beginning to thicken, I crossed the finish line with a 1:29:15, which is a much slower than anticipated average pace of 6:49. On the tough course, it was good enough for 26th overall out of 2,200 runners, and 2nd Place in the 45-49 Age Group. Not bad, all things considered.
After that, I hurried back to my car as everyone was scurrying for cover from the sudden downpour. The disappointment from my race quickly grew to concern for Michael, who was still on the course ... in the middle of the lightning, pouring rain, and hail. Considering all of the lightening strikes, I really figured they would stop the race, but they never did. And really when you think about it, what's the point of stopping it anyway. All of the runners would still be outside with no cover, whether they were running or not. It seems like it just makes sense to let them keep running.
Just before Michael finished, it stopped raining, and I was able to get a couple of photos of here finishing strong. She ran a pretty good race on Saturday. I had went back to the car and grabbed her jacket because I knew she'd be freezing, which she was. After that we hung out at the post-race for a while, but then quickly headed back to Lee's Summit to spend more time with that sweet little baby.
All in all, I would call Saturday's race "a tie". It definitely wasn't a victory, because it was only the 3rd fastest half I've ran. But it was, by no means, a defeat. I finished fairly well on a tough course, and I really feel that on a flatter course I would have PR'd. Considering all the setbacks I had during training, I'm fairly satisfied with my conditioning right now, but it needs to get better. But for now, we're gonna focus on snuggling with that sweet little granddaughter, Savannah Grace.
... be great today!