Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Run Down

I'm good and tired today after my swim. I can't hardly figure it, but really, I just ran a 1/2 Marathon this Sunday, so I guess I have an excuse. What was the best thing about the race - well, the shirt of course! This is a very cool black, long sleeve, COOLMAX shirt (thats Chornie, BTW - she came to the race too and had way more fun than me)! I can finally wear a long-sleeve shirt on my colder bike rides and not be all dorked out in that stupid long-sleeve t-shirt I have (trust me, most of you would not be caught dead in it...except for maybe Bold).

The race was an experience for me - I'm no runner, so things like Marathons or 1/2 Marathons are not at the top of my most favorite thing to do list. But I want to be a better runner - I WILL be a better runner (or in true goal setting form, I am a better runner) - so this was put on the schedule and was my last race of 2006.

I started out strong and at a decent pace for the big guy. By mile 6.5 the Garmin had me at 9:47, and my HR was staying in the low 160's. My strategy was to go "easy" to the half way point, assess the situation, and hopefully pick it up from there. I felt good, so I thought I'd go for it and start picking people off. I was shooting for between 9:00 and 9:15 for the way back, and was working hard to keep myself there. My HR immediately shot up over 170 and hung in there at 174 for most of the rest of the race. I had my sights set on this couple way up there, a red shirt and a blue shirt, and started at 'em. I got right on their heels at 10.2 miles, and while everyone else let me pass, these two would put up a fight - which was short lived. On my part. My wheels flew off at 10.3 and there was no spare.

One thing about this race - yes, cool shirt - but really crummy aid stations. We are spoiled at a Tri - this race - haphazard station placement - not set up at the typical mile markers, and nothing from the start until mile 2 - which meant nothing on the way back during the last 2 miles. No ice - and it was warm that day. Gatoraide at only 2 stations. No gels - ahhh, no need for all the negativity - it was my own fault, I should have packed a gel or two.

I limped back in those last 3 miles between 10:20 and 11:40 per mile - it was ugly. I had to bear the sight of my average pace drop from the 9:43 I had worked it down to, to the 10:04 I ended up with. I really wanted to see where the bottom was - what I was capabable of in a run without a mile swim and 56 mile bike warmup, and I found out. I've got a month or so until the next half, with plenty of running between now and then. I'll break that 2 hour mark yet.

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