Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Recap Part One: Huntsville Half Marathon. The rain.

I had so much fun.  In the rain. The course was beautiful, if wet and rainy, and the race was well-organized, staffed by volunteers who were as cheerful as they could be given the downpour. 

Did I mention the rain?  Autumn finally blew into Utah, and so while Friday topped out at a sunny 90 degrees, Saturday dawned wet and rainy and 55 degrees.  There was worry that the race would be canceled due to lightning, but we were lucky and at 9:30 AM, it was on, and we were soaked.
This was my first ever half, and my first race where I really was racing -- where I had a time goal, and hoped to meet it.  I finished the course with nothing left in the tank.
Nevertheless, looking at the splits, it's a bit of a classic newbie race.
Miles 1-2:  Go out way too fast.  In my defense, I was staying with the pacer for two hours, who also went out fast.  I didn't want to slow down because it was feeling easy.  The first part of the course is a significant downhill, which surely contributed to the insane splits I had.
Split 1:  8:37.2 
Split 2:  8:33.9
Miles 3-4: Have a nice chat with CPA from Idaho whose son is interested in philosophy and has read lots of Great Books.
Split 3: 8:38.2

Split 4: 9:10.1 First water break.
Miles 5-9: Settle into a nice comfy pace that seems to be getting harder for some inexplicable reason, like maybe I'm trying to run 13.1 miles.
Split 5: 8:57.1 
Split 6: 9:02.9 GU (probably should have taken this at mile 5)
Split 7: 9:19.5
Split 8: 9:01.3
Split 9: 9:13.5 
At this point I'm running at around an 8:55 average, and I'm feeling great, and I'm sure that even if I slow down, I'll nail my sub-2 goal.  Legs are starting to tire a little but I'm feeling loose and happy.
Now I worry.  What if I hit the wall?  I decide that I'll take a GU at the next water station.  It cost me time, and I'm pretty sure it didn't kick in in time.

Split 10: 9:10.4 
Mile 10.6: O HAI, WALL Wow.  It was as if I suddenly ran out of air.  So, that's new.  So, that's what hitting the wall feels like.  Here on out it was a slog.
Split 11: 10:00.5
Split 12:  9:23.7 (think the sugar kicked in.)
Split 13:  9:30.4
SPRINT! SPRINT! SPRINT!  Bite me, say the legs.
Split 14: 8:55

Total time: 2:00:07.  Seven goddamned seconds.  
(to be continued.)

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