Saturday, April 20, 2013

Salt Lake Half Marathon 2013 edition

I haven't been so unprepared for a race in a while, but I had the race entry paid for, and figured I might as well try it. Up until today I'd done a bunch of short stuff, three 10Ks, and one 15K since being injured. That's not really great training for a half marathon, but what the heck. I figured if I went slowly enough and was prepared for it to hurt, I'd be OK. I also knew I had to be ready to DNF if necessary. Kelly was on call to pick me up if I called her.

I drove my friends Sarah, Leon, and Alex (visiting RWer from New York City) to the starting line and let us all in to my work to use nice indoor toilets before the race :). Then we walked to the start and promptly ran into my friends Diane and Marj from the Wasatch Walkers! Pretty long odds to see them since there were about 7000-8000 runners at the starting line.

 Tammy, Diane, Marj
Alex (Level 10 Marathon Maniac...this was marathon #159!!!!!)

Leon, Sarah, Tammy

The weather was sketchy - light drizzle at first, and 45F or so (it was about 8C). There was a slight breeze, which occasionally picked up a bit (like at mile 8, when we turned right, it was a blast of wind and rain in our faces). The light drizzle didn't last. Before mile 2, it started to rain in earnest and kept up a steady rain pretty much the rest of the race. It wasn't pouring, but it was definitely steady and unrelenting.

I felt good for about 8K (5 miles) and was able to keep about a 6 min/km (9:40/mile) pace on the nice downhill course, even going easy. However, that didn't last, which was not surprising given my lack of training. By mile 6 or 7 I knew this was going to be a long one. My hip was feeling OK, though I did have to stop and stretch a bit at mile 5, mile 7, mile 9, and mile 11, plus walking slowly through a few aid stations. My right shin started to hurt (1-2/10 on the pain scale) at mile 8, which really worried me given my history of tendonitis there a couple years ago. I adjusted my technique as best I could to avoid hurting it further, and I think it's going to be OK. I told myself if anything hurt at 3/10 or more I'd stop, but nothing did. My hip never hurt more than 1/10, thankfully.

I was really slow...and it hurt a lot to finish, but I feel good about my effort. It was fun to be out there despite the difficulty and the rain. I missed about 4 3/4 min on my Garmin (forgot to start after a brief stop), but I figure my actual moving time was about 2:19:45. Slow, but not my worst 1/2 unless you go by my chip time of 2:24:30ish.

I got the usual speedwalker comments from runners and spectators alike, though there were two spectators that actually yelled "GO racewalker!", which I appreciated. I chatted it up with the 2:10 pacer for a while between miles 3-4, and educated him about racewalking, which is always fun. Around mile 9, when I was hurting a good bit, a woman asked me if I'd done the Timp half last year, and when I said yes she said she'd seen me and had been impressed. We chatted a while before she pulled away from me (sigh...I kept getting slower).

About 500m from the finish, my friend Sarah caught up to me, and that was a lot of fun, as we crossed the finish line together! That rarely happens as we are usually going different speeds since she does Galloway run/walk. But today it just worked out perfectly. I was also very happy to see Kelly at the finish, and anticipated our breakfast together.

My friends had mixed success. I heard that Diane fell at the finish, and I hope she is OK. Marj finished and told me about Diane; I am assuming Marj did well. Sarah was a little undertrained too, but like me, finished though hurting a bit. Leon did better than he had anticipated, running more than he'd planned (he had some knee trouble in training) and feeling pretty good. Alex finished the full marathon, though the weather was pretty rotten for him as well - it even hailed on him a couple times. He felt the effects of the altitude and barely made his goal of finishing under 5 hrs, doing 4:59. 

Garmin data here.

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