Sunday, March 28, 2010

Riverton 1/2 Marathon recap.....

Heidi, me and Leslie at the end of the Riverton half marathon. Saturday March 27th, 2010.

Leslie at the end of the race with her second place overall female trophy.. a PR of 1:35:05, and a $40 gift certificate to Get Fit Athletic Wear in Highland. Way to go Leslie !!!

So, after weeks of waiting and waiting... and training and training... here it was.. the Riverton half marathon. A race that didn't involve getting up at some unearthly hour, driving for hours etc and waiting in line for ever to pick up my race packet. Yet I still managed to sleep in and there was a mad panic to get everything ready and be out the door by 8 am. I did have time for a shower - I don't like to smell bad while I am running. So I mixed up some electrolyte drink, grabbed my gloves, Timex hat and a few other things and off I drove the 18 miles to the Riverton City park from my house.

As it happened I was one of the first ones there. A few runners were milling around and there was no line for picking up race packets. My bib number was # 280.

Leslie, my zippy training partner , showed up 5 minutes later and we chatted for a while then jogged down the street to the gas station to use the restrooms then back to the start. By this time most of the runners were lining up behind the balloons which was both the start and the finish of the race. I met a few more friends, plus some new ones such as Steve and Chuck at the race start. Leslie and I lined up near the front and the plan was to run 7:30 pace all the way for a 1:38:30.

Unfortunately, my adrenalin got the best of me and Leslie reminded me of that as we hit the first mile in 6:50. But what the heck ...I felt great. Three females passed us, and I tried to stay on them for Leslie's benefit ( I really wanted her to place in this race) which meant we hit the three mile mark in 20:52 , about 1 1/2 minutes too fast.

I sure paid for that at the first big hill when the old jelly legs were struggling and Leslie took a 50 yard lead. It was several minutes before I had recovered from the uphill. By then Leslie was 100 yards ahead and it stayed that way for several more miles. At 8-9 miles I stopped for some water as I was becoming a little dehydrated but was still holding sub 8 minute miles.

The real killer was the "s" hill at 10 + miles where I decided to walk, counting the runners who passed me, and then tried to pass all of them back on the other side. For the most part I did that, even putting a good push through mile 11, determined to get as close as possible to 1:38:30.

I ended up with 1:38:34, which, although 38th place out of 390 runners, was clearly not up to par. I chewed it over and over in my mind - If I had held back the first three miles, would I have made up more time later in the race.? .. I think I would. Leslie and I could have pushed each other to a better finish . I really believe that I would have come in around 1:35:30 to 1:36:00 if I had run a more controlled race. After all, I ran TWO 1:34 half marathons last year and have broken 1:30 five times in my racing career.

The good news is that Leslie, who I thought ended up 3rd, actually took the second place female with less than half a mile to go. I passed the girl who was originally third but then was passed by two other females during the course of the race. Leslie was waiting with a big grin for me at the finish line as she told me the story about passing the girl for second place near the end.

This was a pretty well organized race. There were plenty of massage tables at the finish line. I did have to remind the girl giving me a massage than she was NOT kneading bread and to go easy on the soleus muscles. I drank ample fluids and recovery drinks, chowed down on a bagel and a banana and then spent several minutes posing with Heidi and Leslie for photos and waiting for a few others runners to cross the line. The weather was really good, just a bit of a northern breeze that hit you early on and then once again in the last couple of miles. All in all this was a great course, well organized with a reasonable finishers medal to hang on the rack at home. Since I recently found a half marathon medal from the Top of Utah half marathon last year that I had forgotten about, that makes 102 medals on the wall in the home gym now.

One of the cool things about being a PT is that you are never ever " off duty". I happily obliged with a left IT band stretch to Leslie who tried to look pain free as I was doing this. Of course, if I had done it properly she would be laying still on her right side, holding the right knee up to her chest to put the pelvis in a better alignment for the stretch but without a treatment table this was the best that I could do on grass. The IT band is really tight by the way so needs a lot more work.

Now I am adducting the left hip to further stretch the IT band.

This was a cool parting snapshot by Heidi and captures in my face the fun morning we all had at this race. Thank you Heidi for being there with your hubby and your Nikon and thank you Leslie for a great run, sorry the rabbit died at 3. I will put the cruise control on 7:30 next time we race.

Back to the training regimen on Monday.


Nurse Heidi said...

The rabbit died at 3...ha ha! Hardly, in my book. I'd say you had a great race! I'm not far enough in to my racing career to fret much about the tiny details of my races - I'm mostly just happy to finish, and not puking at the finish line is a mega bonus.

Nice seeing you there, and I'm sure we'll do some more races together (that being a somewhat facetious statement, since it'll be a while before I can catch up to your speed).

Jill said...

I'm sure it was great to get your first half of the year checked off and done. I think it's an excellent time, Jonathan, though I do hear the disappointment in your words. All these races teach us something about ourselves and this was no exception, you walk away a better, stronger runner from it! Congratulations, I am in awe, as always, at your amazing achievement!!!

Leslie said...

How about another torture treatment Wednesday? :) And I'll see if I can get that right knee correct this time. I thought it was supposed to be tucked, but couldn't remember.
I know you're a little dissapointed in your time, but I'm not. You ran what we talked about on a non-downhill course. I too would like to see what running straight 7:30's would do for us.
Keep up the good work, can't wait to watch SL and Ogden!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

I love that final photo of you! Your face says it all.

You race a great race. I often wonder the same thing about starting out too fast and using the energy to gain time or holding back and pacing the entire race.

JonathanMarathonMan said...

Jill.. that was actually my FOURTH half marathon of the year and considering a hilly course I'm ok with the time. Thank you for your friendship and support. I will surely miss your birthday in Boston but I will be thinking of you all day.