Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Half Marathon update

I have been horrible with blogging.  I have tired to follow blogs (but that is hard too).  Just tough with work, teaching, trying to get in runs and my baby daughter – now 7 months old.  Here are some pictures:

IMAG0296 IMAG0304

Now about the half marathons.

First, there was the Jungle run in Los Gatos on July 11th (a few weeks late).  I was not expecting a PR (which would require a sub 1:50).  After the SD marathon, I’ve not been in heavy train mode.  I decided to run it, but it was close and I felt in good enough shape to have fun while running it.  So, the Friday before the race, I took Brooklyn with me to sign up.  I’ll pause at point and just state that babies get a lot of attention.  The sign up was in a running store in Los Gatos downtown.  I drove down there with Brooklyn and walked her around the downtown.  A number of people asked me about her and made comments.  It’s really fun to be out in public with your baby!

When I sighed up, they asked if I was going to push a stroller.  Not yet!  I’m not sure Brooklyn will like being pushed around for two hours.

On to the race.  It went okay.  I started off a little too fast (about 8:15 pace the first few miles).  I told myself I wanted to be about 8:30 at the halfway point and then see how I feel at that point.  So, I slowed down a little and ended up about 8:30 at mile 6.5.  I followed my plan and tried to kick it up a notch.  That only lasted for about two miles.  It was getting hot out and I do horrible in the heat.  Basically I slowed back down.  Then, mile 11-12 was uphill and in the sun.  My avg pace fell to about 8:40.  I was struggling.

My wife’s co-worker was running the race.  He passed me about mile 10.  I tired to keep him in sight.  He was picking it up and that forced me to pick up the pace the last mile.  The last portion of the half takes you to the los gatos high school track where you run about 300 meters on the track.  As I neared the track, I tired to kick it up a notch.  When I hit the track I knew I had a chance to catch my wife’s co-worker.  With about 100 meters left I caught him and told him if we wanted to race to the end.  I’m not sure if he said yes, but I kept going and finished with a time of  1:52:13.  My first race in the 40 plus age group.  :)

Here is a picture:


My second half marathon was the Napa-to-Sonoma half marathon.  This is a race that I signed up to because a friend wanted to sign up (many, many months ago).  Well, she never signed up.  I actually forgot about it, but then get a reminder e-mail.  I decided to run it since I live about two hours away.  The only downside was that I had to wake up at 3:15am to drive to Sonoma.  My wife told me that I’m crazy to wake up at 3:15am to drive two hours to get on a bus for another trip, just so that I can run 13.1 miles.

The benefit of this race was that it was in wine country!  The negative was that I did not know anyone.  :(  However, just before the Half I read a post from Julie and she was running the half.  Since I was there early, I wondered if I would see her.  There were about 3K people there and I suspected I would not.  However, I ended up looking up and seeing someone taking pictures . . . it was her.  I went over to say hi.  We talked and hung out until the race started.  It was really great to meet her and have someone there that I “know” (at least through the blog world).  It really added a lot to my experience in the half.  I’m a bit shy and likely would not have talked to anyone so it made the race that much more fun.  Julie has a great race report that you should check out.

On to the race.  It started with a large hill.  I moved in and out of people and was making good time.  I again had to slow myself down (I was going too fast the first few miles).   My plan was to run an 8:30 first half and then try to pick it up the second.  I was about 8:10 or so the first few miles so I slowed down and got my avg pace to about 8:30.  Then, picked it up at the half way point.  I was doing great.  I felt good. My avg pace was quickly approaching 8:20 about mile 8 or so.

Then, I made a big mistake.  I felt the need to use the restroom for the past few miles.  I kept my eye out on the porta potties, but they always seemed full.  About mile 8, I saw one open.  I jumped in real fast (just had to go pee).  I jumped out and continued.  I did not lose too much time.  But, then . . . the police officers stopped us.  I was at the front of the line facing HWY 121 (I believe).  I recall reading that you have to pass a highway and may get stopped.  I could not believe it.  Some people were getting upset.  But, what could you do.  Finally, they let us go.  If I had not stopped, I would have made it through (the people that were around me before I stopped for a bathroom break, did not get stopped).  Oh, well, that dropped my avg pace to about 8:40-8:45 by the time we were able to start running again.

I tried to finish with a strong kick and finished with a time of 1:51 and change.  Not a PR and not a sub-1:50, but still a solid race.

Best yet, I saw Julie again at the finish.  She came in strong and did great.

And, there was free wine tasting after the race.  Free Wine Tasting.  Sign me up next year!

The race was a great experience save for the stop at the highway.  I had fun, enjoyed the great views, loved the medal, and tasted the wine.  Here are some pictures:






Mark said...

Way to go!! Bummer about the stop, beautiful daughter, congratulations!!

Anonymous said...

Your daughter is growing up! She's beautiful. Great race reports - congratulations. Wine country running must be beautiful

Julie said...

Woo hoo, a race report:) It was so fun to see you at the wine country half! BTW, I would of never thought that you were shy! I know what you mean...I don't know how many people I would of been chatting with before the race...not knowing them:) I am doing this one again next year for sure! I had such a great time and the course was so beautiful! Hopefully I will see you again next year:)