|Race Pic. Smiling. Hooking 'Horns. Having fun!|
Despite the big-ass hill I had just come up (& more importantly, come down - pain free! woot!)
Benbrook Half-Marathon Race Report
NOTE 2: Last year, this race was held in arctic conditions (for North Texas at least) and I ran the 5k, winning my AG.
Good news: I finished. The right knee held up fine. The right calf was angry about the uphills, and the right hamstring was furious about the uphills. I missed the first two mile markers on the ground - silly me was looking for mile signs at the side of the route, not on the concrete! So I ended up not doing mile splits and instead just took one split at the turnaround. I did slow down more than I preferred on the back end, mostly because my hamstring was very very tight and I didn't want to push it too far. Bigger fish to fry and all that.
Overall, the course was nice - out & back route starting near the baseball fields and running along the lake for most of it. It wasn't a flat course by any means, but had enough gradual up & down to keep it interesting. I was glad that my knees held up and I managed to only walk the one "nice hill" at the mile 5/mile 7 mark. Coincidentally I had to take nutrition in at those spots, too, so I didn't feel too bad about walking them while I fiddled with my camelback pockets. =)
I know I went out too fast - I hit the 3 mile mark at just under 30 minutes, which is not the pace I was shooting for, and I know this contributed to me slowing down at the end. But because I'd missed the first two mile markers I had no way to judge and adjust earlier than that. Then right after the 5K mark I got a phone call from my husband about the floors being installed at home that I kinda-sorta had to take, so that slowed me down some, as did the bio-break at mile 4. The out portion ended up being 1:12:57, not too far off my goal pace once you take the phone call, potty stop & walking the hill into account.
By the time we hit the back part, I was really feeling tired and my legs were aching, especially the right one. But I was still feeling pretty strong and actually started passing people after the turn-around. I would zero in on a rabbit in front of me and just power through until I caught them and passed them. I think I caught & passed about 15 people from mile 6.5 to the finish and didn't get passed by anyone, so I have to be happy about that.
I took nutrition (PowerBar Gel Blasts) in at mile 7, 9 and 11, and they settled nicely with the water from my camelback. I had mixed my water/gatorade mix in my water bottle but left it in my fridge this morning, so I was without sports drink for the whole ride. That may have added to my slowdown, but I am not too worried about it. It got way hotter than I expected, especially since I was rocking a black long-sleeved tech shirt. I considered stripping down to my tank top but I would have had to take off the camelback, take of the shirt, put the camelback back on, blah, blah, blah so it was easier to just suck it up and deal.
Definitely need new shoes now - I could feel every pebble and bump in the gravelly road and by about mile 10 it really started to hurt the bottom of my feet. The current shoes I have are at about 350 miles so it is time to replace them before Cowtown. I am still considering the Kinvaras for that little extra cushion but am concerned still about the extra heel that comes with it. I will have to try them and see I guess.
Overall, despite the twinges in my leg and the slow-down on the back end, I am pretty pleased with today. I intended this as a training run from the outset, and I used it as such. I only walked the big monster hill (not really a monster, not compared to what I dealt with at Banderawesome but it wasn't flat!!) and a small section at mile 10. I passed a lot of folks and I finished strong. I saw my friend Suann, finally met Phil IRL and was able to chat with them and a couple of other folks before the start, so that always makes me happy. And, when I saw the photographer on course, I smiled brightly and hooked horns!! What more could you ask for?!!