Tuesday, October 30, 2007

YMCA Half Marathon

This week I really tried to watch my calories and I think I got a bit dehydrated too. This morning was the 39th Annual Downtown YMCA Half Marathon and I wanted to make sure my fueling was just right. I woke up at 5:20 am and ate a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I forget who, but that's someone's sandwich of choice on race morning. You know who you are. I packed 4 gels. Three of them were Carb Booms, which I was trying for the first time. One was a PowerBar double espresso gel, which I really like. None of it helped.

As you can see on the chart, I bonked at around 9 miles. We started in South Mountain Park and immediately got on the street and left the park. The first mile and a half was downhill. It was hard to hold back and I was running some of it below a 9 minute pace. I slowed down and hoped I could conserve my energy, since I had to climb this hill on the way back.
Here's a view of some of the runners visiting vendor tents before the races.

Running out of the park you pass the horse stables.

And Scorpion Gulch. This isn't used anymore. I guess you could call it an abandoned tourist trap. About two miles into the run we got off Central Avenue and onto the canal. The asphalt was not in good shape all along the canal, but we did have great views of the mountains to the south and downtown Phoenix to the north. I ate my gels at 3, 6 and 9 miles. On the way back I got to talk with several runners. This kept me occupied, but I was feeling fatigue in my calfs around mile 9 and was reduced to walking. Two weeks ago I felt great the entire run. I think I started this race dehydrated and it just got worse until my legs felt like lead. I walked more than I ran the final three miles. Going up hill into the park you run along the open street and in car after car you see runners eating bagels, drinking Gatorade looking into your eyes and feeling your pain. They finished along time ago, I still had some unfinished business.
And since this was a training run of 14 miles, I knew I would have to do 9/10 of a mile after the finish line. I turned left into the Parks parking lot and I could see the finish line and 3 runners in front of me running, but running slow. I decided that I wasn't going to walk across the finish line. And, if possible I was going to pass the other runners. I kicked it in gear. Checking my garmin later I see that my pace went all the way down to 4:54 at the finish line. I passed two of the runners easily and the third one I passed with the official at the end pointing toward me. I passed her too.

What did I get for my troubles?

An apple and some Gatorade. My garmin said I finished 13.1 in 2:46:30. The official time was 2:49:05. Either way, far from my PR of last week.

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