Marathon Training Day 80 something Glass City Half Marathon!
I’m still a bit surprised and miffed that I did not have a PR. In fact, I ran the worst time that I have run in a half since March 2012.
There were some challenges, and all in all it ended up being alright.
To start with this race was maybe more of an opportunity for us to get to know each other, So that may have distracted me a bit, and the short taper of about 7 days after running a very difficult 20 miler may have also had something else to do with it.
So we drove down, hit the expo, which was not huge, but a very nice expo by all accounts. The best part was that they did have free KT taping- at the 26.2 with Donna they had a booth and were charging 5.00 a strip. (and 15-20 is the usual charge down here in Florida for a Professional KT tape job.) So, I got taped up. I’m not 100 percent sold on how the guy taped it but, well…he’s a pro, and he wasn’t my usual, so I am sure it was helpful. I also met the pacers for the race. The 2:10 dude was not the most friendly, but the 2:20 guy seemed to be just a genuinely nice person. You could tell 2:20 was not in his normal running realm,(well maybe for a marathon) and I did appreciate that he did not act condescending towards my goals, which was a 2:10, 2:15 or 2:20. (none of which I hit, sadly).
Afterwards, we hit up Tony Packo’s as one of the very sweet ladies at the expo had stated that there was Spatzel there. I don’t get a lot of opportunities to try out Hungarian food, so I was pretty stoked. Especially because Tony Packo’s is really famous from the television show M*A*S*H .
Sadly Packo’s was a slight disappointment. We got there, the menu was tiny, really tiny. I went for the only thing on it that looked race tolerable- which was Chicken Paprikash our waitress gave us the blank look when we asked about spatzel. Then..oddly the Paprikash was served with spatzel. SO thumbs down on waitress. Plus thumbs down on green beans from a can! I do wonder about the hot dogs- if they are perhaps particularly good, but hot dogs smothered in chili are usually bad choices the day before the race.
Post Packo’s we checked into the hotel and were entertained by
Then we stayed up fairly late (for me) just chatting and getting to know each other, and as runner people are wont to do, demonstrating various exercises across the hotel floor.
I probably should have gone to sleep earlier as I was also rather tired from the flight, but…well…I’m actually thinking that the staying up was more fun than a PR. (sacrilege I know!)
So morning came really early, as I had a load of trouble sleeping anyway. We rolled out and had breakfast, and I saw all the pacers getting ready at our hotel as well. It was the first time I’d seen pacers with the time goal stuck on the back of their shirt as well as their sign.
Then we drove over to the stadium. Spent some time hanging out. We discussed if my faster friend should pace me or run with me. I really did not want to hold anyone back and in the end he went and ran his own race, which given the weather, and my own poor performance made me super happy! He had a good race and that made me happier!
Eventually we lined up for the race, I placed myself as far back as I could in the 10mm group- which turned out to be my first small error. Fritz went up front somewhere. They had one of the runners sing the National Anthem, and a moment of silence for the Boston Bombings. It was a bit touching. In addition there was a plane flying over with the American Flag and the date of the Boston event. At that moment, I think all of us in the back of the pack felt very connected. Eventually we started…with the usual stop start that the back of the pack experiences. It was kind of funny because I was standing beside a guy doing his first race and as soon as we started to move forward, he tapped me on the shoulder and was saying”We’re starting, we’re starting!!!! No time for photos!” (I as taking a picture of this. Well of course there was time for photos. It took about 2-5 minutes to get to the start line.
And then we started. It was crowded. People were running but I realized they actually were not running remotely my pace. By placing myself so far back I was in a sea of 12 mm people. I loved them. However, I also felt like a bull in a China shop because I was passing folks left and right- which also had me a bit worried…I eventually found the 2:20 pacer and ran with him for a bit. he was again super supportive. Was chatting along with all of the runners around him- which was nice, as the 4:40 pacer who was running along side of him seemed to be focused only on his buddies. Pacers should realize those who choose to run with pacers do so for the interaction and encouragement. So chatting among only yourself and not being inclusive doesn’t enhance the race experience for the folks who are being paced. Mr. 2:20 seemed to have gotten that. He talked to me for a bit, then interacted with several other people around him. He seemed genuinely interested in his whole little group. In hindsight, I should have stuck with him.
This was probably at about mile 3. I started to warm up, and feel pretty good so I started to like, actually, run. I was doing about a 10:16 pace which was my goal. so I eventually passed up the 2:20 pace group and then for a bit there I seemed to be right with the 2:10 pace group which makes me think either they were “off” or I was going very speedily.
I forgot to mention. It rained. So very wet race.
At mile 5 I glanced down at the Garmin and noted that I was at 5.09 miles and had been for a “while”. This is a bad sign for me. after another while the watch just went blank. Combination of some charging issues and also the rain. I added NEW FREAKING GARMIN to my list. This is the second time this has occurred in a race and it usually causes me to have pacing issues and a general feeling of disorientation. Which is what happened.
I decided then and there though to be positive. I thought if I stayed between the 2 pace groups I could do alright. and I did for quite some time. I have to admit the rain sort of continually got heavier and heavier. I was so impressed at the people of Toledo who came and stood in that cold rain. Standing and getting chilled is NO fun, so THANK YOU TOLEDO!!!!! I did appreciate them!
At mile 8-9 someone kind of stopped and LAY DOWN on the course. So I stopped for just a few minutes. the 2:10 pacer who had been right on my heels called for actual help, and they came on bikes. I then ran on, feeling now very stiff and cold. The 2:20 pace group simply blew by me at that time. They seemed to be going super duper fast all of a sudden. I could not catch them though I tried. I am still rather annoyed as I had no Garmin and at what I now know to be about mile 11.25 I went by an aid station and this lady was yelling repeatedly “only 2 more miles” right. yeah. lady. Come on now.
At mile 12 I started to see the elites coming through with their bike escorts. They looked fabulous! As I went to enter the stadium, my friend stepped up and jogged with me. I was not feeling great and I actually though I’d be running a 2:40, so I was kind of deflated and still feeling disoriented. But having him meet me, made me feel a bit more perky. There is nothing like running a wet cold race and knowing at the time that I wasn’t going to make my goal time and having someone meet me and not care one bit that I was so off time, it really put a smile on my face.
At this race you enter the football arena and are on the jumbotron! I didn’t really note any of that as I was soaked to the bone and chilled. I got my medal, and a warming blanket and went about for a bit and finally got out my cell and realized they wouldn’t let my friend back in the stadium. So on to the exit. At the exit, they handed up a custom “frosty” beer mug. It’s actually quite nice and useful (unlike the medal, which is nice but not useful.) we wandered through the post race event, but decided quickly that warm showers were a better idea than cold beer in the rain.
Hot showers were had. Then a muddling around for an appropriate lunch, and then some touring around Michigan and I was on a plane back to Florida (where it is now also raining. Yay.) On our way to check out of the hotel I ran into Mr. 2:20 again and he asked how I did. I had to admit my 2:26. oh well! He was again super nice and cheerful.
So I was so not thrilled with my time at this race. Despite that, it is a good race! It is essentially flat. Goes through some nice neighborhoods where loads of spring trees were blooming. There were aid stations ALL over the place. It seemed like every 1.5 miles. Local folks turned out fairly well- especially considering the weather. The Pace groups were quite good. The Gatorade was mixed in a strong way, I may have preferred it to be a bit more watered down. No issues with traffic on the course. The finish was fun. Locals running the race were also friendly and fun. They were fascinated that I had come from Florida for this! So would I do it again? Yes, I’d be interested if it were to be at the right time.
I’l add some photos tonight.