Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Flashback: 2010 Seattle Rock n' Roll Half Marathon

It's Sunday Flashback time again!  I'm glad we FINALLY got to this post because it's very relevant to something I'll talk about this week (spoiler: it's about decisions about the Portland Rock n Roll Half coming up).  So another spoiler alert: we're FINALLY to my PR half marathon race.  As you might recall I recovered from the stress fracture debacle of 2009, and had run a half marathon in March (2:01) and May (1:54) of this year.  My current PR going in to this race was the stress fracture half in 1:48.  And now it's June, 2010, and home of the Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon.  Read on at your own risk.  :-)

What? WHAT? If you had told me yesterday that I was going to PR today (a REAL PR, not a post-injury PR, which I was hoping for), I absolutely would not have EVER believed you. The human body is so strange and amazing. It is truly amazing that I run mid 9’s in most training runs yet I ran a 7:58 average today. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, that is a SEVEN in my average. That is like my 5k/10k pace, not my half marathon pace! Got up at 5:10am, left the house around 5:50am, got there with perfect timing to wait in the longest Port-a-Potty line ever, drop off the gear bag, and head to the corrals. JMan drove Chris and I, and we almost got arrested by an angry police officer since we had no idea where we were supposed to go and got out of the car off a highway. Whoops. We had no choice! I pressed the lap button but the Garmin had some different average so those are in parentheses.

Chris and I.  I have a huge head.

Mile 1 – 8:26 (8:19) Ran with Chris for about half a mile. He was nice and started in my corral instead of his, and it was rough going around all those people at first. It is amazing to look behind you and see a sea of 28,000 people!

Mile 2 – 8:05 (8:03) I suddenly decided that I was going to take on a new philosophy for this race: run as hard as I can for as long as I can, and not worry about bonking and pacing myself like I normally do.

Mile 3 – 7:58 (8:00) A SEVEN? What is going on? Starting to beg that I start to get in the zone.

Mile 4 – 7:53 (7:50) Got down to the waterfront which was really nice to run down there. Very pretty. Finally facing the reality that at this pace, my zone is never going to get there. Reminded myself that its supposed to hurt, that means I’m working hard!

Mile 5 – 8:35 (8:13) The first of the 2 monster hills. I thought this one was harder even though it shows less big on the elevation map. Struggled up.

Mile 6 – 7:34 (7:33) FLEW down the other side. My quads and calves are sooo feeling this downhill sprint now. There was one little short part that was so downhill I was terrified I would trip and pummel down. At this point I started to think that MAYBE just maybe, a PR was possible, but was still doubting my ability to keep this pace up. I’ve pretty much never seen a 7:34 mile on my watch before.

Mile 7 – 7:36 (7:44)

Mile 8 – 8:07 (7:50)

Mile 9 – 8:02 (7:57) The second of the monster hills. The first part was really steep but short, but then it went uphill pretty much the whole mile and then some. I actually can’t believe this is the time for this mile.

Mile 10 – 7:59 The uphill continues through the I90 tunnel, which was really echoey, loud, and hot. Did I mention already that it felt muggy and humid, even though later after the race I was freezing? I started dumping water on my back and head around mile 5. Maybe just because I was working so hard, but I was HOT and it felt stuffy in the tunnel. The Garmin lost reception for the whole time in the tunnel (probably .6?) and I forgot to undo the auto pause setting so here the splits got messed up (calculated the split from total time).

Mile 11 – 7:33 (8:02) After this mile was over I was pretty positive I was going to PR, and was so happy! About that AND about the fact that there was only 2 miles left!

Mile 12 – 7:24 (7:32) On the viaduct, my quads and legs are starting to feel like lead and I really really want to be done now.

Mile 13 – 8:18 (7:39) I knew this mile felt neverending. Showing up as 1.09. Starting to get the tiniest twinge of a right calf cramp which terrified me. Luckily it never came to fruition.

Mile 13.1 – 0:44 (6:19) I DID IT!

Look at my amazing and awesome cheer team!  They're the best. 

Felt nauseous afterwards (as always, means I went as hard as I could!). Watched Chris come in at a rocking 3:20 (he did the full), then we went to Pyramid for some food, delicious apricot ale (though I could barely choke anything down), and to watch the horrible-ending USA-Guana World Cup match. My knee didn’t even really hurt today, maybe its better [I had an ITB scare the week before]! But my quads and calves are screaming, I’m sure from flying down the downhill. 

Total Ascent: 1,823 feet (this is missing some of the climb from mile 10).

Thanks for being such a fabulous supporter JMan!

From the mat pads - 5k: 25:24, 10k: 50:13, 9 mile: 1:12:19

Total Time: 1:44:19 (Average Pace: 7:58)

So that's it!  That's my current PR.  The stars just totally aligned that day and it seemed like this time just came out of nowhere.  And for a very long time (including kind of now) it seemed like I would never EVER beat that time again.  The Lincoln City Half gave me some hope, but I'm still not sure it's totally possible, but I'm sure going to try. 

What's your current half marathon PR?  Were the stars all aligned and it seemed totally impossible like this?  Do you hope to beat your PR this year?