Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hobble Creek Half

I woke up at 4:30 and quickly got ready. I had started wearing a new pair of shoes a couple weeks ago that had added support to them. I spent a few minutes debating between wearing them and my other shoes that don't have support - but feel much lighter and cooler. I finally decided on the support shoes because if I need support, I don't want to injure myself especially with another race 3 weeks away.

I drank some water and ate a piece of bread with peanut butter on it before I left. The best thing about this race is the fact that the finish line was only 5 minutes from my house. I parked and started walking to the buses when I saw Natalie, Andrea's sister in law. I joined her and her friend Monica for the bus ride. The people behind us commented on how we had been driving forever. Bob drove me up 12 miles a couple weeks ago for my last long run, so I was glad I was already familiar with the course.

We got off the bus as far as it could take us- which wasn't the actual start. We walked up the rest of the course for a few minutes, which I actually enjoyed. I only wish I could've walked right up and started running right after. It was cold when we started walking and my body warmed up with the uphill climb. But when we got to the start, we had about 30 minutes before the race began.

The person (race director?) talking at the start was a little too quiet, and I don't think they got everyone's attention when they needed to. We didn't hear them announce anything and luckily got our bags in the trailer before it took off. I saw at least 10 people who ended up having to run with their bags because they didn't get them in the trailer in time. The race started a few minutes late. My watch said 7:04. I have no idea if there was an air gun or just a vocal start, because I didn't hear it.

I always try to start my run with no music and then add it when I am struggling and need a distraction. I really enjoyed running the AF half because I ran with Laura and we talked for the first 8 miles. Running alone, I was worried that I would have too much time to think about the race and mess with my mind. The first few miles went quickly and it was chilly. I don't mind being cold when I run - it's far better than being hot. My first mile was great, and the next two were a little bit faster than I would've liked.  There was another woman who was running my same pace. We went back and forth passing each other and talking in between. The first 6 miles were mostly downhill. When we got to the golf course there were a few uphills. We got on the paved trail around mile 8 and there were some rolling hills there. Even though I knew they were there I definitely had to power through and kept telling myself that if I ran it up slow it still would be faster than walking it. We turned left at the Springville Reservoir where I turned on my music and then later got on the new Mapleton paved trail. I had never run on it before and this was my hardest mile. It was flat, but I was so tired at this point, definitely because I went too fast at the beginning. I ran through the 1st aid station and basically choked on my water, so I made sure to walk through the rest. On the last aid station I probably walked a little too slow, but I was dead. The last mile luckily was down Maple street and had a slight downhill to it. I tried to push the pace, but I was definitely losing steam. As I turned at the white church, there was Laura and my girls. It gave me a much needed final boost to the finish. I didn't love that the finish was on the grass, but only because I never run on grass so it was different from my norm. When I looked up at the time I saw the clock go from 1:45 to 1:46 and then I crossed the finish. When I stopped my watch it said 1:45:49 - since I started a little after the gun went off. I was happy to see that I finished in the top 100 and got an Elite 100 Medal.

My goal going into this race was to beat my previous time which was 1:50, and my average pace per mile was 8:26. For Hobble, I wanted to start out my first mile at 8:30 and then take a few seconds off each mile. I do a lot of negative split workouts and know that I can do it. I knew there would be pacers at the race, but was sad to see they only had them for every 10 minutes. I knew there was no way I could run a 1:40, but was thinking I could be close to 1:45. I passed the 1:50 pacer at mile 5 and didn't look back. When I run, I look at my current pace and what I run each mile in, but I try not to look at the total amount of time. I have goals, but I also just want to enjoy the race.

My splits were:
1 - 8:37
2 - 8:11
3 - 8:12
4 - 8:03
5 - 7:58
6 - 7:54
7 - 8:04
8 - 7:53
9 - 7:54
10 - 8:14
11 - 8:15
12 - 8:43
13 - 7:49

I didn't have anything to put for the last .1 - my Garmin only made it to 13 miles. I have run a few races, but I don't get everything about them just yet. I heard them talking about how the course was 13.1 miles, but you had to follow the tangents just right. Since my watch came up short, I'm assuming they measured the tangents by the longest part of the course? So if you took the insides, you didn't quite reach the total 13.1? I am not sure. But on the AF canyon half my watch only reached 13.08 so it was short also. Which is so annoying to me, because my watch won't record my "best half marathon" time because it doesn't think I have ran one.

When the official race times came out, they realized that they pad at the start, didn't work so all of the times listed online were gun times - not chip times. Which is too bad for people who started at the back or didn't have a watch to tell them their accurate time. Online my time was 1:46:11 which was a 22 second difference from my watch and when I began the race.

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