Banana Death is named after a dessert at a Colorado Springs restaurant, but it is fitting for me since I eat a lot of bananas while I train for triathlons and other endurance events. This is a main place for me to talk about my training, but you'll certainly see other thoughts and experiences as well!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Platte River Half Marathon Race Report
April 11, 2010 - My first stand-alone half marathon since January of 2007. I was on the tail end of a tough three week build phase with a lot of bike intensity. Can't say that the running was a piece of cake, either. So my legs were beat and I was pretty tired. But...off I went to tackle the Platte River Half Marathon!
Got up at 5:20am, which is actually a little later than my normal 4:45am wake-up time when I get in my workouts before work, so it was like sleeping in. Almost - except it didn't feel that way.
Morning routine went smoothly, except that I didn't really have a race plan for fuel. I brought some gels, endurolytes, and filled my fuel belt with Powerade Endurance. I usually use HEED but I didn't have a chance to pick any up. I made myself a delicious peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwich and headed up to Littleton. Always a beautiful drive around sunrise.
Only got a little lost up there but found the parking lot at the depot right across the street from packet pick-up and the starting line. Ran inside and got my packet then hit the port-o-potties. There were about 50 of 'em it seemed. Plenty! and they were clean! But apparently not like the Punk Rock Tri Guy's (aka @PunkRockRunner) experience at his half marathon that same morning. Sorry Ron!
It was 7:40, the sun was shining, and I had 1:20 until race start....time for me to figure out my fueling plan. If you know me, this is very unlike me. I usually know my plan weeks in advance! Sitting in my car I decided to go with the fuel belt with the powerade endurance. It'd worked in training and that way I knew I would consume enough electrolytes....provided I drank all 18oz I was carrying.
8:15 I hit the port-o-pottie again. Guess I was hydrated. Found some TNT folks to kill some time with. 8:40am - hit the potty one more time, drop my sweats off at the gear drop, consume a pre-race gel and a couple endurolytes and I'm at the starting line.
Now I'm shooting for 8:15 pace so I get in between the 8:00min and 9:00min pace signs. Didn't have too many pre-race jitters (I was tired!) but I was going to run the race. I was pretty sure I had it in my legs so I would do my best to hang in there. And at 9:00am off we went.
My mile splits were surprisingly consistent (I won't bore you with them).
I think it was around mile 3 I saw @gosonja cheering! Finally we'd get to meet! Her green Trakkers jersey was easy to spot. Pretty sure @michelleford6p was there with her too! Miles 5-7 were slightly tough. My hip flexors tightened up a bit. Miles 8-10 I stayed with this one woman and then she ended up dropping back, but she was a nice rabbit for a while. The last 5k my legs were hurting but I kept at it. The mile 12 Team In Training aid station was awesome. They had signs about a half-mile ahead leading up to it so I knew there would be some great cheering! Thanks TEAM! Then I headed over the bridge (ay-yai-yai - my hip flexors)! Passed a few people though! Coming down the home stretch I was near my 1:48 goal time and there was @gosonja and @michelleford6p again! Woot! A little kick (just a little - don't have much) and I was at the finish line. Too bad I only have a little kick as some of the people I passed on the bridge were able to sprint past me. Nicole = slow twitch!
Official gun time: 1:48:42
Official chip time: 1:48:29 (PR by about 7:30!)
For all the data geeks like me, here's the GPS data.
Overall race commentary: Race was great - got there 80 minutes before race start and had a parking spot near packet pick-up, the starting line and the port-o-potties! Race course was slightly downhill along a concrete path, though there was some dirt you could run on next to the path. The platte river isn't the prettiest of sights, but hey, I won't complain. Aid stations about every 2-3 miles so I was glad I had my own fluid. Finish line food provided by Buckhorn Exchange, Wahoo's Fish Tacos, Sunflower Market, and someone else I skipped. Plenty there for all. Skipped the beer tent but hit the massage tent that was about 20 yards past the finish line. They even got the nice sunny weather we were hoping for! Just enough of a breeze to keep me cool
Another bonus - Got to meet Christi, someone I met on PikesPeakSports.us and a new member of the Pikes Peak Tri Club! She got a good PR as well! We rode back on the train together back to downtown Littleton then headed back to the Springs.
So I may be tired and sore now, but it was a fantastic day and a fantastic race!