Half Marathon Race Report

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    • #1018
      Bart
      Participant

      The race was the Ole Man River Half Marathon in New Orleans. It’s an up and back course run entirely on the Mississippi River levee. I thought it would be a nice race with views of the river. It didn’t work out that way. For one thing, except for the first (and last) 100 meters or so you can’t see the river. Plus, it was ungodly hot on race day.

      What a difference a day makes. Race day (Sunday): The temp at the start of the race (8:00 a.m.) was 71 degrees with 75% humidity. By the end of the race it was close to 80. The next day the temp didn’t climb above 50 degrees until around noon.

      My goal is to run under 1:30:00 in the Mardi Gras (half) Marathon at the end of February. I decided to run this race to test my fitness and see how close I am. Despite the temps, I decided to go out at goal pace (6:52 m/m) and see how long I could hold on. My watch either can’t recall splits, or I don’t know how to work it, but here’s what I can remember.

      The first mile I ran at what felt like a comfortable pace. I was surprised to see my split was 6:24. So it’s hot, and I started too fast. In other words, I’m in trouble. After mile one I slowed down a little and maintained a pretty good pace up to the turnaround at the 6.5 mile mark. I hit the half way point ten seconds ahead of my goal pace, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I basically struggled back running progressively slower each mile. At the ten mile mark, I walked for a minute. I walked for another minute at the 11 mile mark. I tried to run the rest of the way, but I had nothing left. At about the 12.5 mile mark, I walked for another 30 seconds, before finally running to the finish. I ran the out in 44:50, and the back in 51:30 for a final time of 1:36:20.

      Bottom line is that I didn’t adjust for the conditions. Plus I trained too many miles on the treadmill and hadn’t stayed acclimated to the heat (as previously discussed). The good news is that I still got a six minute PR, and since this race had Weight Classes, I took second in the 190-210 pound weight class and won a nice mug.

      I’m disappointed that I had to walk, but if I hadn’t taken a few walk breaks, I probably would have either not finished or ended up walking the entire last mile. Overall, believe it or not, I gained some confidence from this race. I have some work to do, specifically get off the treadmill and hit the roads and work on pacing, but I think I have a good shot at reaching my goal in February.

      Thanks for reading,

      Bart

    • #12678
      Ryan
      Keymaster

      Bart, sounds like you have some good things to take from this race. That’s quite a solid PR you got in much less than ideal conditions and after going out too fast. Based on that time, those conditions and that starting pace, I’d say you’re well on target for a sub-1:30 at Mardi Gras with a good race plan. That is assuming the conditions are better and the course is comparable.

      Hey, look at it this way. I bet it wasn’t snowing this morning when you were on your way to work. 😉

    • #12679
      Anonymous
      Ryan wrote:
      Bart, sounds like you have some good things to take from this race.

      The learning curve continues. I imagine a lesson this painful won’t be hard to remember.

      Ryan wrote:
      Hey, look at it this way. I bet it wasn’t snowing this morning when you were on your way to work. 😉

      That’s true. Although last week when the weather dipped into the 60’s and the announcer on the radio told us it was time get out our heavy coats. Today it was down into the 50’s, so I guess Winter (or at least Fall) has reached the South.

      Bart

    • #12680
      Zeke
      Participant

      Despite the temps, I decided to go out at goal pace (6:52 m/m) and see how long I could hold on.

      Uht oh!!!

      The first mile I ran at what felt like a comfortable pace. I was surprised to see my split was 6:24. So it’s hot, and I started too fast. In other words, I’m in trouble.

      Again, uht, oh!!!

      Bottom line is that I didn’t adjust for the conditions.

      Yep, chaulk that up to experience.

      The good news is that I still got a six minute PR.

      Sweet!!!

      This race had Weight Classes, I took second in the 190-210 pound weight class and won a nice mug.

      Was this a running race or a wrestling match? Nothing like bringing home some hardware.

      I think I have a good shot at reaching my goal in February.

      I agree. 6 more minutes isn’t that much given the conditions you ran in.

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