Sunday, September 7, 2008

Buckeye Half 2008

<- Liz & Lea before the race (I know Lea is not going to like this picture, but I tell them to smile! Something to remember next time...)

<- The "redesigned Buckeye Half course: starts a bit lower on Riverview, turn right at Bath Rd., then left at Akron Peninsula, left on Bolanz, left on Riverview, repeat loop.

OK, let’s get to the good stuff right away:

New course record AND new PR for half-marathon: 1:32:50 (previous PR 1:33:14 at the Fall Classic last year).

I am pleased because I ran a good race. The course was redesigned and it was a double loop this year. I have mixed feelings about double loops. While running the first loop, along a long stretch in the Akron Peninsula road, I kept thinking “Oh my God, do I have to go through this again?!!” But the second time around, time was ticking faster (because now I knew how long this stretch is and did not mind it – I was running on overdrive.) Here are my mile splits:

Mile Time
1 - 6:45
2 - 6:52
3 - 6:51
4 - 6:53
5 - 7:04
6 - 7:07
7 - 7:13
8 - 7:19
9 - 7:12
10 - 7:08
11 - 7:02
12 - 7:05
13 - 7:02
13+ - 6:22

I started strong. For the first 4 miles my average pace was 6:50. I could actually see Beth (2nd F) and the other female runners, not far ahead of me. I have set my Garmin to show my average pace (I do not care for the instant pace). After mile 4, the average pace started going up (I was slowing), until it stabilized around 7:02. My goal was to average 7 minute miles and I came very close to this.

What makes me especially happy is that at mile 8 I had my slowest mile (7:19). Doubts were going through my mind. Maybe I started too fast. Maybe this pace is more appropriate for a 10K, not a half marathon. But, instead of collapsing, I managed to reverse the decline and increase my pace again. My GPS watch was running a bit slow, compared to the marked miles. It registered 13.2 miles, instead of 13.1. In the the last 0.2 miles I had the strength and actually sprint and pass 2 runners, with a pace of 6:22!

The weather was perfect for running. Cold in the morning (55F), sunny, turning to cloudy and actually raining for a while. This morning I was 168.5 lbs. I have not been that high since June. Not good. I did not really need any fluids or food during the race, but I stopped in every water station just for the fun of it. For a long time I could see Vince (of Vertical Runner fame) in front of me, running with his dog! I can see being beaten by Vince, but by a dog too? It was around mile 10 that I managed to get ahead the dog, during a water stop. Quite a few runners passed me between miles 5-9, probably running a better race than me (better pacing). I didn't think I'd be happy to see someone pass me, but was happy to see my friend Howard pass me at mile 11. He is a better/faster runner so I was happy I stayed ahead of him for 11 miles.

<- Sprinting at the finish line.

My wife Liz and daughter Lea had signed up for the 5K of the same race. Liz is coming out from an injury (Achilles tendon) and this is her first race since the Fall Classic in November. She was pessimistic, thinking that she could barely run a 9 minute mile. This was her first race last year so she is “celebrating” a year of entering races. Result: She did much better than expected, with a new 5K PR of 26:20 (8:30 pace). But she finished 4/6 in her age group. She would have been 1st in the next age group (and she is moving to the next age group in December) and 2nd in the younger age group. Tough luck!

Lea had not done any running since the Brecksville 5K in June. When I say "no running", I don't mean "no racing". She has not run even once since then. Yet, she signs up, and manages to finish the 5K without walking! Her time (33:58) might not sound great, but considering the circumstances, it is excellent, and good enough for 2nd place age award. Way to go!

As for me, I finished 6/41 in my age group. Had I been in the next age group, I would have been first! Makes you happy to grow older!

Overall, a fine, enjoyable race, well-organized. I like the hoodies too. We had a bit of a crisis... Lea did not get a hoodie because she registered the last day and only the first 500 get one. But Liz gave her hers and she is wearing mine. I don't mind sharing :)

After the race, we had to leave in a hurry. Lea happy with her award, Liz a bit disappointed to get back empty-handed. Me, tired but happy. Looking forward to the next 3 weeks, building up (yes, building up) for the Akron Marathon.


Sensationally Red said...

Great job George!! I clicked you in but I don't think you noticed...I could tell you were happy with your time!

Brett S. said...

Great job. Nice seeing you out there. And you beat Vince. Even if his dog was slowing him down that is still a feat.

Nicole Orriƫns said...

Hello dr.T and running dad,

thanks for visiting my blog. I read your blog, and how nice that your whole family joins in!

How did that come about? Were you the first to run in your family, and did you persuade your family to run too?

Also wondering: are you a real dr?