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April 27, 2014 Columbia Irongirl Half Marathon

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

This was my first year doing this race. And I wished, going into it that I'd felt better about my training. But really... well.. it hadn't been the best. Thanks to Mother Nature and her hormonal mood swings.

Ah well...

The race was supposed to start at 7am. I live about 15 minutes by car (maybe less min, really) from the start area, but wasn't sure how soon they'd close roads, so I had my husband get me up early and I tried to be out the door by 6:15 or so....My mom wasn't able to come down so early (she lives like 1.5 hrs away)..so husband would stay home with the kids... I'd be starting and finishing this race with no cheering section. Anyway, I parked at the mall and walked across the road/highway to the start area.

As I walked, I turned on my garmin.... Okay, make that TRIED to turn on my garmin. The #$%^#%^ thing wouldn't turn on!! Cue panic attacks... I had planned to do run/walk intervals and how could I time the intervals without my garmin?

Well, as it turned out, there was a problem on the course (still not sure what) and start time was delayed about 1/2hr. In that time I found someone who helped me do a soft reset on my garmin. So yay!

The slowest pace group they had was 13 min/miles... the course time limit was 4 hrs, so we were told you had to keep a18:18 pace or better to finish in the time limit. I thought *maybe* I could hang with the 13 min/milers, and maybe in time (and losing a few more lbs) I could..but not this time. But being optimistic (and not knowing the course so well -- the map wasn't released until late) I thought I'd try..

is a link to my garmin's account of the race. Check out that elevation map! Holy cow!

As for the race itself... well timed intervals went out the window. To be honest, I expected my garmin to die at any moment... it literally gave me a "low battery warning" at mile 1.... and then proceeded to last the entire half. Go figure!

Anyway, if you look at my splits, you'll see mile 9 is abyssmal... I totally blame that on gut cramps and having to stop at a portapotty... and wait for said portapotty. I left the garmin running because... hey.. official race timer was still ticking. (That and I was afraid messing with the garmin would cause it to die.)

Up until mile 9 I had entertained the hope of breaking 3 hrs.. even if only 2:59... my other 3 halves being 2:48:35 , 3:07:40 and 3:21 something... but my biggest goals were to finish..and if possible kill that stinking 3:21.

Anyway, by mile 9 I figured under 3hrs was out... and as long as I beat 3:21 I was going to be happy. So I just did my best... tried to run for a min or two, then walk..then run.. more walking than running on uphills (of which there were a LOT)

But I finished. In 3:07:15...so not only did I get less than 3:21... I even beat (however slightly) my 3:07:40... and THAT was earned on a flat course (while recovering from bronchitis)... this was on a very hilly and challenging course.

Here's the first bling of 2014:

I'm satisfied. and I thought.. now that I have my treadmill (that's the subject of a whole other blog entry!!!) I will be able to train no matter what the weather... so next year I'll be better prepared.

And if I can do 3:07:15 with less than stellar preparation... who knows how much better I can do if I prepare better ---and in an ideal world, get the scale to cooperate.

**edited to add... and better still.. .garmin says my overall average time was 14:20 for 13.1.... and 14:11 average moving time. So I'm ALMOST there now at the necessary ave 14 min/mi for the first 20 miles to beat the bridge of Marine Corps marathon... so with good training (and MAYBE a little weight loss)....
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