Monday, August 31, 2009
OFFICIAL FINISH TIME: 2:07:35, 3rd place women Cruiser (women +150#)
Well, I think the reviews above sum up the race quite nicely.
There are two reasons I run in Run Wild Racing events, a) the routes are typically good ones, and b) they have the "Cruiser" category which makes me feel like, all accomplished and stuff if I place.
I don't run RWR events because a) the races start on time, b) they're consistent in what they promise during or after a race or c) I like consistency.
This makes it much easier to run this particular half-marathon. The springtime Cap City Half-Marathon is always such a well-run race and I wonder why this one is still guttering and having so much trouble, especially for an "elites" race with $40,000 in prize money.
That said, a warning to those running the Spirit of Pittsburgh Half - be prepared with water and nutrition of your own. We had precious little water at the +2:20 pace - some people behind us got NO hydration on the course. Let me repeat: SOME PEOPLE GOT NO HYDRATION FROM THE COURSE FOR 13.1 MILES. The promised oranges, de-fizzled pop, sponges and cookies were not there. Thankfully it was a cool, partly cloudy day - perfect for a half, actually.
The pacers, police support and locals were great, as well as the course itself. We started at Tuttle Mall, swung around down Frantz Road, to Dublin Road, then took Hayden Run across the Scioto and pushed down Riverside Drive to downtown Columbus. I do well in urban settings, and I pulled away from the 2:20 pacer fairly quickly and kept up a 2:15 pace, shooting to have an average HR of 150 for the race (got it! 151 average).
I hit my lactic acid threshold in mile 10 but was able to power it out and use the burn to fuel my pace.
This race was supposed to be "naked" but LOLOL - no. I used my mp3 player. However, I can see where NOT using it in my races up to this point has greatly improved my breathing, focus and form. Where I used to use the music to get up hills and through tough spots, I only tuned into the music when I was on straightaways and through the flat stretch of miles 8-12. Being more aware of my form meant being able to breathe better and hold those abs tight (and oh yeah, feeling that today!) the entire time.
I got my t-shirt, hat and medal - although I would have given my medal to a first-time finisher had I realized (and I should have) that they would run out. If you have 1200+ people register for the race - WHY wouldn't you order 1200+ medals!? Arrgh. They also had chocolate milk, Myoplex drinks - BUT RAN OUT OF WATER. HULK!SMASH!
After standing in line for my shirt, hat and medal (running 13.1 miles then standing still for 10 minutes = FAIL), I walked to my car and met Mr K for a HUGE lunch of huevos rancheros, which I actually ate the entire plate of. Still struggling to get to calorie limits again - my body shuts down after really hard effort and eating is just not a priority. Came home and took a nice long nap. :)
I am really, REALLY, REALLY sore today. Went to my step class just to stretch the quads because my legs were getting tighter and tighter and my hip flexors want to curl my legs into a fetal position.
All in all, I'm happy with my time and the course. The organization isn't making friends with its lack of focus, but so long as they provide me a good view, a decent t-shirt and a chance to PR, I'm in. :)