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    ON2VICTORY   47,759
40,000-49,999 SparkPoints

Fall Classic half marathon, Cleveland, OH

Monday, November 19, 2012

I'll keep it short, I'm pretty beat but boy did I have a fantastic day at the Fall Classic Half Marathon. I got a chance to run the event with my Sparkfriends Jan Frandsen and Tracy ( ie Pixiemom13). Just getting the time off to be able to do this was a challenge then to top it all off we had the most awesome weather imaginable for an event this late in the year. It was cold in the morning, frost on the ground kinda cold, but by race time it was about 40 then as the race progressed, it was about 50, all under perfect sunny skies.


It has always been my goal to get my half marathon time under 3 hrs. My best chip time was 3 hrs 15 minutes and my best in unofficial time was 3:05 on a long run using my Garmin. I had mentioned it to Jan and he was willing to help me pace myself, I've never had anyone to run with in a race so I have never been paced before. Boy did that make a huge difference.

Push we did. He kept me on track with 5:1 run/walk intervals then late in the race we switched up to 2:1 after I started having some fatigue issues and cramps.

The wheels started falling off right toward the end but I pushed through it the best I could.

The funniest part of the whole race is where I was getting OCD about my time, pacing etc.. And was fixated on my Garmin. Somewhere around mile 9 or so, Jan mentioned he was going to take it away from me if I didn't knock it off... I saw the wisdom in that so I handed it over and was thinking " if I'm going to get my watch back, I had better keep up." All in good fun of course.

Like a true coach he helped me to remain focused and I really appreciated that. I was going at a pace that I was not used to... I totally PR'd my 10k time as well, I hit 6.2 miles in exactly 80 minutes which was 7 minutes faster than my best time of 87 min. I hit the 9 mile mark at around 1:56 approximately, shortly after that Jan took my toy away ;) but I can guesstimate my 10 mile time at around 2:08 approximately. I think that's probably fairly accurate. My average 10 mile time in a half is around 2:25-30.

In short my finish time was 2:59:47

I saw my time on the screen and got really excited and high fived Jan....I had no solid intention of actually doing it this race because my running has been pretty hit and miss at best...more miss than hit, no consistent mileage of any kind. Even the cramping was far better even though I was pushing myself much harder than normal which leads me to the next point.

I truly believe that the strength training, heavy leg workouts etc.. Really made the difference. I don't have the mileage or consistent running to back up the results. Rather, my mileage was low and inconsistent.

I experienced something similar to this when I got injured and my IT band was very inflamed. I couldn't run for months and it was a very tough time for me. During that period, I continued training doing squats, lifts, lunges and other various leg strengthening exercises. Only about a month before the Green Bay half marathon in 2011 did I actually start running somewhat. In spite of about almost 5 months of downtime, I only came in about 4 min slower than I did my previous race before I got hurt.

I convinced that there is a strong connection here that I am going to follow up on. I am becoming increasingly convinced that one can maintain a good deal of running fitness while injured or just unable to get the run time in by maintaining cardio fitness by other non impact methods and by going after strength and conditioning training not to mention lots of needed rest. Although it is distressing to not get the runs in as we would like, I seriously believe that much of the anxiety and fear of totally losing fitness is unnecessary. I don't think I'm simply lucky, I really think there is something to all of that.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on it.

Here are some pics from the event...

So proud of Tracy, she really worked hard during the race and did it in spite of struggling with bronchitis recovery. She really hung in there and did fantastic! We're proud of our buddy :)


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
BE-THE-CHANGE 11/21/2012 11:58AM

    Congratulations! That is awesome!

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BOILHAM 11/21/2012 8:37AM

    What a nice race report and good news that you PRed with an under 3 time!!!

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MBSHAZZER 11/20/2012 5:13PM

    Wonderful, Robert!!! I'm so glad you made your time goal, and even better to do with with a Sparker by your side!

Enjoy your VICTORY!!!!

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COFFEELADY68 11/19/2012 10:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 11/19/2012 8:39PM

    emoticon emoticon What a fabulous blog! I am so happy for your breakthroughs with ths run!

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CHARTHESTAR 11/19/2012 8:10PM

    Totally awesome!!! emoticon on breaking your record!

For me- it was doing a 17 minute mile.... But hey- we all have to start somewhere.

So PROUD of you! You are an inspiration. You keep striving and it will keep up striving too.

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WATERDIAMONDS 11/19/2012 6:43PM

    You just keep raising your personal bar...and making it!

Congratulations. And thanks, as always, for the inspiration.

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SLIMLEAF 11/19/2012 6:14PM

    Sub-3 hours! emoticon

What an achievement!


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KITT52 11/19/2012 5:36PM

    good job....
I live near Cleveland and did not know they had this....darn

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NSMANN 11/19/2012 4:55PM

    I am so inspired by you and this blog! I will be participating in my first race EVER this weekend using the walk/run method too...I will keep the lessons you have imparted here in mind. Thank you!

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TEDYBEAR2838 11/19/2012 4:21PM


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ALDEBARANIAN 11/19/2012 4:04PM

    Thanks for the insights. Definitely things to keep in mind. Glad to learn from your experience.

Job well done. Congrats on the victories. emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 11/19/2012 2:31PM

    Well done! That is a fantastic PR! And such a great weather day - you really lucked out.

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KAREN_NY 11/19/2012 2:06PM

    emoticon Doin' the PR Happy Dance!! emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 11/19/2012 1:40PM

    Awesome job Robert and Tracy! Congratulations on doing more than you thought you could! Great friend to pace you like that!
Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

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CM_GARDNER78 11/19/2012 12:55PM

    Hey Robert!! Looking good buddy! I hope things are going well for you guys! WTG on the half marathon!! That is AWESOME! You continue to be an inspiration to so many people! Keep at it! :-)

~ Christa

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MDOTZERO 11/19/2012 12:27PM

    Congratulations Robert & Tracy!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 11/19/2012 12:17PM

    Robert i am SO proud of you...thats fantastic!!!

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 11/19/2012 11:38AM

    A Big congrats to you Robert. You are amazing. You will get your times down 1 minute at a time - I am sure of it.

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KATHY_NATURELVR 11/19/2012 11:27AM

    Great job Robert :)

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JPONCIN 11/19/2012 10:05AM

  Nice work, Robert!!! I love how you keep your long-term goals in sight every day and through every challenge you face. So inspiring!!! :D

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123ELAINE456 11/19/2012 10:02AM

  Awesome Blog. Congratulations!!! Fantastic Job. We are very Proud of You and all Your Accomplishments. Keep on Going. This includes Tracy too. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Have a Super Good Monday. Take Care. Go Go Go!!!

Comment edited on: 11/19/2012 10:04:30 AM

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LINDAK25 11/19/2012 10:01AM

    Fantastic! I think you're onto something! Good work.

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STRIVERONE 11/19/2012 9:41AM

    Great going. Congratulations.

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 11/19/2012 9:34AM

    WOO HOO!!!! So proud of you!!

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DDOORN 11/19/2012 8:19AM

    Way to PUSH yourself onto bigger, better and more SPARK-tastic accomplishments Robert!


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ACTIVE_AT_60 11/19/2012 7:40AM

    I have been waiting for this blog, and your enthusiasm. Robert, congratulations on yur PR. I am proud of you!!! I really feel privileged to be able to do this with you and to - smash and burn your previous PR.

There is no doubt your strength exercises have helped you. I also think that you came into this very rested - and that helped as well.

This is the first time (I think ... maybe not) I have paced someone. I am not sure I will pace anyone who asks. However, I felt comfortable from the day you asked me, and we succeeded. We did not really set any ground rules, and that worked for us.

As for the Garmin. I am glad I did what I did, and I think too many runners are too fixated on their gadgets. Put your darn gadget in your pocket - and look at the data when you have downloaded them. Unless you are out there doing specific workouts focusing on certain speed or HR.

Robert, it was great to see you and your family again. Congratulations on your PR. Had I known you wanted to cut 15 min off when you told me. I might have been doubtful - but you did it. Now, get your rolling and stretching done over the next few days. Think through what you are doing to your muscles.

Have a great thanksgiving - and safe traveling!

(Thanks for posting such a goofy picture of me - I guess it is the best you have LOL)

Comment edited on: 11/19/2012 7:42:10 AM

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KATHIC2 11/19/2012 7:12AM


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REGILIEH 11/19/2012 7:06AM

    WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! FANTASTIC!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIV2RIDE 11/19/2012 6:50AM


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SWEDE_SU 11/19/2012 3:50AM

    congratulations! sounds like a great race! emoticon

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LAHUDSONCHEF 11/19/2012 1:20AM


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WORLDSERIES11 11/19/2012 1:15AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DALID414 11/19/2012 12:45AM

    Awesome job!!
A friend of mine always talks about 'pacing me' and I tell him he's nuts, maybe after reading your experience I'll give it a try.

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ZRIE014 11/19/2012 12:39AM

  congrat emoticon

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WINDSURFNERD 11/19/2012 12:24AM

    Congratulations on beating your goal! Enjoy the exhilaration and satisfaction of a well-run race!

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ONEKIDSMOM 11/19/2012 12:10AM

    Woo-hoo! Let me be among the first to offer congrats on pushing yourself and getting that time UNDER 3 hours! I thought of you this morning, knowing you were doing a HM too. I think we might have had you beat for weather, down here in St. Petersburg, but I was grateful it was cool (for here) and overcast.

I also see the wisdom of not going crazy over pacing and taking away the devices. At some point it's just "run my race" and "trust the pace". Well done! emoticon

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