Rutgers Unite Half-Marathon - 4/22/2012 (Race Report):
Fun race at the Rutgers Half-Marathon and the rain held out until the very end. My main goal was finishing my first half, so that was accomplished. The next goal was to do so in one piece, without tweaking a back or knee, which I always a possibility with me. Happy to report the knee that sometimes isn’t happy didn’t even flinch once, which surprised me. Maybe the preventative knee sleeve and IT band strap helped in a placebo effect kind of way :)
As far as the racing and pacing part goes, I finished 549 out of almost 3,000 but some room for improvement. I didn’t go out too fast since the amount of racers blocked you in for the first mile. I eased in with 8:00/mile pace team pretty much the whole race, but they were going more like 7:45 to 7:50 minute miles. I guess they wanted to have some time in the bank to make sure they hit their mark. Was still feeling strong so hung there for awhile and in retrospect it might have been a tiny bit fast for a hilly course. I did get through 11 miles at a 7:58.8/mile average pace.
Then things got interesting as my HR shot up a bit high for my comfort, not always reliable and not crazy territory, but not great for a half either. I did feel a little spent and didn’t think today was the day to push it, so I decided to ease up…always better to pick your spots and live to race another day :) I slowed the pace to around a 9:00/mile and walked through the last 3 water stops. I kept thinking that Coach Jeff Galloway would have been proud to incorporate some of his method here. Sure, your pace drops , but it’s much more enjoyable. The time isn’t posted yet, but my Garmin has me at 13.2483 miles in 1:48.31 and an average pace of 8:11/mile.
In the end, fun was had by all, mostly dry, lots of cookies eaten, many children high-fived, and my favorite part … hanging around and cheering all the other runners in.
Quirky observation for the day: lots of bands on the course, but this one scene was notable. As we’re approaching the 10 mile mark where people are feeling sluggish and right at the time where most forecasters predicted the skies would open up…I hear THIS from the band in the distance:
“Hope you got your things together
Hope you are quite prepared to die
Looks like we’re in for nasty weather”
Great song and I love CCR as much as the next guy, but C’MON! Show some mercy with your song selections given the situation :)
Avg. HR 171 (92.4% max)
High HR 185 (100% max…a new high on my Garmin!)
Avg. Cadence: 178 (180 when you throw out the walking breaks)
Training Effect (TE): 5.0
EPOC Peak: 620 ml/kg
VO2 Peak: 45 ml/kg/min
Avg. Respiration rate: 38 breaths/min
If anyone is reading this far (doubt it!) then I’ll throw in my shameless charity plug (get used to it after big races!) I am running the 2012 ING NYC MARATHON (and ALL My 2012 races!) to support critical cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Please consider donating to support my run(s) and THANK YOU! Linky: http://ht.ly/arn7g
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