Monday, March 16, 2009

little rock half-marathon: 1:40:49

my "little rock half-marathon" experience started on friday 03.13.2009. my marathoning friend steve hibbs picked me up on his way to little rock. he was driving from his home in minnesota. i had not seen steve since my wife and i's wedding in 1993. we recently reconnected via facebook and steve was one of the reasons i returned to the running world.

as we crossed the border from missouri into arkansas i was telling steve that the last time i was down that way was to purchase a dvr at the walmart in harrison. it turned out that steve had recently been looking for a dvr, so we visited walmart so he could pick one up.

we located our motel in little rock, and while in the process of moving our luggage to the room, i noticed a white short-bus pull into the parking lot. out of the bus came an entire swat team with automatic weapons. they jogged around the building. when steve got up the stairs i asked him if he had witnessed the swat team. he didn't. we then heard a loud bang that we assumed was a door getting knocked in. we decided it might be wise to get out of there prior to any bullets coming through the floor. i was later informed that it was a team of 25 officers that came to retrieve one man in room 101.

friday evening we picked up our race packets and found out where steve's "marathon adventures" booth would be located on saturday. we then walked along the riverfront to check out dinner options. we decided on "the flying saucer" which is a german restaurant. it was excellent. i had an awesome bratwurst and a very strong dark beer.

friday night i slept ok until about 3 am. i was starting to get the gunk on thursday and it was getting progressively worse. also the excitement of sunday's event was already starting to effect my ability to fall asleep. lots of interesting sounds outside the door of our motel at 3 am including a woman screaming and some street racing.

saturday we spent the day at the little rock marathon health and fitness expo. i enjoyed helping steve talk to people about "marathon adventures". i met people who have completed lots of marathons. very inspiring.

saturday evening we opted to eat at "big whiskeys". i was aware we had a "big whiskeys" in springfield and was interested in giving it a go. steve informed me of his tradition of fueling up on protein the night before a race and i was all game for consuming a large hamburger. the restaurant was short staffed and we ended up waiting 35 minutes for our order, though it was a good burger when it finally arrived. it was fun to see mizzou win their first mens basketball big 12 title.

other excitement saturday evening included spottings of joe biden and some interesting demonstrators. steve really got a kick out of the guy with the sign that read: "obama lied, the economy died".
saturday night was not a good sleeping night for me. the combination of my increasing throat and chest gunk with pre-race excitement resulted in me sleeping from about 10 pm till 1 am with possibly a little nap from 5 am till 5:45 am. even natalie merchant on my mp3 player couldn't sing me to sleep.

race day we got parked near the starting area one hour prior to the start. we both freaked out a little bit when we heard the signing of the national anthem. research revealed that it was for the start of the 5k event. i did a little .9 mile warm-up run so that i could log 14 miles for the day.

the weather was perfect: cloudy, no wind, and 50 degrees.

mile 1

it only took me 25 seconds to get out of the starting area. the first half mile was packed. i stayed to the right. on occasion someone would step out in front of me and slow down a bit. a couple of times i had to step off the road to go around them. i stayed right on my 7:45 intended pace and was feeling great.

split: 7:43

mile 2

going across the broadway bridge i had a little conversation with a local runner. he was a very nice and encouraging guy. i was attempting to pick up the pace by 5 seconds during this mile and had to hold myself back a little.

split: 7:33

mile 3

mile 3 was very flat and i was feeling great.

split: 7:29

mile 4

at the beginning of this segment was a gospel choir and their performance was encouraging. i really enjoyed this segment and was feeling smooth.

split: 7:27

mile 5

during mile 5 i found myself running near a couple of guys that were comparing their marathon resumes. both had participated in lots of marathons and they were enjoying their sharing time. for some reason this was getting a little bit under my skin. part of me wanted to get far enough ahead of them that i wouldn't be able to hear them, but they were at my targeted pace. i ended up being exposed to their stories for a good three miles.

split: 7:23

mile 6

during mile 6 i continued to feel fresh and noticed that i was passing a few runners that possibly went out too fast. i consumed some sports drink during this segment and was starting to keep my eyes open for some gel.

split: 7:22

mile 7

this mile had some hills and i stated feeling like a 7:30 pace might need to be where i continued for awhile.

split: 7:28

mile 8

this mile had a nice long downhill that i appreciated. i was really hoping to find a gel at this point.

split: 7:30

mile 9

i was still looking for a gel and i noticed a woman holding out something that might be gels. i went to make a grab and discovered i had grabbed a couple of jolly ranchers. i inserted one grape jolly rancher and hoped that it might provide some kind of boost. finally a half-mile into this segment someone was distributing gels. it turned out to be some kind of apple flavor that was kind of gross. i think i got maybe half of it down.

split: 7:39

mile 10

mile 10 included a long gradual uphill. as i got near the top of the hill i noticed i was getting close to some runners that appeared to be struggling a bit. i imagined that i would be passing them sometime soon. soon i realized that i had entered into a similar struggling status and i was not making up any ground on them.

split: 7:43

mile 11

it was near the beginning of this segment that i started to notice some discomfort in my left shin. it was not bad, but it confirmed that my leg is still going to need some healing time. during this segment i was no longer feeling fresh or smooth and was starting to long for the finish.

split: 7:50

mile 12

the legs started picking up a little sensing that i was getting closer to the finish.

split: 7:40

mile 13

during this segment i finally passed one of the guys that had been in front of me for two miles with the appearance of being spent. about four or five runners came past me during this mile.

split: 7:40


during the post 13 segment i did find another gear and passed about ten runners.

official time: 1:40:49.

my watch had me running 13.34 miles at a 7:34 average, but 13.1 puts me at a 7:42 average. i placed 18th out of 162 male finishers between 35-39 years old and 119th out of 2564 half-marathon finishers.

steve's marathon time was: 3:06:38.

steve placed 5th out of 141 male finishers between 35-39 years old and 38th out of 1382 marathon finishers. this event was the completion of his 86th 26.2 mile marathon event.

event review: excellent! great volunteers. course was easy to follow. some hills to bring in a variety of muscles. support along the way was top notch. finish-line reception was great. i would consider coming back in the future to participate in the full marathon.

weekend: loved it! it was a blast to catch up with my friend steve. i am really proud of him.

Route:--Elev. Avg:294 ft
Location:North Little Rock, ARElev. Gain:-4 ft
Time:08:00 AMDifficulty:3.1 / 5.0
50 F temp; 89% humidity
50 F heat index; winds Calm

Distance:13.34 miles
Speed:7.9 mph
Pace:7' 34 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
17' 43+0' 067.8-0.1+7 ft
27' 33-0' 048.0+0.1-27 ft
37' 29-0' 048.0+0.1-3 ft
47' 27-0' 078.1+0.1-7 ft
57' 23-0' 118.1+0.2+3 ft
67' 22-0' 138.2+0.2+23 ft
77' 28-0' 078.0+0.1+26 ft
87' 30-0' 068.0+0.1+4 ft
97' 39+0' 047.9-0.1+3 ft
107' 43+0' 067.8-0.1+46 ft
117' 50+0' 147.7-0.2-14 ft
127' 40+0' 057.8-0.1-30 ft
137' 40+0' 037.9-0.1-46 ft
.342' 18-0' 498.9+1.0+10 ft
Versus average of 7' 34 min/mile

Post a Comment