Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Training Update -- Oak Brook Half Marathon

I am still on track for Twin Cities on October 5th. It's been an interesting summer of training. I feel really busy with work and fatherhood. The fact that I am still on track is an accomplishment.

At the last minute on this past Saturday, I decided to enter the Oak Brook Half Marathon, which took place on Labor Day Monday. This caused me to adjust my schedule and sacrifice my planned Sunday 17-miler for Monday's race.

In total, I ran 39 miles last week, with the plan to get up to 60 this week.

On Monday, I arrived at the OB Half in what should have been plenty of time. However, the pre-race organization was poor. There were hundreds of us in line that needed to pick our race packets and then our chips. Organizers clearly did not anticipate such large numbers.

The crowds and disorganization forced the start time back 15 minutes to 7:15. Even this delay was not enough, since there were not enough port-0-cans. I made a concious decision to not start the race without using the can. That would have been a mistake. The guns went off as dozens of us were still in line for the port-a-potty.

I started the race nearly 5 minutes after the gun sounded. I was damn near dead last crossing the start line. This made for a challenging first several miles. Most of the early part of the course was run through a park with paths only maybe 8 feet in width.

I had several stints of slowing down due to being boxed in behind groups. Not to mention the thrusts of acceleration that used whenever openings were there that taxed me. This made pacing and energy conservation tough.

As for my result, if there would have been a prize for passing the most runners, I am pretty confident I would have won it. I finished in 57th place out of 1200 finishers. Yep, I estimate I passed about 1,150 people. Not trying to sound bragadocious, but this made for a challenging race experience.

My finish time of 1:31:09 was not where I would have wanted to be. In consolation, it beat the hell out of my last half marathon! But it just was not feasible to run a PR. Also, I ran 11 miles on Saturday night - and admittedly drank a little too much beer at the neighborhood party afterward and spent much of Sunday in recovery mode, if you catch my drift. Not the best way to prepare for a 1/2 mary.

Today I put in a solid 8-miler at lunch. I plan to knock out a 12-miler with some speed intervals 5x600m tomorrow.

Keeping eye on prize, I will still target that 3:05-3:07 range on Oct 5th. I realize that I didn't put up a half that would line up with that time. It's no matter, because I know when rested and prepared, I am in great long run shape.

My final 20-miler will be my best indicator. That run will be one week from this Sunday. If I can hold pace of 7:05'ish for the majority of that 20-miler, I will feel confident it is a reasonable goal.

1 comment:

Darrell said...

It had to be pretty cool to pass all those people.

Keep up the solid training.