Friday, September 27, 2013

Scenic Sandpoint Half Marathon

Race Date:  9/15/2013
This was my first time running the new Sandpoint Half course.  It use to be an out and back for 13.1, but now it is an out and back for about 10.2 miles, then there is an out and back near the finish for the remainder of the distance.

Jeremy's bib was blowing in the wind
I haven't been running long in a while because I have been doing more weight lifting since it is sort of off season right now.  Rosi and Emily decided not to do this race after all so Emily gave me her registration.  Thanks Emily!

I found out Jeremy was running this race so I was glad to be able to carpool with him.  I was hoping Jeremy and I would both go sub 1:30, his plan was to go out at 7:00 pace but agreed to go 6:50 pace with me.  Paul chatted with us at the starting line and I told him I was going to try and go out at 6:50 and hold it, his plan was 7:00 pace also but said he would run with us.  The temperature at the start of this race is usually about 45F or so but today the sun was out and it had to be at least 65F at the start.

The sun was out this morning!
Once we started I realized this heat was going to effect my race goal.  At mile 3 I was already sweating and warming up.  I started to fall back, Paul and Jeremy tried to hold the pace but we all eventually dropped back to 7:00ish pace.  Paul was holding a consistent pace in front of us as I was losing my momentum quickly.  The heat was taking its toll on me and I knew I wasn't going to go sub 1:30.  My goal at this point was just to hang on and keep Paul within striking distance, he was my carrot most of the race.  The wind was at our back for the first 5 miles but at the turnaround we had the head wind.  So now it was hot and windy.  I bridged the gap and caught Paul and some other fellow and started to draft off of them due to the major headwind as we crossed over the bridge (mile 7?).  I was pretty much dieing at this point, barely holding on.  Paul and the other guy were taking turns drafting off of each-other but I couldn't  gather enough energy to pull ahead of them to lead.  They took turns as I benefited from it.  At about the 10 mile mark I passed the guy I was drafting off of and Paul was still ahead of me.  At the second turn around (mile 11?) I was finally closing in on Paul.  My body was doing everything it can to tell me to stop or at least walk!  It took everything I had to keep going.  I had about 1.5 miles left and I turned off my headphones and listened to myself breath (pant actually!) .   I knew I could keep going and maybe even pick up the pace knowing I only had about a mile to go!  I passed Paul and then a couple of other guys.  I said to myself, "Steady Rene.  Hold on.  Keep the legs moving!  Just keep going!". There was another guy in front of me I was trying to catch.  The finish line was now in site.  I picked up my pace and caught the guy.  I started to go even faster, he picked up his pace and he wasn't going to let me pass him.  We both sprinted to the finish and he beat me by 3 seconds, lucky for me he is in the 20-24 age group.  I was happily surprised to grab 1st place in my AG!
Empty the tank...

...and leave everything on the course!

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