May 19 2010

Five Trails Half-Marathon Completed!

Five Trails Half-Marathon has come and gone. What an event for Leavenworth! The race was in my opinion a superb success!

I have a media page with pictures, results (excel), and video of the race here: Five Trails Half-Marathon media page

You can see me there in the last shot. I ran 1:46:59 official time which I was quite pleased with — a new PR for me! I would have liked to have run under 1:45, but really I was just shooting for under 1:50, which wouldn’t have even necessarily been a PR; so I met my goal and more. The course itself I’d have to say was QUITE hilly; the race promoters promise of “2 hills” was not quite accurate I think. It seemed like the whole dang course was hill after hill after hill — but there were quite a few we got to go DOWN as well, and the course is not an out and back. Would I dare equate it to Hospital Hill? Well at this point in time I just about would! I guess in a couple weeks when I run Hospital Hill I will try to re-comment on that. Hospital Hill is always killer no matter how prepared I am. That one is certainly all hills!

Race Report:

Friday night for some reason I dream like crazy about the race. Restless anticipation almost. Strange imaginations of running the race, race morning, etc… but I’ve not done it yet. Interesting as always. Then the actual night before the race, Saturday night, I don’t think I remember any dreams from then. Just waking up at 3:15, 5:30, 5:45, 6:30… etc and getting up at 6:30. One bowl of Wheaties Fuel (which is not that tasty, don’t think I will get again) and a cup of coffee.

It’s quite refreshing to drive to half-marathon race and have it only take about 5 minutes! Usually it seems like I’m up and out the door at 5:00… that’s too early for me! Of course an 8:00am start is helpful too, compared to the usual 7am start for Hospital Hill and the KC Marathon.

Well race morning is great. Always in high spirits — a definite part of the runner’s high, race morning. There are many volunteers and plenty of space. Porta-Potties and indoor bathrooms. Didn’t have to wait in line at all for my usual careful evaluation of what constitutes a full bladder (four experiments required). About 8 minutes or so to race time however, there’s no one even remotely close to the starting line. Then magically about 5 minutes out everyone gravitates there… and…. HORN. We’re off!

I had my iPod on playing some great tunes, however I don’t usually run in a race with music unless its special circumstance. For some reason the music just didn’t feel right. At about the 1.2 mile mark I ripped it off and never put it back on.

Miles 1-2-3 good, good. Then there’s the hill — but I was quite ready for it! Didn’t seem nearly as hard as the last time I ascended that thing! Then coming down it is really fast 🙂

Ok so that’s four miles down. The rest of the race consists of hills and more hills. I probably didn’t appreciate the scenery as much as I should/could have — I think because I’ve ridden and driven down those streets we ran on for the last 15 years. I want to imagine that all of the out-of-towners were impressed though. I wanted to point out the prison to them from “Pikes Peak” — I wanted to make sure they noted Red Belly Snake Gulch… took note of the big houses on Broadway… Our new Wal-Mart (nevermind the fact there’s not much in it, it looks cool from the outside)… etc. This was a nice showcase of Leavenworth. In fact that’s a point I may expand upon in a future post — so look for it!

Ok so non-appreciation for the nice course aside, I spent most of my time thinking about the runner in front of me, the mass of runners behind me, and just eeking this thing out. I think about mile 8 I was coming down the big hill on Shrine Park road – getting ready to make the grand ascent to Dillons – and one of the volunteers at a water station remarks – “oh boy, here comes the pack” — well I was quite by myself at this point. I had a runner about 10 seconds ahead of me, and a sporadic few in front of him. I had one runner about 8 seconds behind me, one about 15 seconds back, and then apparently — “the pack”. When he said this I looked back, and sure enough there were about 2,675 runners bearing down on my position back up the hill behind me about — let’s say 1-2 minutes back? (this is large open area with good visibilty…). Well I don’t know if that is accurate or not but that comment smacked me into gear up the hill and at that point I was pretty good to go with a great pace for the remainder of the race… with only a small worry that one of my legs would give out at any second.

After grunting through yet ANOTHER hill back to 20th street trafficway, there was a nice downhill back to New Lawrence Rd. and then to the finish line. Here, small wars were waged, fought, won and lost as runners made the best of their last mile. I was happy to run it in strong with only a mild concern of tumbling to a ball of broken bones. I stopped my watch at 1:47:03 — and was just quite happy to have remembered to stop my watch at the finish! 13.16 miles I recorded… pretty accurate I think! Great run, great race, I’ll be back next year.

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May 7 2010

– 2010: The year of the Half-Marathon –

I’ll be running the following races:

May 16: Five Trails Half-Marathon, Leavenworth, KS — Inaugural Race
May 23: Council Bluffs Half-Marathon, Council Bluffs, IA – 4th state I’ll have done a Half in.
June 5: Hospital Hill, Kansas City, MO — 4th year running!
July 10: Summer Run ToTo Run, Wyandotte CO, KS — 15 mile trail run.

I’ll try to add more as I can!

Full this fall I hope… gotta pick one out.

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May 3 2010

Leavenworth’s First Half-Marathon Looming

With Leavenworth’s first Half-Marathon (Five Trails Half-Marathon) looming ever closer – I decided to take a test run up “Leavenworth’s Pike Peak” on one of my training runs. I was slightly apprehensive in doing so however – the one and only other time I’d ever run up and down that hill and back again – I experienced an excruciating pain in my legs that left me in humbled prayer. I did not want to discover on the day of the race that that experience had been directly due to this hill.

Well turns out all in all I had a run I was very happy with. I only went 8.35 miles total, in 1:08:10 — roughly an 8:09 pace. By race day I’d like to get that under 8:00 pace, rendering a finish time of 1:44:39 which I would be super happy with. It’s a lofty goal however considering the hills, the 5 more miles the race entails, and my current PR being 1:49:30.

It really looks like a nicely picked out course. 20th street is great (despite the concrete path) and Broadway should be nice too. Even the short stint up/down New Lawrence road is an enjoyable leg with the start being uphill and the finish being a nice downhill.

I ran 8:45 pace to start, 7:05-8:45 during flats, 9:05-10:30 up the hill, 5:30-7:00 down the hill. Even stopped to walk briefly at 7 miles, but I was able to pick it up again and run another mile or so strong.

I’m looking forward to the race with great anticipation and will have a detailed race report after the fact. I hope I see you May 16th!

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