Saturday, August 1, 2009

Race Report: Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon

I SHATTERED my previous PR by 17 MINUTES.
Holy crap!
Race was executed perfectly - The plan was to go out easy the first few miles. Then hit goal marathon pace for the middle, then around mile 9 - hit it hard. What I actually did was way better!
I was feeling so good going into this race. After my awesome speedwork session Tuesday my legs were primed up. Last night I had pizza. This seems to be working for long runs so I thought I'd stick with it. I had a 5am wake up call and did the normal morning routine. Coffee, blogging, poop, brush teeth, get dressed, head out. I decided I wasn't going to use the Ipod. I wanted to stay focused. We had the perfect weather conditions - crisp cool and right around 55*. PR weather! I took two salt tablets and I was off.
The race:
As I started the race I noticed very quickly that I had accidentally changed the field on my watch to show my my Average Speed rather than my Average Pace. Doh! At first I was mad, but then I just realized this was the perfect opportunity to go by feel and really see where I was at pace wise rather than force it. There was a huge hill at mile 5 so I knew I needed to reserve my energy for this.
Mile 1 - 9:59
Mile 2 - 9:31
Mile 3 - 9:27
Mile 4 - 10:04
Mile 5 - 10:34
I totally thought I was going around a 10:20 pace (which is my planned marathon pace). Holy cow!
I was feeling so good at this point. I had taken my first gel at mile 4.5 and I was able to cruise through the water stop without stopping since I was feeling so good and on a spectacular pace.
Mile 6 - 10:
I knew I was in the clear for the hills since we had officially left Gig Harbor (holy hills land). This is what separates holy hills land from the remainder of the race.
I drive over this bridge every day. It's a toll bridge and I LOVE IT. Some of you may remember it by the name "Galloping Gertie" because it actualy collapsed in 1940. Very famous and interesting. Google it. Anyways, I've run over it dozens of times. It's almost exactly a mile long.
This point becomes a factor at this stage of the race. What most people consider 'hills' are actually just silly little speed bumps to those of us who run in Gig Harbor. If I ever bitch about having to run up and down hills constantly -- please please please direct my attention to this race report. I can't tell you how many people I passed running up these little speed bumps. It was completely effortless on my part. I was literally passing people left and right which was a first for me. While they were huffing and puffing or walking up I was completely comfortable and barely faltered my pace. Usually I start out in the back and usually end up staying there. It felt so good and only fueled my fire.
Mile 6 - 9:42
Mile 7 - 9:19
Mile 8 - 9:35
Mile 9 - 9:43
At the 6 mile water stop, I took two more salt tablets and at about mile 8.5 I took a powerade chocolate gel. Gross. I tried it. Took half. Never again. Again, no walking just ran smoothly through.
Mile 10 - 13.1:
This is the part where my coach told me to just turn it on. I was feeling so good, like I hadn't just run 9 miles. I knew I had a great PR in the bag so I just went for it. Granted the last two miles were basically all down hill because we started in Gig Harbor and ended in another city (Tacoma, WA). Nonetheless.
Mile 10 - 9:22
Mile 11 - 9:06
Mile 12 - 8:25
Mile 13 - 7:42
Post race:
Garmin reports 2:03:30. This is HUGE as my most recent half last September was 2:20. SHATTERED it. My coach is worth every penny!! It's so rewarding to finally see my hard work come to fruition. I'm on cloud 9 and drinking wine.
But you want to know what really blows my mind? 9 out of the 13 miles were below (some of them WAY below) my mile repeat pace which is 9:50. CRAZY and counter-intuitive. My coach is worth every penny! btw, he took 2nd overall.


Hi! I'm Erin said...

Holy cow, lady! That is AMAZING.

I need to find me a coach, stat!

the gazelle said...

YAY!!!!!!! Way to go! That is so awesome - your splits were amazing! The best thing about training in hills is smoking by those that don't in races, isn't it? :)

I am so impressed & so proud of you! Can't wait to see your marathon time!

And next summer - Portland Xterra is going to ROCK!

X-Country2 said...

GREAT! Look at those splits! Congrats.

Running and living said...

Awsome job. That is a HUGE PR. And those negative splits, trully impressive! Now put your feet up and drink more wine:) Ana-Maria

KAT said...

17 minute PR??? WOW, thats ridiculour...AH-mazing job girl:)

Anonymous said...

Sweet PR! You killed it and look at that last mile. Great job.

ShutUpandRun said...

Yay, so great, good for you. That last mile was amazing!!!!

Tara said...

WOW! WAY TO GO! I like the part about you passing people on those hills; that's awesome! I have a coach too and I think that she is worth every penny.


Missy said...

I'm so glad! Yep, coach IS worth every penny. Glad to hear it. You have to be thrilled. See you CAN get fasta!!!

Gina Harris said...

Congratulations on an awesome race & PR!

Niki said...

hey great job on the race!! I was actually running the same one and recognized you from the blog sitting with your running group at the awards ceremony, it was my first half and a PR for you, what a good day!

Alisa said...

Great job chica! Your hill training and your speedwork has really paid off.

Great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Niki said...

Congrats girl!! Great job!!

Jamie said...

WOW!!! Congrats on shattering your old record! That is absolutely incredible!!!!

aron said...

SEVENTEEN minutes?!?! *bowing* amazing job!!!!

joyRuN said...

You executed your HM to perfection!

Congrats on a kick-@$$ PR :)

chris mcpeake said...

WOW way to go. Enjoy the PR you earned it

Alisa said...

Hey chica, I have a few questions about races in WA for you. Can you email me alisa{dot}dunlap{at}gmail{dot}com ??

Chic Runner said...

WOW GREAT JOB!!!! that is so amazing to shave off 17 minutes. it just shows that all your hard work is paying off. Great job!!!! Enjoy the new PR!!!

Amanda said...

That is awesome, great great job!!!! I mean, wow that's a huge PR...and on a course with hills!

Chloe said...

Way to go SHATTERING your freaking PR! That is amazing! Speed work does pay off after all huh? :) I am so proud of you. Also - taking the GEL even though you felt good. We've all made the mistake of not taking nutrition, and then trying to after it's to late. Congrats again! You drink that bottle of wine. :)

The Tri-ing Wife said...

Awesome job! You totally kick butt!

Ali said...

Congratulations! Amazing time. Well done