Sunday, April 15, 2012

Corvallis Half Marathon Race Review!

Yep, the 2nd Annual Corvallis Half Marathon is in the books. Check out the results right here and/or here.

So the race...the day started out just about perfect. Light cloud cover, temp at the start right around fifty degrees and absolutely no wind. Perfect. They were calling for 2000 runners, but it sure didn't seem like that at the start line - it was very thin towards the front of the starting chute. I guess everyone wanted to be in the back of the line. Whatever.

So the OSU band played the National Anthem, nice touch, and we were off!

Did I have a solid plan coming into this race? Yeah, not so much. I wasn't positive how I wanted to run this Half. A few weeks back, I was running very well...felt good, felt strong. Then I pulled something in my side, maybe an oblique. The last couple of weeks have not been as good. I've been cutting runs short, skipping days, just not hitting on all cylinders. So I thought I better go out conservatively, maybe try for an 8:15 for the first few miles, at the very fastest. The problem was my brain was having trouble communicating with my legs. I could not, could not, slow down enough in the first mile. I checked the Garmin...7:35 pace. Holy crap! Slow down! Checked it again a minute later...7:38. Are you kidding me? I totally put on the brakes and finished the first mile with a 7:54. OK. I mean, I know I can handle that kind of pace for five, six, seven miles, but for 13.1? Not sure. Slow down. Now!

Nope. Second mile...7:46. Nope again, third mile...7:46 again. Yowza. OK, I was getting past the point of this even mattering. I mean, I was already 25% into the race, might as well just run it now. If I died at the end, then there you go.
At least a couple slight uphills in miles four and five kept me slightly above 8:00 pace, with an 8:00 and a 8:03. And a slight downhill in miles six and seven, I kicked it back up to 7:43 and 7:42. I was feeling pretty good and was almost ready to stop worrying about my pace. But not quite. See, mile eight was the long, slow uphill. That was the only worry left. If I could get through that mile at a decent clip, I'd feel pretty good about the rest of the race.
Oof, long, slow, uphills. Not my favorite. But I got through it at 8:14. Good enough. Just a couple very short hills after that - almost all flat or downhill on the last five miles. The sun came out on and off to warm up the situation, but how can I complain about that? I've been waiting for sunshine for months! Bring it!
I got through mile nine at 7:35 - lots of downhill there. Miles ten, eleven and twelve came in at 7:49, 7:48 and 7:54. I was starting to feel it a little bit - my legs were wearing down. But I reminded myself that I was on pace to absolutely crush my Half Marathon PR and that kept me chugging along. Actually passed a few people that were crashing harder than I was during mile thirteen, a 7:46, and brought the last tenth home with a 7:05 pace. Considering they run you down into the stadium on an asphalt ramp that's at about a 15% slope, I'm surprised I didn't slide through the finish line on my face - my legs barely kept up with me going down that hill.

Came across the 50 yard line in Reser Stadium at 1:42:24. That was good for 175th overall (out of 1634), and 10th in my age division (out of 60). But that's just the frosting.

The cake was the 1:42:24 was a nine-minute plus PR of a Half time I ran way back in 2004. And my 2012 Corvallis Half finish time was a full 14 minutes faster than my 2011 finish time! I'm feeling pretty good about that.

But is it Boston worthy? Well, that's the big question, right? After all the hemming and hawing, the 7:50 pace was exactly the pace I'd need to run in Newport to qualify for Boston. So that's good. But clearly, the pace I can run for 13.1 does not exactly transfer straight across to 26.2. The pace conversion at Runner's World grades me up to a 3:33:24 marathon time. Which is about ten minutes faster than my last approximation, but not quite up to the 3:25:00 I need for a BQ.

Ah well, I needed something to work on for the next six weeks anyway.
Photos by Jen Lommers - thanks!


No comments:

Post a Comment