Leaf Peeper 1/2 Marathon   Leave a comment

I do not often get the opportunity to race in faraway places.
Work and family obligations keep me close to home… and… Home is where I like to be…
I had an opportunity. Work took me to Syracuse New York… I found a little ½ Marathon put on by the local YMCA 30 or so miles south… on Sunday…

The race did not start until 0930… which I guess is just fine up north… the temps at 0700 had been in the high 20s… but by 0930 they had reached the high 30s… good running weather.

The race was pretty small by any standards… I guess maybe 300 participants… Before the race started a megaphone crackled to life describing the course… “It’s basically an out and back… on the highway for a mile… then past the dirty horses and then the muddy cows… turn around and head back”

What the race director left out… was the hills…
I seeded myself near the front and soon we were off… I wore my Garmin… since this was such a small race… and not really a planned or peaked for event I thought I would gather a little data and time myself etc.

I didn’t look at it tho… that was the deal I made with myself… I just started running… I passed a few people early on but soon we were pretty strung out. We ran along the highway… on the shoulder for a mile and a half or so… then turned on tho a country road… the road stayed pretty flat until about mile 4… and yes… lots of cows… horses… fields… farms… silos… Old McDonald… eie… freakin’… io

I knew that I had started on a pace that was right near the edge of my capabilities… but… I just put the brain in neutral and kept going… I didn’t have anything to think about anyway… I’d brought no gels… I had no splits… so I concentrated on the backs of the runners in front of me.Mile 5 brought the hills.. and there were about 4 of them… which it being an out and back course… we hit each twice. I don’t have any idea how to run hills I just tried to spin (short steps quick turnover) up them and kinda controlled freefall down them.

My brain dreamed up this idea… that I had 4 solid miles left in me… and I knew that with 4 miles to go the course was pretty much flat… just what my diesel engine needed… furthermore I decided to use my heretofore un-consulted Garmin to pilot me to 4 sub 8s to finish strong.

At the 9 mile mark I quickened my pace a bit… ran a couple hundred meters… then glanced at my pace… 8:05… and I was pretty close to my limit… not good news…. That little catch in my throat… the beginnings of an asthma attack… The last four miles which were to be my show of strength… were just the opposite… I fought hard but still got passed by a dozen or so runners and barely managed 8:30s…

As usual… my asthma stayed at bay until I stopped… Final time 1:48:54

No PR, No T-shirt, goodie bag, or expo but one of the most enjoyable racing experiences I’ve had.

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Posted October 23, 2009 by cowartm in Uncategorized

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