March 14, 2015
For the fourth straight year, the Get Lucky is my season opener, although I probably should view more as spring training. It is my first race of the season and I use it to clean out the cobwebs that formed over the winter.
In 2012, the 7k was my first ever race. The weather was beautiful (high 70’s) and it was the start of a wonderful adventure.
In 2013 and 2014, I entered the Half Marathon. I was undertrained both times. The weather was cold and the roads were still icy. I was just coming off my winter hibernation and the results reflected that. These races were basically my first long training runs of the season. They served to give me enthusiasm for the upcoming year and a much needed wake up call.
2015 was similar to the past 2 year. I had done very little running in the past 2 months (since the Houston Marathon) except for 5k treadmill runs. This would give me a clear picture about how rusty and out of shape I truly was. My ankle problem had also flaired up recently (posterior tibial tendinosis), and I agrevated it further by doing some sloppy outdoor running in a pair of shoes that was literally falling apart.
This race is a Team Ortho event, which means “train wreck” and they didn’t disappoint. They sent out an e-mail the day before the race stating that they did not receive their shipment of finishers medals (due to a strike at some boatyards on the West Coast) and that they would be mailed to us at a later date. However, I just saw photos of the finishers at the larger 7k event (10,000 finishers) with their finishers medals. Only the 1200 HM finishers didn’t receive their medals. Team Ortho is notorious for over selling an event, even if they have no plan to accommodate the number of runners that have signed up, I suspect that this is what happened…they under-ordered the medals. Nice job Team Ortho! Considering how consistantly they screw up, I think this will be the final season that I will run their events…
For the actual race, the weather was nice. Clear blue sky but rather chilly in the morning (37 degrees at race start, below freezing when I left home). Even though it would warm up, I did end up wearing tights, a long sleeved thermal T, a light jacket an thin gloves. The course was one of the most used routes in the area… a flat wide highway by the Mississippi River. Despite the location, it is more functional then scenic, and I have lost track of how often I have run this specific stretch of concrete. It was a basic out and back course.
I didn’t know what to expect from my legs today. Definately not a PR (I would need to go sub 1:44 for that which would not happen). My ankle problems and lack of training would be the issues. I tentatively lined up with the 2:00 pace group.
Shortly after the start, I ended up leaving my pace group behind. I was surprized by my pace, but did not feel confident that I could maintain it. I ditched the gloves by mile 2. I found myself overheating early, but this sense would disappear as soon as we caught a breeze. By the turnaround, I found my pace slowing a bit. I watched for my pace group as I was returning…still had a gap on them. By mile eleven, I could feel my ankle (nothing bad, but it was getting sore). My pace slowed a little more. Goal was to keep it under 2 hours….which I did.
Finish Time – 1:59:02.
Sub 2 hours is always a good result for me on a HM. Considering that I was undertrained, I was pleased. My legs were shot by the finish line, and I have work to do with an upcoming Full Marathon on May 3rd (Pittsburgh). Gotta ramp up the weakly mileage and weekly long run.
I also felt somewhat indifferent about the whole experience. It was rather mundane. I feel like I just called it in today. I certainly had no butterflies or pre-race excitement that I typically have. I think that I may be getting burnt out on the whole running experience. It feels like a chore instead of something that I truly enjoy. Hopefully, the Pittsburgh Marathon in May and the FANS ultra in June will snap me out of this funk. I think that I have been over-training and over-racing for 3 years now and that it has become dull and routine. Driving out to these local events is a hassle. I have a lot of events planned for this season, and this may be a farewell tour of sorts for me. I’ll keep running after this season (mostly for health and fitness), but will want more balence. There will be far fewer marathons next year, and likely far fewer events overall. I will have to give this some serious thought as the season progresses…