ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
[personal profile] ilanarama
Cliff notes version:

toh trophy 2010

I was 1/95 F44-49, 14/1025 women, and 85/1573 people. No older woman beat me, and I came in just 12 seconds behind a 62-year old acquaintance from my running club (who won his AG).

I drove out to Moab on Saturday afternoon and ran into my race roomie Kazz at the mini-expo. We shuttled my pickup truck to the finish, so we wouldn't be at the mercy of the buses to get home, and then met RWOL forumite Blue Earth and his wife, and my lj-friend [ profile] paulbe, for the traditional pre-race Mexican dinner at Miguel's. Kazz and I had our traditional pre-race margaritas, then returned to our hotel for our traditional pre-race hot-tub soak, followed by an untraditional pre-race night of no sleep whatsoever. I had been having problems sleeping for the past several months, but this was the first time I had actually not slept at all. Fortunately I like coffee. Adrenaline works, too.

We had coffee and split a breakfast cookie I'd brought along (a yummy goodie-packed oatmeal cookie made by a local bakery) and then caught the bus for the start, where we got into line for the traditional porta-potty stop. The temperature was around 50F, on the warm side, so I sent my jacket, hat, and gloves back in my drop bag, leaving me in singlet, arm warmers, and skirt. My singlet has a pocket in back (I think it's really a cycling top) and I stuffed my arm warmers into it shortly before the start. Oh, and of course, I wore the tiara.

There were signs along the side of the starting area: 6:00 pace, 7:00, 8:00, etc. Kazz and I lined up a bit behind the 7:00 sign, but noticed that there were very few people in front of us, which was weird. The officials asked everyone to move forward, and we nervously did so, looking around in astonishment. Where were all the fast women?

The gun went off, and Kazz took off with it. She had mentioned she was feeling pretty good, and was angling for a NYC marathon qualifying time of sub-1:37 (the NYCM lets you qualify with a half or full marathon, which lets you bypass the lottery), which was an ambitious goal considering this is a hilly course and her PR was 1:41. I knew I wasn't in PR shape, especially on this course, but I wanted to beat my time from last year, when I came in at 1:41:44 and 3rd in AG, and thought that maybe I could make around 1:40.

My first several miles were way too fast, and I knew it. My HR went right up to just below LT. I tried to relax and let people pass me, but after the first couple of miles it was hard to do, especially when I was passed by a woman who looked to be in my age group. Who was casually chatting with the guy next to her. I told myself it was race day magic, that I could sustain this pace, but I knew I was running too hot. It was complicated by the discrepancy between my Garmin and the mile markers. When I looked at last year's splits I thought I must have blown the tangents, but I really tried to run tangents this year and every mile is still long. I wonder if it's just my old Garmin.

1: 7:25 avg 79% max 86%
2: 7:33 avg 84% max 95% (maybe a fluke)
3: 7:33 avg 83% max 86%
4-5: 15:01 avg 84% max 88% (missed mile mark)
6: 7:32 avg 84% max 88%

I grabbed a gel at the mile 6 aid station but didn't feel like eating it. The road started going uphill in the middle of mile 7. I could feel the beginning of the blowup.

7: 7:38 avg 86% max 92%
8: 8:35 avg 89% max 93% - dismayed me because last year I did this mile in 8:33
9: 7:22 avg 87% max 94% (downhill)

The wheels seriously started coming off right around 9.5. I just started feeling awful. Worse yet, Chatty Cathy passed me and I couldn't catch her. She was still talking! How can you carry on a conversation during the last miles of a half marathon? From here on out, my splits are mostly worse than they were last year. But I was constantly trying to do the math in my head and figuring I had a course PR in the bag, and a chance at sub-1:40.

10: 8:07 avg 87% max 94% - last year 7:51 (hill)
11: 7:35 avg 87% max 90% - last year 7:39
12: 7:51 avg 89% max 94% - last year 7:47

At this point I did the math and realized I had blown sub-1:40. I still tried. In the Finishing Chute From Hell (it begins a quarter mile before the 13 mark) a man pulled up next to me wearing a fetching purple witches' hat. Between that and my tiara, we sure amused the spectators.

13: 7:18 avg 90% max 93% (big downhill) - last year 7:19
13.1 0:47 avg 92% max 94% (7:50 pace) - last year 0:35

Total time 1:40:25, a 1:19 improvement over last year. Amazingly, Chatty Cathy turned out to be in the 40-44 AG, and neither woman who beat me last year raced this year, so I won the 45-49. It turned out that I was being chased down by another woman in my AG, but she never caught up, and I beat her by 11 seconds. Kazz and Blue Earth met me at the finish and then we went to the lawn to have yummy free beers from the Moab Brewery.

Kazz got her NYCQ (and I promised to run NYC with her if she did, so it looks like I have my fall marathon for next year) and 2nd AG, Blue Earth got 2nd in his AG (50-54M), and another guy he knew from the forums, Racetraining (who hangs out in the Masters forum, I think) came in 1st in 50-54M. BE's wife took a photo of us all with our hardware - I can't wait to see it. Clearly hanging out on the RWOL forums makes you fast!

I won an extremely cool trophy! I also got a trophy at last year's race since the 1st AG was second overall, and 2nd AG won the Master's award, but since I legitimately won 1st AG this year I also get a guaranteed entry to the lotteried Canyonlands Half in March, a very nice perk!

I really can't complain. I paced horribly, I had actually less mileage base than I did for last year's race, and I ran a marathon two weeks ago. So all things considered, I probably did better than I deserved. But after a month or so off after my December 10K (sub-45. You heard it here first) I am going to ramp up the miles and go for 1:35 at Canyonlands.
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ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)

August 2017

131415 16171819
20212223 242526

My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

You can reach me by email at heyheyilana @


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