Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rochester Half Marathon

I did it! I finished the race in 1:55:04. A couple of morning mishaps didn't set me back too much, was just annoying. I was preparing to leave the room and had everything on except my Garmin watch. I had plugged it in at night to make sure the battery was fully charged. However, when I put the watch on, I noticed it was displaying the time as usual. It was frozen on one of the screens and I couldn't get it to respond. I was freaking out. I love that watch and it may be the most important tool I use when I run. My wife, who is usually impatient with everything, is the "repair wiz" in the house. She patiently inspected the watch and miraculously got it to respond and out the door I went. I noticed as I was trotting to the start line that the battery was only 32% charged. I figured that I had enough for the race since the battery is supposed to last for 8 hrs, and since I planned on finishing in under 2 hours it should last. Not so! It kicked the bucket during the last mile, which is okay, all things considered and I was able to use it to monitor my pace until the last mile.

So here's how the actual race went....

The first 3 miles were a breeze. Nice amount of spectators and a large running crowd made these miles go by fast. The start was a bit reminiscent of the Turkey Trot start, but it thinned out quickly. I did have a humorous experience in the first mile. A guy I was running behind, swerved off the road and peed on a building in downtown Rochester. He must have had to go pretty bad, since we were only in the first mile.

Mile: Goal/Actual (+/-)

1: 8:55/8:52 (-:03)
2: 8:55/8:54 (-:01)
3: 8:55/8:54 (-:01)

The beginning of the 4th mile, started with a pretty decent hill. Learning from my struggles with the inclines last week, I decided to try something new. I just took whatever the hill gave me, not focusing so hard on keeping pace. On the downhill, I used the decline to surge ahead. This seemed to work well for me.

4: 8:50/8:50 (:00)
5: 8:50/8:50 (:00)
6: 8:50/8:46 (-:04)

During this stretch the course got a bit boring. We had been running through city streets with a good amount of spectators, but then the route moved into a park and then on to a bike path along side the Erie Canal. There wasn't much room for spectators and not a lot of room to negotiate around slower runners. This was also where I turned on my I-pod for the first time. Up to this point I enjoyed the sounds of the race and spectators. Also, you'll noticed I struggled a bit hitting my splits, again I think mostly because I spent a lot of time weaving in and out of people, but I was getting a bit fatigued as well.

7: 8:45/8:42 (-:03)
8: 8:45/8:47 (+:02)
9: 8:45/8:48 (+:03)

The course began to get a little more interesting at this point. We emerged from the bike path and were running along side of the University of Rochester campus. This gave me a little boost of energy seeing and hearing the spectators. I also plowed into a lady who decided to stop dead in her tracks in the middle of the water stop.

10: 8:40/8:40 (:00)
11: 8:40/8:42 (+:02)
12: 8:40/8:37 (-:03)
13+ .1: 9:40/9:32 (-:08)

Mileage: 13.10
Time/Pace: 1:55:04/8:46
Avg Heart Rate: 161

Temp: 51
Weather: Partly Sunny, Cool

I felt as though my plan for the race, was solid and I hit my goal, so I'm pretty thrilled. I must thank all of you who encouraged me and tolerated reading my blog. Also, thanks to those that came out to the race to cheer me on; my dad and Dawn, SL and VL, and of course, most of all, my lovely wife, who tolerated not sleeping much, getting up early and generally supporting me throughout this training.

What next?!? A few days off and then I will set a new goal. So, stay tuned...

I will leave you with this lovely picture of my race injury (more bloody nips!!) I even used Body Glide and that didn't work!!


  1. FGR!!! Great job man! That is an awesome time for a first 1/2 marathon-- you did it under 2 hrs.

    How do you feel? You may need to invest in some nip guards! :)


  2. Thanks Patrick! I actually felt pretty decent. A bit of tightness in my calves, but other than that good to go. I am taking a few days off and then I'll be back at it. 26.2 here I come!

  3. Great job, you were fast!!! I think it's funny that we both turned our ipods on at the same part of the course.

    ugh, bloody nipples, a friend of mine uses some kind of band aid stickers to protect his, seems to do the job.

  4. You're doing Fantastic Grape Ape ! Your pacing was dead on which is so important to doing your best.

    For the nip bleeding thing I use a little battry powered mustache trimmer and get rid of the hair right around the area and then use the cheapest band-aids I can find.