Sunday, November 26, 2006

2006 Noodleini 15km Race

Noodleini 15km Race

This was my first race back after the Chicago Marathon letdown. I finally felt like I was healthy. I was shooting for 6:26 pace or to finish under 60 minutes. There were lots of people there and like all other races, I was very intimidated. The 15km runners started with the 5km racers; this type of start stinks!

I started out slow for 1.5 miles, which was all part of my plan. Then I passed Brad and 10 others before mile 2. Then passed another runner at about mile 2.5, and another at 7. Brad and Russ ran close behind me for the rest of the race, but I was able to hold them off. I had some head games but I held them off. I think that the mental defeat at Chicago was still lingering in my head. I did not use gu at all. Only took 1 gulp of gatorade and never walked. This course had lots of concrete and 1 slight hill other than that it was flat.

I finished at 58:59 and was 11th of 400 total runners and was 3th in M30-34. Great PR!!!!!

This was kind of a goodbye race for me as I was moving to Huntsville, AL in just a few days. It was tough to leave this great group of friendly runners, but it was a good move.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

2006 Chicago Marathon

2006 Chicago Marathon

Three weeks before this race on a 24 mile training run in the rain, I tweaked my right calf. I went to the DR and he told me it was a stress fracture. I did PT 3x per week until the race and stayed on the elliptical (no running). I was about 60-75% healthy with this overuse injury. My PT lady told me that I should be ok...

I was really trying to qualify for Boston in this race. Most of my training runs were done at 7:20 pace or faster.

Laura and I went down for the weekend and Tim showed up too. We went to the expo on Saturday and then drove the course. It took longer to drive it than it would take to run it:)

On Saturday night we went to Little Italy for dinner at a local dive. It was a cool experience.

The weather on race morning was cold I started in shorts and a long sleve coolmax with tri top under. I did start out running smart and then picked it up. Had to pee at the start and went at mile 6, costing me 20+secs. I took a Gu at miles 10, 18 and 21. Took water or Gatorade at every stop. I had no stomach problems so I was mixing gu right.

Lost time in the middle miles and then started to get cramps late. Tried to fight through it but couldn't and slowed down at the end. I took a banana from a lady on the street:)

In the last few miles I fought a fierce headwind. Never should have stopped because I never got rid of cramps after that.

When I went back to PT my gal told me that I had no business running the marathon, but if she hadn't been positive with me ahead of the race I would have never run it. I did my best.

Mile Time Ave Pace Tot Time
Mile 1 00:08:26 00:08:26 00:08:26
Mile 2 00:07:08 00:07:47 00:16:13
Mile 3 00:07:02 00:07:32 00:23:45
Mile 4 00:07:00 00:07:24 00:31:09
Mile 5 00:07:15 00:07:22 00:38:31
Mile 6 00:07:18 00:07:21 00:45:53
Mile 7 00:07:43 00:07:25 00:53:17
Mile 8 00:06:40 00:07:19 01:00:36
Mile 9 00:07:10 00:07:18 01:07:54
Mile 10 00:07:10 00:07:17 01:15:11
Mile 11 00:07:10 00:07:17 01:22:28
Mile 12 00:07:07 00:07:16 01:29:44
Mile 13 00:07:47 00:07:18 01:37:02
Mile 14 00:08:38 00:07:24 01:44:26
Mile 15 00:07:10 00:07:23 01:51:49
Mile 16 00:07:01 00:07:22 01:59:10
Mile 17 00:07:00 00:07:20 02:06:31
Mile 18 00:07:18 00:07:20 02:13:51
Mile 19 00:07:27 00:07:21 02:21:11
Mile 20 00:07:37 00:07:21 02:28:33
Mile 21 00:07:24 00:07:21 02:35:54
Mile 22 00:07:22 00:07:21 02:43:16
Mile 23 00:07:26 00:07:22 02:50:37
Mile 24 00:08:29 00:07:24 02:58:02
Mile 25 00:09:26 00:07:29 03:05:31
Mile 26 00:08:15 00:07:31 03:13:02
Mile 27 00:01:07 00:07:30 03:16:36

Sunday, September 24, 2006

2006 Fox Cities Half Marathon

I was really packing in the miles and the races in this short stretch. I had just done a half marathon a few weeks prior and I was training for Chicago in another month. So this race was sandwhiched between 20+ mile weeks as well.

Brian Hendrickson and I were talking before the race while we warmed up. The weather was unseasonably warm, and the winds were sure to be a factor.

I went out a little too fast then had the same leg probs at mile 7 that I had at the Bannerman Trail Half Marathon a few weeks prior.

The winds over by Hwy 441 and BW3 were brutal. I was running alone and it felt like I was standing straight up and not moving forward.

I had to stop to try to walk it off at 8.5mi (went from 6:22 ave to 6:28 with this stop) then again at mile 10.5. I remember getting a little motivation when I heard 'Beat It' on a boom box and telling a spectator that was the song on my phone as a ring tone!

I did finish very strong the last mile, despite lots of concrete at the end. I ended up passing 4 people in the last mile. I felt decent afterward. I managed a new PR, despite the walk, and finished 1:24:57, 3rd in M30-34 and 21st overall.

Splits were:
(307+306) = 6:13
(307+305) = 6:12
(309+315) = 6:24
(311+315) = 6:24
(309+312) = 6:21
(313+321) = 6:34
(312+316) = 6:28
(315+324) = 6:39
(342+313) = 6:55
(310+309) = 6:19
(313+325) = 6:38
(313+309) = 6:22
(307+305) = 6:12

Saturday, September 2, 2006

2006 Bannerman Trail Half Marathon

Bannerman Trail Half Marathon in Red Granite, WI

I drove down from Green Bay and spent the night in Oshkosh to cut the drive in half.

This was my chance to win. The course was green grass trail, like running on the lawn. I wasn't ready for this type of course.

There were 88 people in 5k, 10k and half, of which there were only 40 in half. Standing at the entrance to the trail (which was about 5' wide), I could tell that there was not much competition. Basically it was me and one other guy. I went out too fast (6:15) and then passed that guy,then held on till mile 11.5. He never stopped for water and I did at mile 4.5, 6,5, 8.5. My left leg was tingling from mile 4 and on, like it was asleep. At 11.5, I just couldn't take it anymore. The guy picked it up and I just couldn't hold on. I fell to a 7:43 split, trying to shake it out. I did finish strong.

I really need to figure out what happened to my leg. I wanted to go on but I was afraid that with the trail it would land awkwardly and it would give out. It was a good time, but disappointing that I couldn't hold the lead.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

2006 Rainbow Classic

Rainbow Classic 5 mile race in DePere, WI

There were about 100+ people in 5mi and more in 2mi.

I ran side by side with 2 milers until 1 mile mark. After the split, was in 7th and then passed 3 more to get into 4th. It was a good race, but really tough to hold onto this pace. It was overcast, but occasional sun made it really warm. I could see Mike Servais in the distance but I could never catch him. He caught up to the fast guy in front of him though. I did pass 2:58 Marathoner Mike, which felt great!

Finished 4th overall and 1st in M30-39 at 29:21. Got a trophy!!!!


Saturday, July 8, 2006

2006 Bret Younger Memorial 10km

Bret Younger Race in Appleton.

This was a tough hilly course and very warm. Did well on splits in the first 3 miles, hitting 6, 12, 18 and then fell only slightly. 6:02 overall pace was same as Bellin, so felt good about that, but it was a long 10k.

Finished 21 of 278 and 2nd in M30-34. Very tough competition. Was at the back of the 2nd pack. Mike Servais was 1st GB person, I was 2 and then Brian Hendrickson was 3rd. Had to fight my head in this race....!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

2006 Bellin Run 10km

This is a story of the race that should never have been.

It was 4 days before the Bellin 10km, which in Green Bay is the premiere running event, is the 8th largest 10km road race in the country and the numbers were expected to be over 10,000 entrants this year. All of this hype and I was sick. I had just run a PR marathon 2 1/2 weeks prior and the fatigue had weakened my immune system and I could barely walk. Right up until the race I could not hold any food down, and even water was coming right back up. I had lost about 8 pounds in four days and had no business even getting out of bed, let alone trying to run a race. We tried to go to Olive Garden the night before the race and I made it about half way into my first bite of food before hurrying outside to throw up.

I had thoughts of trying to hit a mark in the 38's and finish in the top 100, but with a pie in the sky goal of sub 38. My previous personal record was a high 38 about a year previous. With the state of my physical condition, I was just hoping to finish, seriously.

I showed up on race morning wearing my elite bib, putting me in the top 200 runners at the start of the pack. I had to qualify with a sub 39 10km previously to be in this grouping at the start. Afterward other runners talked about what it was like to mingle with elites like Ryan Shay, Vanderlei Lima and John Korrir but everything was hazy to me and I don't remember much before the gun.

I went out what felt like at a slow pace in the first mile which was uphill, but ended up clocking a 6:05. At that point, it was like something just clicked for me and I picked up the pace. I was able to feed off of the adrenaline of the competition and find motivation from the crowds lining the streets. I ran low 6's through miles 2, 3, and 4.

With two miles to go, the tides turned and my body wanted to just shut down. There was no energy in the tank and my body was telling me not just to slow down, but to drop out of the race all together.

I decided that I would push on, close my eyes every once in a while and just gut out the pain. Between the stomach cramps, the severe dehydration and the intense lactic acid building in my legs, my day should have been over. The look on my face in the pictures tells the tale of utter anguish.

Yet somehow I was able to climb the last hill and make the final turn with less than a mile to go. Ironically despite a much faster time than the previous year, I passed Jeremy Johanski at the same place in the race.

I pushed on relying on my legs for muscle memory, knowing that my body had nothing else to give. Despite taking in as much fluids as I could and still hold a low six minute pace, I was becoming dizzy which wasn't good whatsoever.

Pretty much right before passing out, I crossed the finish line. I was 94th overall of 10,000 runners. I had shattered my old Pr by 8 seconds per mile. I had run 37:49 in the best race of my life to this point. The photo below capturing the look on my face as I pumped my fist crossing the finish line is really one of the last memories I have from the latter stages of the race and after.

But isn't this the look of pure joy?

I guess that I went to the car and laid down in the back seat. After being 'missing' for an hour, Laura found me and knew right away that something was wrong. It was 80 degrees out and I was shivering with a jacket and pants on. We bypassed the race first aid and walked across the street to the Emergency Room.

They took me in and laid me on a freezing cold metal table and proceeded to pump me with two bags of fluids via IV. I was diagnosed with severe dehydration and the Doctor seriously questioned my sanity for racing. I didn't care that it would later cost me $500 in medical bills, or that I would out be of commission for days after.

When he asked why I would run that fast for that far under these conditions, I just showed him my medal.

Monday, May 29, 2006

2006 Christy's Race

So going into the post marathon, I had planned on resting mostly. Easing back into training so that I would be ready for Bellin on June 10th was my new goal. I ran on easy on Thursday with little discomfort and then again on Saturday at a pretty fast pace toward the end of the run. As I left the running group on Saturday, I was asked if I would be running in Christy’s Race the following day. I said no, thinking that I wouldn’t be ready.

Within 2 minutes of leaving the group, I was texting a fellow runner and calling another trying to get details on the race. How could I say no to a race?

When race day came (Sunday), I woke up and everything pointed to me rolling over and going back to bed. Either allergies or a mild cold had plagued me, it was near 80 and humid already, winds were gusting strong, and I was just a week removed from a marathon. The experts say that you really should take 1 day per mile raced off before racing again. Despite all factors saying no, I knew that it was something that I wanted. After all, it was just a 4 mile race. I would show up, turn in a modest 25 minute performance, maybe get an age group medal and t-shirt to boot for $20.

Then I got to the start line and everything changed… Among the 300+ runners were a ton of runners who had consistently beaten me in just about every distance from 5k to 10k to the marathon. I didn’t stand a chance as I realized that I didn’t stack up against any of these well rested runners, who had decided long before yesterday that they were going to race. Suddenly I realized that my 25 minute (6:15 pace) wouldn’t even put me in the top 25 runners, let alone at the top of my age group. So it was either go all out and set the roads on fire, or walk off the line.

I wouldn’t be writing about the best race week ever had I walked off…

I started out in about 20th place around the first corner, while holding a pretty good pace. My GPS was telling me that my pace was too fast to start and that I would never be able to hold it. At the first mile mark, my time was 5:30, or a full 45 seconds faster than I wanted to go out. I started to ask myself what the hell I was thinking. Yet I still felt good and though my paced dropped slightly by mile 2, I was still stronger than other runners and passed people one at a time. By the mid mark, I figured that I was somewhere in the top 10. The course had lots of turns, so I couldn’t be sure. I was now at 11:41 (a 2 mile PR for me in a 4 mile race)

Then came the same decision point that I faced in the marathon. I was running so well, that I wasn’t about to waste this opportunity and not give it everything I had. I was pacing behind Mike Servais; I have always said that I know the tread pattern on the bottom of Mike's shoes better than anyone on the road, as I am consistently behind him. I felt that his pace had slowed slightly, and I needed to take advantage on the next downhill stretch.

So I did it, I passed Mike and dropped the hammer down on another runner after that. Despite the conditions and the weakness in my legs from the marathon, I stayed strong, telling myself that I only had to hold on for another mile and a half.

At every corner, I peaked out of the corner of my eye seeing Mike right behind me. Every Monday night when we run together, I go out too fast and he always comes back in the end to pass me up and then blows me away. I just couldn’t let that happen today. He did make one final push, but so I did I. Finally I crossed the tape at 22:52, or a 5:42 pace for the 4 mile race. On a day that I almost stayed in bed, I had set personal records for distances of 2 miles (by 19 seconds), 5k (by 24 seconds) and 4 miles.

I still can’t believe it as I write this that I finished 4th of 300+ runners and 2nd in my age group, beating everyone else at the start who normally would have handed me my ass on a platter. What a tale of 2 races in such a short time. It makes me feel good to be a runner today.

All of this goes to show that no matter where you are currently at with your fitness level or race times that when you are presented with the choice of giving it everything you have or settling back into your comfort zone, you should push it; you might just surprise yourself with what you find.

Monday, May 22, 2006

2006 Cellcom Green Bay Marathon

So let’s start at the beginning, after all, that is where it all starts. Last Sunday was the big race; the one that I have been focusing on since a disastrous showing at the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee last October. I went into the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon knowing that I was fully prepared, trained, rested and that I had a goal in mind. To hit a comfortable time; going into this race, it was more about my head and proving that I could finish un-injured, more than anything.

The weather was perfect… Temps at 7am were in the low 40’s with light winds and no rain in sight. I knew that upon toeing the line that it would be a great race day. Even with perfect weather, I had a plan that I needed to stick to. I was going to run the smartest race ever. I had planned on keeping a reasonable pace for the first 13 miles, then evaluating how I felt and then I would make a decision. So that is what I did, mostly. I wanted to me somewhere around 7:55 pace for the first half, which turned into 7:49 pace. I wasn’t bothered by it though, because this is still a comfortable, conversational pace for me. I ran the first half with Dave Schroeder, who up until 5 weeks ago, was planning on running a 4 hour marathon. After training together, he had re-adjusted his goals to between 3:30 and 3:45. We had planned on running together for the first half of the race, which is what we did, hitting the 13.1 mark at 1:41:41.

Then just after the mid point, I knew what I had to do. This was my shot, my one opportunity to give it everything that I had. Not knowing if I would ever run a marathon again (being dramatic at this point in the race helped), I knew that I needed to pick it up. So from mile 13 to 19, that is what I did. I brought the pace down to 7:20 and it felt good to open it up. The only problem was that with the increased pace and acid build up, I began to have stomach problems. All in all, I lost about 4 minutes to bathroom stops between 15-19. At one point I had passed the 3:30 pace group 3 times before apologize that I had to keep stopping in the woods.

I had plenty of support along the course, seeing along the way. Never quite knowing when I would see them, I tried to stay strong the entire time, not showing any fatigue; never showing any trace of weakness.

Somewhere in these miles while running with the 3:30 pace group, I told another runner (that we run with frequently on Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays) that I was going to shoot for the worlds largest marathon negative split. As I pulled away from the group, I heard him talking to the other runners, saying that if there was anyone who could pull this off, it was me. This is what I needed to hear…

After I had settled my stomach down at mile 19, I began to do the math in my head, trying to figure out where I would finish it. It was pretty clear that with an average finish, I could hit my 3:30 goal. I could settle for that, take it home and it would be a good day. I would build off of that this summer and try to run a better race in Chicago in October.

But on a perfect race day, I wasn’t about to settle for good enough. So what did I do? I picked up the pace to 7:00 minute miles and began picking off runners one at a time. Slowly I made my way around other runners who were now fatigued from going out too fast. I literally got stronger as the miles went on. In the last 6 miles, I passed over 100 runners (counting them as I passed them by). As the final miles went by I started to believe that I could hit 3:25, and maybe even better. I passed a few of the faster runners that I train with, which made me move even faster. Then in the final mile I could see the 3:20 pace group. They were just entering Lambeau field. That was my new goal; to pass them up. Running inside of Lambeau field I was leaning into the corners just like a sprinter coming into the home stretch. I finished strong and turned in a sub 6 paced final 1.2 miles sprinting to the finish in a remarkable 3:18:58.

I had done it; I had beat my 3:30 goal; I had beat my best projected goal of 3:20. I had run the smart race that I knew that I was capable of doing, turning in an 8 minute negative split in the second half of the race, while others were just barely hanging on in the final miles. I managed a 42 minute final 10k, which is good enough for a qualifying position at the Bellin Run. In the end, I finished 128th of 1300+ runners, 19th in my age group and in the top 30 runners from Northeastern Wisconsin.

In the last 2 miles I really was running on pure adrenaline. I didn’t see anyone, I couldn’t hear the crowd; yet I knew that they were there. I pumped my fist coming down Armed Forces drive, recognizing that I had run the perfect race. What a great feeling.

So moments after finishing and seeing my family and friends, what was I thinking? How I can get fast enough to shave off 8 minutes in Chicago this fall to qualify for Boston in 2007, or how I felt like I could have run a 50k…

Saturday, April 1, 2006

2006 Dick Lytie Half Marathon

This again, will not be your typical race report from me. It struck me today that this was the first race that I have run in against all of you... funny how I have know you all for over a year now, but typically I am writing up a race report for a run from Minnesota., or Upper Michigan or Florida. These race reports required detailed information on the conditions, the competition, and everything else that you don't know about but may be interested in. This time, you were all there so I certainly don't need to tell you about this stuff.

First I just wanted to say that you all did so well.... I don't think that I talked to any of you that didn't say that you either felt great during the entire run, or that you hit your goal, or that you set a PR. It is Mondays, and Wednesdays and Saturdays (and all the days in between) that we train together that got us all here.

So instead of a description of the stuff that you know, here is what was going through my head during the race.

In the early miles, I was very surprised at how fast the entire group went out. Sean passed me at the 1 mile mark, at a pace of 6:20. Of course we were all chasing the fast 3 miler runners, and not able to tell the difference, thought that we had to be that fast to not loose track of the leaders. I really thought that this fast start would be the death of me.

At the base of the first hill, there was Ivy, handing out gatorade and wishing us well. It was nice to see her this early in the race. Brad and I ran together up the first hill, making some small talk about how fast the pace was. Neither of us wanted to be running that fast, and certainly didn't want to attack the first hill with such vigor. There Stacy was, making her first of many appearances, cheering us up the hill.

By the time we got to the top, Brad and I were still together, and breathing was difficult for me. At that point the pack was starting to separate. I knew that if I let the lead pack get too far ahead I wouldn't have anyone to draft off of, or anyone to help push the pace. So in a bold move, I sped up to a 6 min-mile pace by Champeau to catch the group in front of me. I felt bad separating from Brad, but we both new that we each had to run our own race. This was our agreement going in... each with a different strategy, with a plan to meet up at the end.

On to the hill climb on Church.. there was Stacy again. Telling me to pump my arms, lean forward, shorten my stride. All of things that I had forgotten in my tired state. I had a great plan going in to slow my pace by 1 min/mile on the hills (0.85 miles of steep up hills) and it really helped at the top. And of course, Stacy yelling is always a motivator.

The middle miles were really blurry... the only that carried my along was knowing that at any random point, I would see Laura, my Mom and Dad, Ivy and Stacy again. Not knowing where this would be, I always wanted to look strong.

Van Lanen hill was tough (as I am sure that it was on all of you), but I had just taken a Power Gel, so the sugar rush and Stacy yelling at me really helped. I ended up passing someone at the top of the hill because I had so much left in my legs. I was too afraid to ever sneak a look behind me, thinking that Brad or someone else that I had misjudged on talent was closing the gap. I was really nervous that I wouldn't be able to hold the pace. At that point, I was running 6:45 a mile.

Here is what kept me running throughout the home stretch... On Friday I took the day off and watched Chariots of Fire. At one point of the movie, one of the runners says to his wife, "God put me here for a reason... and he made me Fast"! As funny as this sounds (and I'm not that religious), as I got tired, I kept repeating this phrase every 1/2 mile or so, and each time it made me smile. I knew that today was the perfect race day; that conditions were perfect and I was in peak shape. I woke up on Saturday morning telling myself that I today wasn't the average race; I was going to be 'Great Today'. This was what I need as motivation to sprint through the finish line in 1:28:08 (6:44 pace), or a full 18 seconds better than my last half marathon PR and 12th place overall and well below my 1:30:00 goal for the day, considering the hills and the wind.

But at that point I didn't think about how well I had done; All I could think about was that I needed to catch my breath, see my parents, give Laura a hug, and go back to cheer my friends on. The same friends who helped get me here. To watch Tom, and Brad others cross the finish line, each achieving their own set goals was what I really wanted to do. To see Mike S already done, and to hear about his race (and how he continues to kick all of our butt's every week);. These guys have worked me every week, pushing me to the limit. I owe my 18 second PR to these guys, to Ivy and Stacy for being on the course, to Laura for understanding how hard it is to train for these, to my parents for making the trip to see Laura and I race (despite the cancellation of the Aerosmith concert), to Alicia and Julie for making fun of me when I wanted to take Friday off to rest (this was a great motivator), and to the rest of you for your kind words and motivation after the race. To me the best part of the race are the cookies, bagels and comradery at the end where we talk about how tough it was... and it was tough.

In case you didn't have your GPS on, here is a profile of the course. I have to be out of town this week, so I won't see you all until Saturday. I hope that you all recovery quickly and are ready to get in shape for the Marathon!

I leave you with this... for as well as we all did today, think about how good we will do at the marathon, with better conditions, more rest, and a flat course! I am excited just thinking about it.

327+342=709 (hill)
338+327=705 (hill)
336+330=706 (hill)

Sunday, February 5, 2006

2006 Ocala Half Marathon

I thought that instead of the normal stride for stride race report that I send out, I would turn this into a lessons learned / how to overcome uncontrollable events to succeed.

Let’s first start with what could possibly go wrong when you choose to run a race in a place you have never been to:

- Departure flight was delayed an hour on the runway, causing a missed connection, resulting in an additional connection stop and more time lost in travel
a Airline in Green Bay ran out of de-icing fluid
b Had to go from Green Bay to Detroit to Memphis to Tampa
c Instead of arriving at 1pm, I arrived at 5:30 pm
d Still had to drive 100+ miles to arrive at Ocala in time for race packet pick up
e No opportunity to drive the course to adequately prepare a strategy
f In ability to properly hydrate and fuel while spending the day in 4 airports

- Course description said that it had ‘Florida Hills’
a To a non-Floridian, I thought that this was a joke, referring to how flat the area was and that the hills were overpasses
b In reality, there was not a flat portion of the entire course. It was either climbing or declining the entire time.
c Course was mapped properly, but had a person that was to indicate an early turn, who left the sign on the ground as the lead pack passed her by
d The top 50 runners went an additional ¼ mile before realizing that we missed a turn
e Resulted in an additional length of ½ mile for the fast, but not for the slower runners
f Ran 13.67 miles vs. 13.1 miles
g Added time or distance not subtracted from official time or distance

So how did I do knowing that all of these things that had not gone as planned?
- Temperature was perfect, starting at 38 degrees at the 7am, pre-sunrise start time and no wind

- Unofficial Time (for actual 13.1mile distance)
a 1:28:26, pace 6:44 min/mile
b Reduced time by 1:22, or 7 sec/mile

- Official Time (for 13.67mile distance covered)
a 1:32:03, pace 6:44 min/mile

- Finished 12th/300 entrants

- Finished 2nd in M30-34

- Ran the 40th fastest half marathon time in the State of Florida in the last 14 calendar months for M30-34

- Ran the 2nd fastest half marathon time in the State of Florida in the last 14 calendar months for M30-34 at this race

So what did I learn and what can I pass on to you?
- Never fly the day before a distance race
a Arrive 2 days early to get used to the temperature, other conditions

- Training Plan Notes that I recommend for a half marathon
a Include long runs of more than race distance
b I did 5 of 13 of more (13, 14, 16, 18 & 20)
c When it comes to race day, the distance seems easy since you have gone longer (distance) in training
d This also gets you used to the time on your feet, and gives you a chance to work on your hydration/fuel strategy during the run
e An added tempo speed workout each week of at least 4-6 miles and at 15-30 seconds faster than race pace
f This made race pace seem almost easy

- Even effort is more important than even pacing
a Split times were all +/- 15 seconds off of average pace (6:44) were not a change in effort, but of terrain.
b Normally on a flat course, I am +/- 3-5 seconds off of average pace
c Slower split times were on hilly sections
d I did not raise the effort on these sections, but held back, which resulted in less lactic acid buildup, and better capability to have a hard push at the end

- You must drive the course prior to race day
a Being able to see the course and visualize the inclines/declines, can help to top of your race strategy

So the question is always, how did you do? I rate my race performance by breaking it down into five key components:
a. Preparation (Proper rest, strategic plan, training plan) 30%
b. Conditions (Temperature, Wind) 20%
c. Competition (Higher level can raise performance) 10%
d. Race Management (Water stops, course directions, certified distance measurement) 10%
e. Race Execution (How you execute your plan) 30%

The bad part is that you only control A and E. In order to have a perfect race, you need help from B, C & D. Luckily, preparation and execution is 60% of the total.

My score for this race was:

a. Score of 100pts * 30% = 30 pts
b. Score of 95pts * 20% = 19 pts
c. Score of 70pts * 10% = 7 pts
d. Score of 50pts * 10% = 5 pts
e. Score of 100pts * 30% = 30 pts

Total Score = 91

Anything above 90 is a near perfect race. Based on my new PR, I would say that it was a great day. On a flat, certified course, I think that I could have pushed sub 1:27:30 give my preparation and execution.