Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lake Distance Classic Half Marathon - Race Report

On Sunday June 5th, I ran in the Lake Distance Classic Half Marathon.  The race itself was located in a very scenic area of Concord Township/Painesville Ohio.  I really hadn't planned on running this race until just before the online registration closed.  It has only been 3 weeks since I ran the Cleveland Marathon and I hadn't ran more than 5 miles at one time the past two weeks.  Until this past Thursday, my stride has been lacking the power it had prior to the marathon.  It returned that day and my run was the best i've had in months.  So, I took the my new found confidence and registered for the race.

I got up early Sunday morning and hit the coffee shop and began my pre-race routine.  I always do the same thing in the exact same order.  Not sure why, but I guess i'm just a little quirky like that.  I finished my routine and made the nice trip up to the race.  

Garmin routed me straight to the event and the start finish line sat in a brand new strip mall located just off I-90.  Registration was at the new Panini's.  If you are ever in the area, definitely check it out as it was a very nice place with a beautiful  patio.  So, I got my bib and timing chip and headed back to the car to consume my last few carbs and do my final preparations.  

I noticed while registering that in the course description that it mentioned "4 miles that would challenge your fitness".  I thought it may be some incline to the course, but I had no idea how bad it was.  Until I saw the elevation chart that was sent with my registration confirmation - nice.  I also got some information from fellow runner @JillMEarle.  She had ran the race last year and described the course as pretty rough.  At this point, I decided that I wouldn't focus on time and would use this as a gauge of what form I had returned to from the marathon.  Also, I will be running the Akron Marathon in September and it is a hilly course as well and I figured this would be perfect training.  

So, this race consisted of Half Marathon walkers, 5K, and the Half Marathon.  The Half Marathon walk started at 7:30 and then rest started at 8.  They separated us and we actually began first and ran a lap around the strip mall.  While we were doing that, the 5K started.  This was pretty interesting and I was laughing to my self as I am a bit of a nascar fan and couldn't help thinking I was on a pace lap.  When I came through the start the second time, I couldn't help but here the nascar spotter saying green green green.  The race itself continued through a pretty affluent neighborhood.  I was surprised that there were a few people out to cheer us on.  As we wound around neighborhood.  You could see a few golfers who were stuck in their driveway waiting for us.  The only issue, was one idiot lady in a Lexus who decided she was going to drive right through the running traffic.  I'm not sure what the hurry was, but I guess she could wait 5 minutes for the running traffic to clear.  Next, we headed to a bike path.  It was at a slight decline and was very shaded.  This was very welcomed as the humid was rapidly climbing.  Which ended up being a major fail.  The weather forecast was for temps in the 60's, but the race ended up being in the upper 80's.  At this point I was running like I had never ran before.  I had an average pace in the low 8's and I felt strong and my stride was free-n-easy.  The only problem?  I had to pee and I had to pee now.  I couldn't go before the race and the 5k'ers where all in line and I had no time to go before my start.  So, I dove into the woods and took care of business.  It was kind of funny as I burst out of the woods and surprised the runners on the path.  I looped around behind them and quickly made up the time lost.

The climbing was at the end and I was holding back, but still running a great time.  Even with the pit-stop I was over 7 miles in an hour.  The climbing began just before the 6 mile mark.  I should have known I was in trouble as there were signs everywhere that said.  The first 5 is the warm up and the next 5 is the real race.  I reached the bottom of the hill and began to climb.  The climb itself lasted from just before 6 and lasted till just after mile 10.  The climb started off in levels.  I attacked the first three levels and felt great, not losing any time.  The next 3 levels began to hurt a little and at this time I felt like I was working harder than how fast I was going.  I reached mile 9, which was 80% up the final climb.  At this point, the wheels came completely off.  I was done.  The heat and humidity had cooked me and it hurt just walking up the hill.  Of course there was a camera man at the top of the hill to take my picture walking.  I wanted to yell...REALLY!?!  I kept my mouth shut and ran again, hoping he would take another photo.  At this point I tried a combination of running and walking as it was all I had left.  The heat at this point felt like it was boiling and I labored through the last bit.  I got to mile 12 and luckily caught a second wind.  I rounded the final turn and was surprised at how many people were there to cheer me in.  I finished with a time of 2:16 and I went from a PR to wondering if I'd finish all within a mile.  Unfortunately,  it is my worst half marathon time.  I'm trying to focus on the positive as I was pretty disappointed with how I did.  It was a hard course and I shouldn't expect too much 21 days from a marathon.  Plus, riding over 60 miles the day before probably didn't help much.  The good news is a learned a lot.  I need to respect these races more and rest a little prior to the race and I need to drop some weight if I am going to handle these climbs in Akron's Marathon.  

I know this course is absolutely insane, but it was a very good race.  They had water stops every 2 miles and 2 GU stops.  Cops were at every major intersection and there were tons of volunteers.  The cost was 40 bucks and it was worth every penny.  It's a safe bet that I will be back next year to fight that hill again.  



Colleen said...

That profile makes the course seem brutal - with that being said, great job. The 60 miles the day before and the marathon three weeks ago... you did great!

Caratunk Girl said...

Wow you did awesome Beal! That course looks BRUTAL!

Like the beer shot at the end.

mojamala2 said...

Holy cow! That elevation just looks insane. Were you running up the side of a mountain?

Matty O said...

Hills and big guys don't mix. You can run as many hills as you want, you still have to haul your heavy frame up it haha.

Way to persevere and stick it out. Trust me though, don't go and race once a month w/ 13.1s man. You will tear your body up. You probably won't listen but you need to trust me. The body needs time to recover, and while you may make it through this season, next season you will get the slap in the face.

Jon said...

Wicked hills! Congrats on the finish. Tough day for sure!

That beer looks appetizing right now. Yes its only 10AM, but its already 90 degrees outside.

Rest up!

BDD said...

I dont like that hill

Congrats on the race

GETitGIRL said...

i've been there before... now i know to research first! GREAT JOB! :)

Sara said...

Great job!! This race was really rough! I still can't believe that I saw you in Cleveland amongst thousands of runners and Sunday I didn't see you in a crowd of less than 400.

You had an awesome race though! =)

Ironman By Thirty said...

Great job on the race! Looks like it was one heck of a course.

Now, you are going to rest right? And let the body fully recover?? :)