Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Buckeye Half Marathon
I'm a little slow on getting this out, but the Sunday before last. I competed in the Buckeye Half Marathon. It was my first time for this race, but it is basically in my backyard. So I was very familiar with the course. It is a two lap loop around a portion of CVNP that starts and ends at Howe Meadow. The best part of the race is you can sign up at a discount as part of your Akron Marathon registration. Depending on how early you register you get 2 half marathons, 1 hoodie, 1 race shirt, 2 finisher medals, and a year subscription to Running Times. There aren't too many big races down here, but the ones they have. Definitely take care of the runners.
I had no real expectations for this race as I was using it only to gauge where I was after spending the bulk of my time cycling over the past couple months. To be honest, I have been running embarrassingly poor the past 6 weeks. I could barely survive my runs and was 1-1:30 per mile slower than in the Spring. I've been hoping that this was do to the humidity as my runs had been during the heat of the day. Also, I had not ran more than 10 miles at once since August 4th and to make matters worse. I ran 8 a few days before and had some serious shin pain training on some hills for Akron. I had walked it off and ran a mile home pain free, so I wasn't too concerned. But it definitely was on my mind. So, I headed in to my 3rd half marathon with no expectations other than finishing on two feet.
As usual I was up early on Sunday getting ready for the race and it was actually pretty nice not having to drive all the way to Cleveland to run. I met up with Angie who was also running and we headed down to Howe Meadow. After arriving we quickly ran in to fellow bloggers and dirty runners Stephanie and Justin. They also had pacers at this race, which was a nice touch. It wasn't a large race as it only had between 400-600 runners. I lined up with the 2:00 group and felt pretty good as I made it through the first two miles. Once I was warmed up I comfortably bridged the gap to the 1:55 group. At mile 3, I saw Justin and thought I would run with him. Even after running 20 the day before, he dropped me fairly quickly. I spent the next few miles slightly behind the 1:55 group, which was a comfortable spot. I was feeling pretty good through the first lap and made it to the half way point in 57 something.
During my second loop. I began to fatigue a little around mile 10. I tried to hold on as I have small cushion at sub 2 hours, but I fell back to the 2:00 group at mile 12. At this point I couldn't hang with them. So I called an audible. I tried @Matty_083's ralk program for the last bit. So, I walked for 1 minute and then resumed a below 9 minute pace. I would like to say I did this twice, but I was pretty tired so I walked 1 minute every half mile. I have to admit. I think I ran faster at the end than if I would have struggled through the rest. I managed to hold on for a 2:02:08 half marathon! Not a PR for me, but it is my fastest half so far this year! The best news is I was pain free the whole race.
I quickly saw Angie, Justin, Ryan, and Jess at the finish as they finished ahead of me and we spent some time cheering in some other runners and took a photo of our Gansta poses. Lol.
Overall this is a really nice race. Especially consider you get a hoodie, medal, chip time, and post race dinner. Not a bad deal at all. I definitely recommend coming to my hood next year for the race.