Report: Inland Trail HM - KickRunners.com
 
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#1 of 21 Old 11-04-2009, 07:13 PM - Thead Starter
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Summary:
Terrific day to run on fast & flat course: 42F with light wind and cloud cover at the 8:15 a.m. start. I got out fast, banked some time, and held on at the end.

Goal: 1:23:00 or better (NYC Marathon lottery by-pass)
Result: 1:21:53 (PR by 1 min, 45 sec)

Long version:

Finishing MMT in May was my Superbowl for the year. I didn't make other plans to race long, marathon or otherwise, for the rest of the year. I took a pass at a fall marathon/ultra effort and decided to save it for Boston 2010. Over the summer, I maintained a loose training plan but trained often with locals and raced a couple times in September and early October. While my two September races returned dull results, a 17:37 five-km on October 3 provided confidence to take a big swing at the half-marathon. A distance I have less experience with.

Witnessing many friends run terrific fall marathons, including my sweetheart SGH, provided my motivation and inspiration to take a shpt at another PR. Having run a 1:23:38 last November, the peripheral goal of earning a lottery bypass to the NYC Marathon (for my age, sub-1:23) guided my training. I ran a couple long tempo workouts in the final weeks, culminating 11 days out with a 4x 2 mile effort at T-pace that gave me confidence.

The Inland Trail is an old railroad bed converted to a 10' wide paved path through Lorain country. The marathon course is certified out-and-back 13.1 miles. The half marathoners started at the far-end turn-around in Kipton at about the same time the marathoners started at the finish line in Elyria. Lorain county is generally flat and there is no dirt on this trail. This course is a flat bike path and a rhythm-runner's delight.

Before the race I made a game plan to run the necessary 6:20 pace, which nets a perfect 1:22:58. I focused on three numbers:

19-flat at three miles,
31:30 at five miles, and
63-flat at ten miles which would leave 20 minutes for the final 5-km.

SGH drove me out the start line with plenty of time. With 40 minutes to gun, we ran together for an easy two mile warm-up. I added a few gentle strides at perceived race-pace and prepared for the start. In years past, 1:23 might have won this race. At the start, seeing the local super-fast olympic trials qualifier in the race took my mind off racing others and staying focused on my goals. (He finished in 1:09.) Except for the lack of competition to pull me along, the conditions were ideal with temps in the low-40s and overcast skies.

The first mile of the race is a short loop and after the initial quarter-mile I found my spot in fourth position. I passed mile one too fast in 6:05 and eased off, finding my way in the next two with 6:26 & 6:14. I passed three miles in 18:45 and fifteen seconds in the bank.

Since the course is so flat and straight through the countryside, there's not much to report on the scenery. Most of the leaves are down now. The leaves that remained were at its brilliant peak color. The course was scenic, lonely, and perfect for a time-trial.

Since us half-marathoners started exactly at the turn-around point for the marathon race, our HM mile markers were placed a perfect 0.1 mile after those of the marathoners. Since I don't wear a GPS device (stopwatch only), this situation provided me with an additional reference point to gauge my pace. I would get feedback at the 0.9 and 1.0 of every mile. I used the situation to my advantage.

The next two miles come and go in 6:23 & 6:12, passing mile five in 31:21. I concentrated on even breathing and start thinking mile-by-mile. In this section of the course we run through the college town of Oberlin.

As it turned out, we started about 20 minutes after the marathoners. By mile six I started passing the outbound marathoners and without trying my effort surged. Miles 6, 7, & 8 went by in 6:08, 6:15, & 6:06. I knew I was having a good day but wondered if I was biting off more than I could chew. Five miles remained. Seeing Andrea between miles 7 and 8 gave me a lift.

Throughout the race so far, I could see the 2nd and 3rd place runners about 400 meters ahead. I wasn't gaining ground but they gave me something to look at. Never did I look back. My attention turned to the 10-mile split. Miles 9-10 pass by in 6:18 & 6:16, which put me at 1:02:34 with 5-km to go. I did the mental calculation and knowing I had nearly 20.5 minutes gave me a boost. I dug in and went for it.

Mile 11: 6:10
Mile 12: 6:03

In my last big tempo workout (11 days prior) I saved a little kick, running 6:02 and 2:55 for my final mile and 800. Now I reached back and delivered a similar feeling kick, fueled by opportunity to crush my PR. My math might have been fuzzy, but I aimed my effort towards the possibility of sub-1:22 and perhaps a closer to 1:21. It felt amazing to have a little left in the tank in the final stretch.

As it turned out, something with the course markings were off. Mile 13 was 6:22 and the last 0.1 in 56 seconds. I cross the line in fourth place 1:21:53 yet wondered why the splits in the final 1.1 miles were so off. I was flying! The last 5-km covered in 19:18.

Regardless of all that, I can't complain with the final result which was a PR by 1:45 along with a guaranteed entry to NYCM. After thinking about it all and checking the course certification document, I figure the total distance was accurate and that the mile markers were inconsistent.

After watching the rest of the half marathoners and some of the marathoners (two of my co-workers/friends finished 1-2 in the marathon), SGH and I arrived home in time to watch the NBC broadcast of the NYC Marathon. The combination of watching Meb win and running my own personal best on the same day has me pumped to get back to the marathon!

Thanks for reading.



Between miles 7-8
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#2 of 21 Old 11-04-2009, 07:29 PM
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Very nice race indeed roots!

However, my friend, I am not surprised at all as you are progressing along at a point where you should be since running that sub3:00 last fall. What lies ahead, time will tell. Only good things I hope.

This brought back memories for me from 2003:
"The first mile of the race is a short loop and after the initial quarter-mile I found my spot in fourth position. I passed mile one too fast in 6:05 and eased off, finding my way with 6:26 & 6:14 in miles 2 & 3. Fifteen seconds in the bank."
Only because nearly the same thing happened to me during the Chicago Half Marathon.

You nailed it my friend. Stay safe, recover well. And please do stay injury free. NY awaits! Good luck. -Craig
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#3 of 21 Old 11-04-2009, 07:39 PM
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Congratulations coach!
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#4 of 21 Old 11-04-2009, 08:28 PM
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excellent!!!

you are a pretty amazing runner ... way to kill your old PR!

the PRT is not somewhere to drop my morals and ethics and roll in the mud and muck and pretend those I am talking to aren't really people at all and it's alright to treat them like dirt.
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#5 of 21 Old 11-04-2009, 10:40 PM
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Fantastic job Lloyd!! Hope you decide to run NYC next year too, you've got a couple fans awaiting a run w/you
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#6 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 01:13 AM
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Wow Roots. That was a heck of a race. Has to feel pretty good.
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#7 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 09:26 AM - Thead Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunningman View Post
Very nice race indeed roots!

However, my friend, I am not surprised at all as you are progressing along at a point where you should be since running that sub3:00 last fall. What lies ahead, time will tell. Only good things I hope.

This brought back memories for me from 2003:
"The first mile of the race is a short loop and after the initial quarter-mile I found my spot in fourth position. I passed mile one too fast in 6:05 and eased off, finding my way with 6:26 & 6:14 in miles 2 & 3. Fifteen seconds in the bank."
Only because nearly the same thing happened to me during the Chicago Half Marathon.

You nailed it my friend. Stay safe, recover well. And please do stay injury free. NY awaits! Good luck. -Craig
Thanks Craig. Not exactly sure about NYC yet, but I am planning on a rerun of our 2006 adventures - Boston and Laurel Highlands. Happy trails to you.
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#8 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 09:28 AM - Thead Starter
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Congratulations coach!
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Originally Posted by SportiGrl View Post
excellent!!!

you are a pretty amazing runner ... way to kill your old PR!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailbox Head View Post
Wow Roots. That was a heck of a race. Has to feel pretty good.
Thank you all. Indeed, it is an amazing feeling to nail a goal race. And also to have the support of friends along the way.
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#9 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 09:29 AM - Thead Starter
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Fantastic job Lloyd!! Hope you decide to run NYC next year too, you've got a couple fans awaiting a run w/you
SGH and I look forward to 'running in NYC' one day.
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#10 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 10:34 AM
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You looked great out there. It was the perfect day on a great course. It was good to finally meet. Sorry I wasn't up for going out afterwards.
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#11 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks Craig. Not exactly sure about NYC yet, but I am planning on a rerun of our 2006 adventures - Boston and Laurel Highlands. Happy trails to you.
Funny you say that as well, because I to am planning on going back to Laurel Highlands in June. That is if I don't get into San Juan Solstice 50M. Good luck at Boston. Maybe one day I'll train to get back there.
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#12 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 11:13 AM
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Awesome race Roots! Great planning and execution!

Congrats on the PR, great placing, and guarantying entry to NYCM!
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#13 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 12:39 PM
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Roots - simply amazing, from your preparation to your race execution. Those splits are just stunners.

I'll find out in a couple of weeks whether I get to join you for sure in NYC. Luckily for me, the standard to beat at Philadelphia is 1:30.
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#14 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 12:49 PM
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coach, simply phenomenal.

your methods, strategy, and execution are methodical and they work as evident by the results. awesome!!!
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#15 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 01:16 PM
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Nicely done - Kyle told me you blew out a pretty good time in a half last weekend.

That course sounds IDEAL (assumign you're ok to run solo) - are there zero turns on that thing? Having the feedback .1 mile early would be neat too - if you get a little bored and want a goal to shoot for, figure out a good pace for 0.9 miles, then you can essentially do 0.1 mile intervals for the last 5-6 miles to see how low you can go each mile. That little game could keep you moving hard.

Nice time - I did the Boston/NYC double in a single year and while it's expensive, it's a lot of fun.
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#16 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 01:27 PM
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Very smartly run

I personally think you have gotten what you deserve!

a nice PR.
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#17 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 01:36 PM
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The course is ideal! What you see in that photo is what you get--nice wide path, well maintained, very flat. At road crossings, there might be a bit of a curb to watch for. While I didn't make it to the TA, I understand it's more of a loop through residential than hairpin turn 'round a cone sort of thing. There is spectator support at the crossings. Other than that, it's very quiet. I certainly will run it again. Now, the getting around Elyria thing, THAT'S another story!
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#18 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 04:28 PM
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Hi Roots,
Congrats on the solid race and PR! I remember your were there last year taking photos. It sounds like another great weather was upon Elyria to run a race on a fast course. I remember the mile markers weren't accurate, especially the last mile+a change being short. There are some flat fast courses in Ohio for sure. Are you doing Fall Classic half in Strongsville in a few weeks by any chance?
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#19 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 09:50 PM
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Great race! Congratulations on the awesome PR.

I know it's an old cliche, but you can cut the atmosphere with a cricket stump
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#20 of 21 Old 11-05-2009, 10:29 PM
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Way to kick some serious ass out there! Congrats on the PR!
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#21 of 21 Old 11-06-2009, 01:45 PM
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Very nice, congrats Roots!!
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