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<span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">This was the first race I would be running for a second time and a golden opportunity to see what kind of progress I have made in the last 12 months. I did not train particularly hard for this run, but I did not miss a long run and more importantly just less than 3 months ago I posted a 1:19 in a 10 miler. In other words, confidence was high for this race.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">In spite of my lack of training, that run in November had me approaching this race with the idea that a 1:45 HM was within reach. My plan was to open the race below that pace by 20-30 seconds with an 8:20-8:30 first mile and try to drop my pace from there and just see what I could do. I gathered numerous opinions from the always helpful 30’s group on my opening pace and my plan seemed set.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Perfect day for a race, 20 degrees and some sun, almost no wind. Certainly the conditions would not stop me from going after my goal. In past races, I have lacked confidence and seem to always start myself further back than I should based on where I will finish so I moved myself much closer to the front in this one.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Gun starts and off we go. Because we are in downtown St Paul, my garmin does not pick up a signal until I am 3-4 blocks into the race. I started my timer as we crossed the start line, so this would mean my pace and distance on the garmin would never be quite right because it would have time elapsed, but I would be missing the distance I traveled before it came online. That seems like no big deal because I would just hit the lap button and know where I was. Unfortunately, not knowing my pace on the opening mile would be a problem.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">In the first mile I was letting a good number of people pass me so felt like I was executing my plan perfectly, I must have dialed in my 8:20-8:30 pace …Oh I could not be more wrong. As I approach the big clock at Mile 1, I can see a 7 on the freakin thing and sure enough I cross the mile 1 maker at 7:42. 30-40 seconds ahead of my goal pace. Oh [email protected]! Past experience in races and long runs tells me, If I am way fast in the first miles I am gonna have problems, In other words, I know one mile into this bastard I am gonna be in trouble at some point. I instantly bail on the plan to go after 1:45 and figure 1:50 is my new target.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">I progress through the first half of the race and cross the half way point at about 54:30, slightly ahead of a 1:50 pace, but I am okay. My plan is to take a gel at mile 8 and hope it gives me some juice when I hit Mile 10 or so, At about the mile 7 marker (ans shortly after the turn) I start to get heavy legs so I pop the gel early thinking I am gonna need it sooner rather than later. I use gels on all long runs over 12 miles, use the same brand and flavor (clif shot mocha) so nothing new here. However, it does not sit right today. As I get in the 8 mile range, I get hit by a huge feeling of wanting to stop and puke. With this feeling my legs just leave me, they are like lead. I am forced to walk through this feeling and just keep taking big slow breaths so I do not turn into the puking guy on the course. I got through the puking feeling, but my legs never get back under me. I am forced to run/walk the final 5 miles and there was far more walking than running in there. I pass the mile 10 marker at 1:26, a full 7 minutes slower than the 10 miler in November. This moves me from feeling like crap to flat out angry.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Mile 11 I got a small boost. first my SIL came past me looking strong and then <b>RFTL</b> came by me seconds later (they finished within a few seconds of each other) , I said hi to both of them and told em I was struggling but would finish. It was a damn good time to see friendly faces that is for sure. At about 11.5 I actually started to feel better, but a guy came up next to me and he was in worst shape than I was. He needed some one to help pull him along by running and walking so I stayed with him. We just kept picking a spot to run to and then walking a little, running some more etc. for a mile or so.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I left him with about ½ mile to go because I realized in spite of the wheels falling off I could still break 2 hours if I could haul my ass into the finish strong.. Not a 1:45 or a 1:50, but a milestone for me. I had never broke the 2-hour barrier in a race and had only done so once (by 4 seconds) in a training run. This race could have some sort of happy ending if I could get my legs to cooperate. There is a bastard of a hill in the final ¼ mile. I ran up the hill strong and from there I have about 4 blocks to the finish. I got to the top of the hill and could see the clock in the distance. Could not quite see the time, but knew it was gonna be close based on my Garmin time, sadly my legs would not listen, my quads were killing me thanks ot the hill and I had to walk about 12 steps as felt a cramp coming in my left leg. The feeling went away, but as I looked ahead it appeared those walking steps may cost me the 2-hour mark. I am not sure where it came from, but I enter an all out sprint for the final 3 blocks…staring down the clock.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">I crossed about 8 seconds over the 2 hour mark. The race is chip timed, but I started so close to the front I am all but positive the difference between the clock and my chip time will not be enough. When I finished the 10 miler back in November, I walked away feeling like I had conquered the world of running. As I finished here I felt like a loser who had quit on me and a guy who did not have the balls to suck it up in a tough run and get the job done. Ya, completely irrational, I know, but I am guessing plenty of runners out there know exactly what I was feeling because they have been there at some time in their running career as well.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I found the rest of my group and got my spirits raised a bunch because everyone else had a great run. I was still upset about mine, but it is impossible for me to not get excited for everyone else when they rock the shizouse. that made me fell better for sure. Then on the way out I got another smile when I happen to pass Sage and get a hug. I got to hear that she too kicked ass (actually she had to pass me somewhere in the final half mile or so and I did not even see her). So more smiles for me.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I came home a few hours later after grabbing a couple beers (I really like Sam Adam’s Winter Ale by the way) and some lunch with the group I was with. I went right online to lookup my chip time, fully expecting to get angry yet again. However, I was blown away to see that I had posted a 1:59:47. Somehow I pulled it out of my ass. A small victory on a tough day. I will take it.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Two big lessons for me here. First off, I got lazy after the great run in November and paid the price. This run was a solid reality check for me. I will not make this mistake as I crank up my training for the Fargo Marathon. Second, I simply cannot mess up the pace in my first few miles of a race of this distance. I have overcome mistakes like this in shorter races of 4-5 miles, but I am not a strong enough runner to recover from a mistake like that at this distance. I must line up further back at the start to help control that and in the first mile or two even if I think I am running too slow, I cannot be afraid to slow down even more.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">And here is the big picture view of this whole thing. 12 months ago I ran this same race in 2:08:15, so no matter how I look at it, this is almost a 9 minute PR and that my friends is progress, real solid progress in fact. And that is worth smiling about even if I thought I was gonna puke while demonstrating that progress.</span></span>
 

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Great race report!! I'm sorry things didn't work out as planned....but, a PR is a PR and a PR.<br><br>
Awesome job!!<img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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<b>Dom -</b> despite it being a disappointing race for you, it sounds like the things you learned will benefit you in future training/races for sure. And a 9 minute PR is something! It was nice to see you again, even for just a few seconds!
 

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<b>Dom</b>! Congratulations on your PR, and fighting thru some rough stuff. Celebrate the victory, learn from the rough stuff, be proud of your accomplishment.<br><br>
I do know the irrational frustrations you are talking about. I have been there. You'll be able to look back on this race (when you are ready to) and use it to better your next one. Believe me. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> Congrats again!
 

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Great RR! You will definitely kick some serious heiny on your next HM!<br><br>
I have 3 bottles of Sam Adams Winter Ale in my fridge that I should probably finish before winter is over.
 

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Nice PR and way to take some small victory out of it. If starting too fast has THAT big an effect on you (versus just checking yourself and saying "OK, Mile 1 was too fast, let's chill it out a little in Mile 2 and call that time in the bank" and going after the same goal), try to GMap the first half mile of the course so you can have an intermediate checkpoint independent of the 1st mile marker and your GPS. That way you will only have a half mile being too fast which you should be able to shrug off.
 

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We're runners - we're allowed to be irrational now and then <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Seriously, I think this race showed how much you've improved (9 minute PR is nothing to sneeze at) and kinda' provided a little butt kicking at the same time, which is good because we know you have a lot better in you. Loved the RR, and congrats again <b>Dom</b> on a gutty effort.
 

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<b>Dom,</b> your RR reads like a fantastic short story where one finds themselves rooting for you through your struggles, the compassion you showed to your fellow runner, the disapointment you felt when you thought you hadn't achieved finishing in under two hours, the victory you realized when you found out you had finished at 1:59:47 and the silver lining of the way you were able to break down this experience to know how to use it to come out stronger the next time. Excellent read, congrats on your PR!
 

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See the awesome quote in my signature line....<br><br>
You ran a great race with a yuck-o tummy. Lesser men would have bailed. You rock!
 

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Continue to impress <b>Dom</b>. TCM in Oct and now this! I'm more impressed with the not quitting in the last 5 miles of the race than I am with the PR. This attitude is awesome, and I think someone should serve notice on the Fargo course that it is about to have its ass kicked.
 

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You may not have had your dream race, but you got under 2 hours and that's a good accomplishment. And think about it, you're still pretty new overall to running as well as pacing yourself. You might want to spend some focus and attention on learning to pace yourself in those early miles to avoid latter mile crashes. Especially because of this fact -- that gel ain't going to do anything to clear out the fatigue that's built up in your system from running too hard early on. Seriously. You should have ample glycogen stores to easily run a half-marathon without any extra carbohydrate ingestion, so the fatigue you felt had nothing to do with your blood sugar level.<br><br>
Race. Learn. Race. Learn. You're getting there and I hope that this fall I'll be able to join you in the under 2 hours half-marathon club.
 

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Congrats on the PR!!!! You are going to rock the Fargo Marathon! Keep learning and training and learning... You'll be fine. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thanks gang...<br><br>
really do appreciate all the kind words!!!<br><br>
I am still pissed, but getting better!!!
 

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a 9-minute PR in a half marathon is huge, and DEFINITELY progress! WAY TO GO!!!! <img alt="banana.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/banana.gif">
 

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I snorked out loud as I read your report. I really enjoyed reading of your struggle and the great outcome. ALL runners have days like this. You will do better next time. How do I know that? <b>"I am still pissed, but getting</b> <b>better"</b> Embrace the puke and keep training.
 

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<b>Dom</b> - you did great considering the situation. talk about guts to finish it via walking. I am impressed!!
 
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