Sunday, March 4, 2012

Race Report: Orange Blossom Half Marathon

Half Marathon #13 done with a 6 minute PR and too much fun! Let's get the stats out of the way:
  • chip: 2:18:03 
  • pace: 10:32
  • overall: 188 / 279 (67%)
  • females: 82 / 147 (56%)
  • age group: 17 / 25 (68%)
  • garmin: 3.14 in 2:18:04 @ 10:30
  • mile splits: 11:04 - 11:00 - 10:46 - 10:38 - 10:30 - 10:31 - 10:18 - 10:21 - 10:16 - 10:25 - 10:42 - 10:05 - 10:11 - 8:05 (.14) -- I love that all but the first 2 miles were under 11 min/mi and many of them under 10:30! Even with the headwind, I had overall negative splits. 
    • half splits: 10:43 - 10:17
    • quarter splits: 10:56 - 10:29 - 10:20 - 10:14
Weather/Outfit: The forecast called for cold rain, but all the rain passed about 1 hour before the race leaving us with a nice chill in the air. I chickened out and put on my tough girl skirt (the one with full length pants) and windbreaker jacket. Under the jacket, I wore a short sleeve shirt and arm warmers. I also wore gloves, a skull cap, and headband to cover my ears. Most of that was too much, but with the wind chill I was afraid I'd be too cold otherwise and the forecast said it would only get colder. I shed most of this and had the jacket wrapped around my waist by mile 5, but it didn't really bother me because the race belt was holding it in place.

Course: The course is a little weird with a short 4-mile out and back loop followed by a bigger 9-mile out and back loop, but I actually like it because it gave me a ton of chances to see and cheer on my friends who were running it. It also makes it seem shorter because after the last turn around point we only had 4.5 miles to go. The 2nd loop is gorgeous all along Lake Dora, which of course means the wind was worse here but I didn't mind it. There were plenty of water stops every 1-1.5 miles.

Orange Blossom Half Marathon Race Strategy: Since I thought the weather would be miserable, I had abandoned my goal and was just going to run by feel and have fun. I started slow as usual while I warmed up, but my pace hovered just under 11 min/mi by mile 3. That was already PR pace, and I was feeling really good. Once we started the 2nd loop, I decided to go for it and take as much advantage of the tailwind as I could and just hope I could maintain it after the turnaround into the headwind. I knew 2:15 was out of the question, but sub-2:20 (10:40 pace) was very doable.

As soon as we turned around, and even a little before, the brutal wind hit but I just kept pushing. My pace was under 10:40 by mile 8, but I kept pushing to get in a bit of a buffer to ensure sub-2:20. Even against the wind, I kept speeding up and then I wanted to hit 10:30 pace. I came so close! The last 4 miles were my favorite as I distracted myself cheering on everyone heading to the turnaround point, then I began picking people off as I pushed to the finish.

I ran with 2:30/1 intervals until mile 11 or so, then I started walking for only 30s, slow jogging for the 30s, then pushing for 2:30. After mile 12, I ran 6 minutes, took a 1 minute walk break, then pushed as hard I could for the last half mile or so. I felt really strong throughout the whole and wasn't even that tired, but the wind wouldn't let me push any harder. The wind was so brutal at some points that I felt like I was running in place. I clearly had a lot left in the tank, because I had a hell of a finishing kick and barely felt winded after I crossed the finish line. Having just done a marathon 3 weeks ago, I had endurance to spare. I didn't tape my foot or IT band like I usually do, but neither protested even a little bit. The only thing that was a bit achy when I finished was around my hips, but even now I feel amazing.

Post-Race: I was starving, so I was glad to see the great food spread of pizza, pretzels, cookies, donut holes, bagels, grapes, bananas, and oreos! Yum! I cheered on everyone else I knew, then waited around in the cold for the awards because Jason placed 2nd in his age group. It was a fantastic day of racing and yet again proved to myself that I can work hard and still have fun. Sommer Sports put on an amazing race as usual. Can't wait until next year! :)

Jason with his award


Amber said...

Love the blog!  I learned a lot about running just by reading this one post.  The Orange Blossom was my second half and I have had absolutely no method or technique to running.  My whole philosophy has been to "just run"!  Reading this makes me think I could probably be doing things better.  :-)  I wrote a more wordy, much less technical review of my experience on my blog.  I will be frequent reader!  

Kitzzy said...

Thanks Amber. I'm glad you found it useful and will be back! If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask and I'll gladly answer here or in a post. Maybe I'll see you at a race soon? What's next for you? I'm doing the Winter Park 10K on March 24.

Amber said...

I haven't decided on a next race yet, but would like to get one on the calendar!  I have been running about 4 times a week, but I hate how now with the time change, it is so dark in the morning.  I need to bring the dog and mace just to feel (almost) safe.  

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails