Category Archives: half

Should I try for a PR at Omaha? Semi-random musings

A few days ago, I was musing about trying to set a new PR at the Omaha Half. Don’t worry; procrastinator that I am, I haven’t made a decision yet. But I’ve been thinking about it. I have two competing thoughts on the matter. On the one hand, the only half marathon I’ve run has been the Lake Havasu Half. I signed up for it on a whim about three weeks prior to the event. At the time I was training for the Whiskey Row Marathon in Prescott. There was no specific training that went into the Havasu Half besides showing up and running. There was no taper period involved since the week preceding the event consisted of a full running schedule. Even so, I was able to mount a very reasonable 1:42:06 for a first half-marathon. Since then, I’ve continued to run and am in much better shape now than I was then. Therefore, all things being equal, I should have no problem breaking my record set at Havasu.

But all things are not equal. The most important difference is that I am not only training for a running event. I am also training for cycling. At the moment I am not swimming because I broke my arm a few weeks ago. It wasn’t a serious break and it was in a location where they can’t cast it, so all I could do was take pain medication. It still hurts once in a while, but I’ve been riding and running for the last two weeks. The broken arm hasn’t slowed down my running that much. It’s the training hours I’m putting in biking that have me worried. I spend about 75% of my training hours on the bike. In terms of distance, it’s a lot more due to the speed differential. But the load on the legs feels about the same for each discipline. So at the moment I’m basically training for a marathon – twice! I’ve also added a weight lifting routine that I didn’t have before.

Last week alone I had 17 hours of training on the bike. That doesn’t include the average 34 minutes daily commuting to and from work. I also had 4.5 hours of training scheduled running. I don’t have easy access to my TrainingPeaks account right now, but I think I was pretty close to hitting all the biking hours and I was right on for the running. So it was a hard week. This week’s load is lighter, but not by much. For instance, I have today completely off besides commuting!

Last night I ran 8 miles in the rain. In 80 minutes. Yes, you read that right: 10 minutes/mile. That was what I put on the training plan, so that’s what I did. But it was slow running because I had lifted immediately prior. And because of my broken arm, I am restricted to leg work in the gym. Actually, both the gym and run yesterday went great and I’m sort of bummed I don’t get to do anything today. Although that’s mostly because I like eating, and when I workout I get to eat a lot.

So I’m not sure what I should do. Any random passersby have comments?

Life on the road continues…

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Filed under half, running, training

PRs and other musings

I should probably keep a list of my PRs somewhere. For now, it’s at my about page, where there is nothing actually about me at all.

So far: 3 races, 3 PRs. The next race will be another PR as it’s a sprint triathlon and I’ve never done one of those before. Then another guaranteed PR in a 8 mile event. Then a couple more half marathons late summer / early fall. And I might do the Mount Lemmon Marathon (note the gratuitous link to en.WP) in October. There’s an 8k and 10k coming up in October too. Not signed up for those yet, but 2 more PR opportunities. 🙂

Depending on how the triathlon goes, I might do some bike racing next year. In the further future, I may do some swimming events too. I need to sit down and plan out a yearly schedule instead of just racing whenever I feel like it. I hate planning.

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Filed under 5k, half, marathon, running, triathlon

Havasu Half race recap

At the starting line of the Havasu Half MarathonIt’s now Wednesday, and I haven’t blogged yet about running my first half marathon. Due to weather conditions, I, along with my sister and her fiance, arrived in Havasu at around noon Friday. They wouldn’t let us check into the hotel yet, so we had to find something to do. This turned out harder than expected; there’s not a lot to do in Havasu besides spring break. We ended up bowling. And I kicked ass. Okay, not really. But I did beat my sister, and that’s all that counts, right?

After 2 games, we decided that was enough and headed to the hotel where the race expo was being held. Unfortunately, it didn’t start until 3 PM, and it was only about 2:30. Doh. We went back to our hotel to see if they would let us check-in a half hour early. They did… but they told us they were upgrading the keycard system, or something, so we needed someone to let us in the room. Whatever. We hung out there for a little while and then headed over to the expo.

The expo really wasn’t much. Race check-in, get your bib, “free” tech t-shirt and goodie bad – which didn’t have much in it. Read: it didn’t have anything in it. Oh well. But the good thing was when my sister saw the excitement in the room, her eyes lit up and I could tell she wanted to run, even though she hadn’t been planning on it. All it took was one time asking (and me paying her registration) and she was in the 5k. Back to the hotel, get someone to let us in again, and relax until dinner. They never did fix the door.

Pre-race dinner was at Mudshark Brewery, who also sponsored the race. Thanks! Dinner was delicious. We started with a full order of onion rings. They were huge! And the batter that covered them was delicious. I ended up having the Salmon Tortellini. It came out on a huge plate, but I ate the whole thing. Yummy. Wish I would have taken a picture. Everyone enjoyed their meals, and then we headed back to the hotel room for a good nights sleep before the big day.

We got up at 6 for for the 7:30 start. Parking at the event was easy and just a short walk to the start/finish. After finding the start, I ended up doing a warm-up to the car and back to the start. On the way back, I ran into lil sis, so we waited together until the start and got some pictures.

Me and sis at the startlineRace start time! I was shooting for a time of 1:50, so I lined up right behind the 1:50 pacer. I thought that was logical. Turns out I was wrong, but more on that later. A toot on the air horn and we’re off! And I’m getting passed like I’m standing still! WHA!!! I look at my Garmin to check my pace. Yep, right on track. Where’d that pacer go? She’s now way out ahead of me. Darnnit. What to do? I go to the side of the road and let everone pass that wants to and watch as the pacer get further and further distant. By half a mile in I couldn’t even see her. Keep your pace. First aid station. Which side to choose? Left of course, there’s less people. Slow to a walk, get the water Gatoraid and get back to running. Keep getting passed.

Around 1.5 miles everyone starts stringing out and I’m getting passed less. Yippie. At the second aid station I start passing people. Yeah, y’all started out way too fast. I’m on pace. Nothing of note happened until about mile 5 when I caught up to the 1:50 pacer. I slowed my pace a little and stuck with her for about half a mile, then passed. At the time she was ahead of the 1:50 pace by about a minute and a half. By this time I was feeling really good and was going to try for 1:40, so I turned up the pace and started passing people left and right. From mile 6 to mile 10 I was running about 7:30 miles, which is pretty good for me.

At mile 10 I was feeling great and I started running even faster. I saw one of the miles on my Garmin was sub-7 minutes. Woohoo! I skipped the last aid station and poured on the gas. Crossed London Bridge for the second time, and we done with all the hills. It was literally downhill from there. I ended up crossing the line in 1:42:06. So close to catching the 1:40 group.

crossing the finish line of my first half!After the race I felt really good, but not tired. I think I could have beat 1:40 if I had started a little faster. Oh well, cest la vie. It was my first race afterall. Lil sis ended up finishing her 5k in 32 minutes, which I think was great considering that her previous longest run had been only 2.6 miles. Way to go Sis! Cookies, Gatoraid, and some bagels after the race hit the spot. We didn’t stay for the post-race ceremony, as we had 4 hours of driving back to Phoenix, and I had an additional 2 hours to Tucson. Ended up having dinner in Phoenix and getting back home at around 7. Had some food and went straight to bed

All in all, a great weekend! I can’t wait to do it again. Next race, Whiskey Row Marathon on May 14th. Watch out you drunkards, here I come!

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