Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mercer Island Half Marathon Race Report 2011

Mercer Island, 9:00am

Temperature: 43F-46F, Humidity: 71%-66%, Sunny

Background:

The Mercer Island course is hilly and difficult but it's very well organized and logistically convenient - a perfect Spring marathon tune-up race. I signed up for the race in December. This was to be my first race since the Green Bay marathon and my only test before the Paris marathon.

I've run the Mercer Island half in 2007 and 2009. 2007 was a rainy run in 1:37. In 2009 I was in great shape but had over raced and was on the verge of getting injured. I finished in 1:35 and the end was rough. I could not get the few seconds I would need to get a PR.

This race would be coming at the end of a 80 mile week and without any taper so I had to be realistic about my expectations. A PR would be encouraging but it would all depend on how the legs felt on race day.

Pre-race:

Running of course cannot come in the midst of social events. I stayed till 1:30am at a Holi potluck. It's a sign that I have not raced in a while that I didn't think twice before consuming a very spicy curry. Only in the morning did the ramifications become clear to me. Luckily, I did not have to pay for it...

It was a little chilly to be wearing a half T but the forecast called for a gorgeous sunny day so I went with it. That ended up being just right.

At the porta potty line someone asked me for the time. I looked at him with a straight face and told him 7:30... He stared at me for a bit and then said thank you. Later I realized that my Garmin was still showing the non-DST time so it was actually 8:30am ... doh!

I ran a warm-up mile and my legs were not feeling like it could run at half marathon pace. Funny how that always happens and once the race starts you are just fine.

Having not raced for so long I was a little excited about this one :)

I lined up with Larry and Shankar. John and Cassy stood a little bit in the front.

Race:

mile 1: 7:01
At the beginning this pace seemed a little labored but then I got into my groove...

mile 2: 7:06
I knew that the end would be difficult so my twin focus was to get in miles below 7:15 while at the same time kind of run in auto-pilot.

mile 3: 6:04 (short)
mile 4: 7:48 (long)

mile 5: 6:55

All through I could see Cassy a bit ahead of me. John had gone quite a bit ahead. Kind of like our track workouts and long runs :)

mile 6: 7:04
I've run this course on training runs as well so there were so many familiar sights. Mercer Island is where the rich and famous live so the island loop passes by several million dollar mansions.

mile 7: 7:06
mile 8: 7:12

A significant incline. I passed Cassy somewhere around here... It was nice having her in front since I could know that my pace was not slacking...

mile 9: 7:19
mile 10: 7:18
mile 11: 6:57

A big downhill to make-up some time and prep for what was coming up...

mile 12: 7:31
This was just tough. To have such a major hill so close to the end! It was about getting your head down. Keeping a proper form and just laboring through to the top. I guess the hill repeats have to pay off somewhere :)

mile 13: 7:13
Another small climb just before the end and the downhill in the last 100m to the finish... A new PR!!

.11: :46

Results:

Time: 1:33:31 @ 7:08
Bib #: 121
OA: 134/1636
Male: 110/816
Div: 16/116

Reflections:

This race was pretty satisfying. I got past a 4+ year half marathon PR. This was especially neat since it came at the end of such a high mileage week and on such a hilly course. My last half marathon PR was on Jan 14th 2007 at RNR Arizona. That was a flat course and a race I had tapered for. I am hopeful that if I get in a good taper I will have a good run in Paris (fingers-crossed!!)...

4 Comments:

Blogger ashley (redonk runner) said...

congrats on busting a time hump! looks like a neat course based on the map you posted!

3/28/2011 7:47 PM  
Blogger Sub said...

Thanks! I hope I have a good race in a couple of weeks too... It sure is a scenic course.

3/28/2011 10:26 PM  
Blogger Ryan Dagley said...

Thanks for the details on this race! I know it's an old post, but I'll be running the next Mercer Island half in a couple of months.

1/03/2014 4:13 AM  
Blogger Sub said...

Good luck with your run Ryan! It's a great run and spring training test...

1/03/2014 10:27 AM  

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