Tuesday, March 29, 2016

2016 Sam Costa Half-Marathon: Race Report

Saturday, March 19th, 2016 I ran the Sam Costa half-marathon. This was 1 week after running the 2016 Land Between the Lakes Trail Marathon. My quads were shredded from the descents and the trails and felt bad through Thursday. Also, at some point on Monday I noticed a flare up of my peroneal tendon that resulted in my right foot becoming very painful.

I started loading up on Ibuprofen on the Thursday prior. I know this isn't probably the smartest thing in the world but right now it is worth it to me to get some consistent running back in my training. My oldest daughter Kasey was running the quarter marathon so she rode down with me. There is a lot to like about this race and 1 of the best things is a very efficient race morning check in so there is no need for a separate trip to "packet pickup and expo", no need to get there super early either as there is ample close parking in the Northview Church parking lot.

Saturday morning came and my foot was a little tender but I was sure it would be manageable for the race. With the general inconsistent training over the winter, just coming off a pretty tough trail marathon a week before, and the threat of bad weather, I had absolutely no plan for Sam Costa this year other than that I knew anything over 90 minutes was unacceptable.

Out of fear of aggravating my foot and the treat of nasty (cold rain) weather, I skipped any kind of warm up. We hung out until about 8:50 AM and I walked to the start line and kind of jogged around mostly to try to stay warm. It was about 35* so just standing for 10 minutes didn't seem like much fun. The race stated right on time and I went out at about a 6:10 pace and held this until my shoe came untied around 2 miles in. I made note of the first people to pass me so I could focus on regaining position. I lost about 30 seconds to the shoe and spent the next mile or so catching up.

I think this is not to far after the shoe lace incidence
It was easy to know who I needed to catch up to because he was wearing the exact same shoes as I was. Pearl Izumi Road N2s in purple and black. You don't see much PI gear at road races in central Indiana and It's a shame that the running community isn't more aware of the PI brand. They make good, comfortable, high quality products.  I caught up to him around mile 3 and settled into his pace. Over the next couple of miles we formed a small pack with another guy and a woman.

Miles 3,4 and 5 each I still had no real plan. As each mile ticked off I would say to myself, "1 more mile and we'll count this as a solid tempo run and relax the rest of the race." But I was glad the pack had formed because it made me work a little harder than I planned and I just kept ticking off the miles and hanging on to the pack.

We hung together through about 10 miles and then the rest of the pack started separating. Having gone into the race with no plan and it being late in a race where I had worked harder than I intended, I couldn't muster the mental power to answer so I let them go. Even with my pace beginning to slip I was able to pick off 4 runners over the last couple of miles.

About a mile left to go. I like arm sleeves, they make you look fast...

In the final 1/2 mile, I was passed by a runner who was obviously finishing very strong because I hadn't seen him the entire race. The very end of this race features a nice uphill and makes for a gut wrenching finish. I have run this race 3 times now and this uphill makes me want to puke every time.

I finished with an official time 1:25:01 a little more that 6:00 minutes slow of my PR. During a normal training cycle I would have used this race as a tune up and I would have been gunning for a PR but this isn't a normal training cycle and I'm nowhere close to half-marathon PR shape. So, I am pleased with the result and will chalk it up to a good hard run in my quest to rebuild lost fitness. This run also gives me confidence that I will be able to eek out a sub three hour marathon at Carmel in April.

Another race in the books

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