Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Columbus Half-Marathon Race Recap

tl;dr version:
Time: 1:58:48
Official Pace: 9:04
Gear: all Saucony! Bullet capri, Transition Sportop, Kinvara 6
Leading up to the race:
In the week leading up to the race, I tried to get more sleep and eat a banana daily. I didn't drink more than two beers daily (that was pretty much what I did for the final two to three weeks), and I upped the carbs in the few days before the race. I actually ate the most Friday and ate more normally Saturday. I also had two Gatorades on Saturday and probably had some Nuun as well.

I was decently rested, well-fed and properly hydrated.

The morning of the race:
Most of our group was staying in the same hotel. We planned to meet in the hotel lobby at 6:20 so that we'd have enough time to warm up before getting to our meeting spot (for those not at the hotel). I set my alarm for 5:20, although I was up quite often throughout the night. (Get up to pee, drink a little more water...) When my alarm went off, I checked my phone for a few minutes and finally got up. While drinking cherry lime Nuun (caffeinated), I ate about half of a Cinnamon Crunch bagel from Panera along with a banana.

I dressed in my planned outfit. With the temps not getting out of the 40s by the end, I nixed the idea of shorts, tank and arm warmers. I also wore an old pair of Saucony gloves with throwaway gloves on top. I had an old sweatshirt of Aaron's that I used as a throwaway along with a crappy knitted headband I made a few years ago.

We ended up running a little late so we didn't get in a mile warmup before meeting up with everyone else. But we were able to get everyone together so that was awesome. We made our way to our corral (most of us were in B, although a couple were in A).

Note: The Columbus Marathon is a pretty well-run event. Each corral had port-o-potties, and I found some extra gels. I had brought three gels with me and then I gave one away to a friend who'd forgotten hers. Finding the gels in the corral was nice because I was able to grab one and take it before the race (strawberry banana Gu - not my favorite, but got the job done).

The race itself:
Several of us planned to run the race under 2 hours, and for the first couple of miles, we were sort of together. I let two friends go ahead and stuck with a friend was running the full at the same pace. Another friend played pacer and ran with the marathoner through the first half. At one point, another friend came from behind and passed us. We let him go ahead. The three of us ran together for the first five miles or so. I pulled slightly ahead, but I was within sight so our unofficial pacer knew I was okay. (I figured the marathoner needed him more than I did. He could hold her back throughout the first half so she could run strong the second half.)

I felt good throughout the entire race. The pace felt comfortable, and I played it very conservatively. I took a gel around 4.5 or 5 (Roctane) and another around 10 (Roctane). I took water during most stops, and I took Gatorade once. I did actually skip two or three stops. The cool temps definitely helped make fueling and hydrating easy.

Mile splits:

Yes, my last mile was 8:22, which is a clear indication that I held back. At mile 11, I hit 1:40 and I knew I had the sub-2. I still held back and didn't let loose until the last mile. And that's just fine.

Final notes:
  • Columbus is a great race, and I would like to do it again.
  • Staying downtown where you can walk or easily get dropped off is a great idea (no parking or gridlock).
  • Proper training and tapering really makes a difference. Eventually I'll do a post about Hansons. 
  • I kept the auto-lap on my Garmin, but I changed the display so I only saw total elapsed time and current pace. I knew I would run the course long, but I didn't want to manually lap at every mile marker. This way, I stayed on track with pace and I could do the math at the mile markers to see if I was still on pace. 
  • I could have gone faster, but I was afraid of blowing up. I'd never strung together that many miles and I wasn't confident that I would keep it together. 
  • Post-run: back to the hotel to shower, lunch at Hofbrauhaus, then Land Grant Brewing, Rehab, Pies & Pints for dinner and Seventh Son for sleepy-pops.

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