Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Cowtown Half Marathon

I signed up for this just to make it an enjoyable, fun, up-tempo training run. I knew the weather was going to not be good, but when I woke up and saw wind chill in the 20's and north winds at 23 mph, I really was not looking forward to getting out there. I bundled up to the hilt (by runner's standards), but still got cold just even walking from the front door to the car.

Parking was a nightmare, and the place I wanted to park wasn't accessible (street closure), so had to find a new place on the fly. I waited in the car as long as possible, then went to the starting line. I wore running tights, 2 base layer shirts, jacket, 2 pairs of gloves, and a facemask. I was freezing still! My objective for this was to go easy for 2 miles as a warm-up, run hard for 10, then take the last mile easy. My primary goal was to not get hurt as I've been having some hamstring and iliotibial band issues lately.

Gun went off and first 2 miles were straight into the wind. Holy crap was it cold. But after the initial shock of those, the course turned and we had crosswind or tailwind for the rest of the day. At that point, I had to start shedding layers. It's a pain in the butt to carry all that crap for the entire race, but I was sure glad I had dressed that warm for the first couple of miles. [Note: marathoners and half marathoners usually wear old, disposable garments to just toss at the stations when they get too hot. I wore my nicer, non-throwaway stuff which was warmer, which is why I had to hang onto it for the race.]

Everything went well and I ran pretty good during the 10-mile stretch I wanted to work hard. Given where I am in my training, I figured a 1:40-1:50 range was feasible. I ran 1:41 and change (pretty much a 1:42) so I was happy. My knee and hamstring were starting to hurt on that last cool down mile, so good thing I didn't push at the end. It was a fun race, fast course, and if weather cooperates, I'd like to keep doing this race year-to-year. They have a very cool medal that can combine with the medals for years 2010-2013 to form a huge star; I'd like to get all 5 if possible.

Training is going well, just need to stay consistent and focus on Lone Star.

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