Saturday, April 28, 2012

Let's Move, Festival of Races Half Marathon - 4/28/12

I signed up for this only a couple of weeks in advance, when I was still flushed with the success of the Martian marathon. The race was in Mount Clemens, Michigan, which is almost due north of Detroit and about 35 miles from our house. I decided to go and get my race packet the night before, just in case Bren didn't want to come to the race and so I wouldn't have to find somewhere to put my crap, while out running.

Bren decided that she would come anyway, but early packet pickup did mean that we could leave a little later on the Saturday morning. One of the things I decided that I was going to like about this race, was that they decided they were going to have two different start waves for the half marathon. People that expected to finish under 2 hours would start at 8:45am and those that would be over 2 hours, would start 15 minutes later, at 9am. If only more races would attempt to do this kind of thing, the stress level at the beginning of races would be greatly reduced, no more dodging walkers, etc, awesome.

The weather forecast, wasn't great, cold cloudy with a good chance of rain. I chanced just wearing shorts and a t-shirt, as I tend to heat up pretty fast while running and I didn't want to be too warm. I did bring gloves though, which was key through the first half, but cheap and I could toss them if I needed to. We arrived with about half an hour to go, a little later than I planned, but perfectly adequate, as it turned out. The start area seemed well planned with adequate porta-johns, readily available.

The run was mostly uneventful, with the exception of a Garmin issue around 5.3 miles in. My gloves were getting wet and kept touching the bezel of the watch, which causes it to beep and change display. This was getting quite annoying, so I decided to lock the display, but somehow I managed to make the thing hang horribly and after a minute or so, I forced a reboot, all of this, which trying to maintain my ~8:33 pace, what a fiasco. The watch came back and had only paused the workout, which I could restart, only have lost a minute or so. This meant that the watch could not longer accurately track my distance or total time, but it would still be able to give me a indication of my pace. Looking at the workout in Endomondo, you can see that all this messing about actually buggered up mile 6 for me, but what the hell. The course was very nice and meandered up and down some rivers and around the edge of Lake St Clair. There were no hills to speak of, apart from right at the very end, a nice uphill before the final straight, what a way to finish.

A huge thing for me is my developing running form, from the two pictures, you can see my horrible heel striking is gone, while I work on my cadence and posture. Cadence averaged out at 188 per minute, with 190 being the desired. The head up, look forward and gradual lean thing seems to be making a difference too, we'll see how it all goes over the coming months. Post race, I never experienced to much pain, either in my calves or the soles of my feet, so really quite chuffed over all.

All in all I really enjoyed this run, way more than the Martian. The marshalling was excellent, there were plenty aid stations, the medal is kinda cool, although my shirt is a little big.

How my Garmin saw it -

How Endomondo saw it -

Results; 20/55 in my age group, 194/841 -

Black long sleeved
tech shirt

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