Hobble Creek Half Marathon, August 20, 2011

Place: 228

Bib #689,  Age: 43

Total time: 1:43:09, Average pace: 7:53/M

Place: 228th out of 1,074 finishers.

This race just about didn’t happen for me… early in 2011 I was pretty enthusiastic and thought I’d love to do the Hobble Creek race again, mostly so that I could see what, if any, progress I’d made on my running over the past year. This race sells-out the morning that registration opens.  So, I jumped on it and signed up.  As the year progressed I decided to also do the Utah Half Iron-distance triathlon the week after the Hobble Creek run.  The half-iron race quickly became my focus and my “A” race target for the year.  So, as the half marathon approached I wasn’t sure I wanted to risk having too little rest and recovery before the big triathlon.  I hired a coach a few months ago and she advised that my legs would likely feel “flat” if I did the half-marathon.

In the end I decided to run the race — mostly because my mom, who is a total inspiration to me, was also signed-up and running it.  It seemed that if I just went easy and didn’t push too hard that I’d be able to count it as a good workout rather than a race and that I’d be able to recover sufficiently before the triathlon.

It was a beautiful morning and considerably warmer than last year.  Lines for the buses were terrible and we waited a LONG time to get the ride up the canyon.  All the race alumni around us commented that it was par-for-the-course on this race; “they always start late,” was heard many times that morning.  After the long, winding ride up Hobble Creek canyon and walking to the start line we heard race officials try to calm the crowd by saying 10 of 25+ buses they had contracted were no-shows.  Frankly, it wasn’t that big of a deal… at least everybody had enough time to get through port-potty lines and start the race a little more relaxed!

I decided to not get my heart rate over 150 for this race and figured that would dictate my pace and effort level.  Had to make one quick porta-potty stop on the race which cost me a few minutes.  Other than that the race was pretty easy… MUCH easier than last year.  As I got to mile 9 I realized I might actually be able to beat my time from last year.  Last year’s effort was basically everything I had… I’m not a fast runner and was totally wasted after last year.  This year I felt pretty darn good.  The few short uphill sections near the end were kinda fun… I’d been holding back and was able to motor up those little hills; passing a lot of runners in the process.  For some reason passing other runners is a GREAT feeling (even if they are some of the slower runners)!  After checking my Garmin and doing some quick math I found that if I picked it up a little bit I could come in very close to last year’s time.  I knew I should have stuck to the “this is an easy workout” plan but I just couldn’t…  So, I pushed harder for the last three miles and beat last year’s time by about 30 seconds :)

I came away from it with mixed feelings.  First, if I’d gone my all-out effort I would likely have taken several minutes off last year’s time.  On the other hand, I had probably gone harder than I should and would probably pay for it the following week at the half-iron triathlon.  The other thing that was a little disconcerting was the hamstring/sciatic pain I was having in my left leg.  The hamstring (at least that what I think it is) had been nagging me for a few weeks.  I’ve never really dealt with “injury” before and frankly I don’t really know if I injured it or what.  I just know that it has been somewhat painful and definitely uncomfortable for a few weeks.  A sports massage did seem to give some relief but it didn’t entirely go away.

Over the next two days I was happy that my legs didn’t feel totally shredded; only a little soreness and stiffness for two days… We’ll see how the half-ironman goes, I’m hoping it will be good!

Final time: 1:43

One Response to “Hobble Creek Half Marathon, August 20, 2011”

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