Monday, October 29, 2012

Skeleton Skamper 2012 Half-marathon Afterthoughts

I really didn't know what to think going into this race.  Having been since high school since I raced, I assumed it would be about the same.  I have watched races on TV and seen the start to them so I thought I would be okay.  I had read about corral and wave starts.  Perhaps this race didn't have enough people in it for them to bother with that.  It was a pretty easy start.  The logistics of the race were incredible.

Packet pickup was well organized, I was early so I had a lot of time to kill.  I ended up waiting in my car to catch a few winks, and about a half hour before the race I went on a quick warm-up run.

Skeleton Skamper Race Bib #1042.  Ironically enough, I had ordered from their advertiser the previous week.

Awesome glow-in-the-dark shirt that is too small for me (Accidentally ordered a Medium)
The organizations and families that volunteered for the water stations were great.  I expected to get missed at a few of them since I ran in small packs but I managed to get water at each station.  The immediate bottle of water and finisher medal was available right after I crossed the finish line.  This was extremely important to me since I recently read that some Chicago Marathon finishers had to wait for their medals, the thought of this was in the back of my mind and I'm glad it didn't happen!

I needed a few days to think about my feelings on my first official Half-Marathon.  I'll start by saying that I didn't do as well as I wanted, but I'm glad I did it and wouldn't change a thing.  I'm disappointed in the fact that I did what I said I wouldn't do on race day.

I got caught up in the beginning of the race go-getters and ran my first mile in 8:21, and the next 3 miles well under 9:00 minutes each.  When I was at the starting line I promised myself that if I felt good, I wouldn't focus on my pace by checking it every mile.  I didn't look at my GPS watch until about 4 miles in and that's when I realized I started way too fast.  I knew my 4 mile time should have been around 36:00 if I wanted to finish under 2 hours.  When I was 1:30 below that, I knew I was going to hit the wall near the 10 mile mark.  According the the pace chart, I hit the dreaded wall and slowed down a lot.

The course had far more hills than expected sine the site said it was a really flat course.  I'm glad they didn't have us run over any train tracks.

I stopped a few times to stretch my legs and eat some Gu Chomps energy gels.  Those helped, but I found the energy was short lived so I may have a bit to learn about that.

I'm pretty sure I'll be running this race every year as a celebration of my first half-marathon ever.

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