Monday, May 9, 2011

2011 Trail Nut Half Marathon Recap

     This race was an experiment to see just what I could do without training for it. After 3 weeks of tapering for the Blue Ridge Half on Apr 16th followed by 3 weeks of recovery based workouts my estimated finish time for this race was exactly where I ended up. My training would have supported a competitive effort for 8 miles so I would have fit right in with the 10k race, but I didn't do a half marathon on trails last year and it has been sort of a side objective of mine to try to do each of the 6 popular race distances (5k, 4M, 10k, 10M, Half and Full) on each surface (trail and asphalt) each year. Still, even though I was only at 92% of peak athletic capacity going to the starting line, when the starting horn sounded I gave it all I had and as always I had hoped to surprise myself.

     Sure enough I kept a good competitive pace for about the first 6 miles, then a cruising pace for about 3 miles after that and the last 4 miles saw me drop into something just short of competitive. The camaraderie out there was great as demonstrated by Randy B. who passed me around mile 6 and effectively pulled me up a rather steep hill as I sought to chase the rabbit and by David T. who tried to pace me to the finish, but I was too far spent after about a mile of the pace he was moving.

     Way cool too was my son, Chris, out there doing the 10k. He was on a section of trail in the woods that looked out into a clearing where I happened to be so we hollered out some motivation. He eventually finished 11th overall and won his age group! Yay Chris!

     So I had wanted to surprise myself by finishing with a pace in the 7's, but mathematically I knew going in that it was a statistical improbability. Still, this was a great race with regards to the course, medals, food, and people, so I will keep it on the agenda for next year. It also gave me a lot to reflect on too. I have 4 weeks to get tuned up for the Conquer the Cove 25k on June 6th. That's just not enough time to get up to 100%, but I should be able to get to 96% of peak athletic capacity by then and having fresh knowledge of room to improve will really add some fuel to my fire as I tune up for it.

Final Results:
The Trail Nut Half Marathon
2011-time 1:46:56, pace: 8:09/M, Place 23/118 overall, 2/7 in my age group, 20/68 among men


  1. Nice report. I enjoy reading your stuff. I provided a link to this page from my blog's race report too, hoping to get more readers for us all. Check out the others who are blogging now as well. (Those links are on my page) so... Conquer the cove is only how many weeks away??? oh goodness. Sooner than I thought. See you there.

  2. Nice recap Phil. It was great to meet you Saturday, and I'm glad to know that you have a blog. Hope to see you again at future races.