Sunday, July 21, 2013

2013 The Scream Half Marathon

2013 The Scream Half Marathon
Training For New River Trail 50k Weeks 4-6
Shirt front, race number, finishers medal and pint glass (3rd place Age Group award.)
Final Results: Time 1:34:26, Pace 7:12, Place 28/337 Overall, 21/139 among men, 3/25 in my age group

Garmin Data: HERE

This is the 2nd year this event has been held and my first year participating.

The 2nd 3 weeks of training for the NRT 50k consisted of running 3 times per week, adding additional mileage and intensity to the interval training, upping the pace of the 20 miler and swapping out the 26 miler for a slower 30+


6  4.558.5
7 6711.5






Compared to weeks 1-3, I've steadily pushed my average paces into the 7's, 8's, and 9's and it paid off at the race. As stated above, I was looking to do my 30 miler at a slower pace than last segments 26 miler, but I had originally intended to do the 30 on a trail and changed it over to asphalt at the last minute. A

The Course
    The Scream half marathon is a point-to-point USATF certified downhill course. Most of the course is on a rocky dirt/gravel road, but the first 2 miles are asphalt. I selected it for several reasons...1) Roanoke (my home town) does not offer a similar type race. 2) The course is comprised of a section of the Peak to Creek Marathon and I wanted to get a feel for the course so if I end up doing Peak to Creek I'll have an idea what I'm getting into. 3) I do rather well with downhill running, so it offered me an shot at a PR without having to be in what I call "PR" shape. 

The Race
     The first two miles are on asphalt and offer rolling terrain. My legs felt heavy and dead for this section and the steady downhill couldn't have started soon enough for me. Once the continuous downhill started I found a groove in the high 6's fairly quickly and no one was passing me, so I was content to hold at a steady effort. After a few miles into the downhill Garmin was showing me with an average pace in the low 7's. My PR 1/2 marathon pace from the 2012 Blue Ridge Half was a 7:17, so I was feeling motivated to ignore any encroaching fatigue.

      Somewhere between miles 7-10 are two fairly modest, but noticeable uphill sections. I didn't have the programming in place to compensate for them without interrupting my pace so I lost a few seconds getting past 'em, but my average pace was staying in the low 7's, so I wasn't stressing on it.

     By the last 3 miles my calves were feeling intense burn and I was calculating what was the least amount of effort I could expend and still make a PR. Garmin isn't 100% accurate and especially not in areas with heavy tree cover, so I knew better than to let Garmin be the decisive factor. I tried to focus on holding a steady effort, but I was wearing out fast. Logged the final full mile in at a 8:00 min/mile flat.

     When I saw the finish line something got a hold of me to make a strong finish. I scrambled to find a surge and had to start bellowing out with a war cry, but I did manage a good sprint and passed one guy who had been playing leap frog with me for several miles. I was pleasantly surprised as I charged the finish line by the sight of my wife and daughter, I thought they would have been waiting at the Brown Mountain Beach Resort for me to get off a shuttle bus. I was happy to see them, but I missed the time clock completely and had no idea what my official time was. Garmin was showing 1:34:xx, so I figured I PR'd by a small margin.

     After several minutes of walking around in post race exhaustion I made it over to where the results were being posted. 1:34:26, I almost couldn't believe it, that I had cut it so close, but still managed a PR. After doing a double take I realized I had pulled off a 3rd place Age Group award as well. Making the podium AND getting a PR at the same event is the kind of moment I live for. The fact that the course was downhill and somewhat lending itself to a PR was in no way diminishing the experience.
Post race showering facilities lacked in hot water, but offered a refreshing "natural" feel.

Shirt back: Please support The Scream sponsors.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

By The Numbers: 2013: Q2

By The Numbers
2013: Q2
All mileage. Includes run, bike, swim, hike, walk and elliptical. I been doing a lot of elliptical work in lieu of cycling and swimming lately.
Cycling mileage is way low, but my speeds are looking good when I ride, so no worries.
Not spending much time in the pool. "0" indicates less than 1/2 mile. Completely blank indicates a literal zero.

Run mileage has stayed at near record high levels, but avg speeds are still down.

Post exercise weight is still above peak competitive levels, but fine for general health.

BMI means nothing to me, but I throw it in here since its available.

Blood Pressure is fine.

First thing in the morning weight started getting a bit high in June, but Im making the adjustments.

Body Fat % is good. I like to keep it between 12%-16%