Sunday, November 2, 2014

Monumental Indy Half RR

More of the same.  Frustrations continue.  When I hit the pills perfectly, I am as good as I've ever been but those days are rare and the magic formula remains unstable. My latest lab results show improved liver function but increased copper toxicity. I have been able to hit 40 MPW more consistently however and am considerably better off than I was last year.  I figured that a good day would be sub-7 pace (1:31:40) but anything south of 95 would be acceptable.  I have not broken that barrier in 5 races and 3 were over 1:40.

It's not a bad drive from Birmingham.  7.5 hours and it's a straight shot up I-65.  I took the day off on Friday but left after work on Thursday and drove just past Nashville that night.  Friday was a bit stressful as I hit some rough weather and road construction in Kentucky.  It was pretty smooth once I got into Indiana.  I had been there before but it was always just a drive through with a stop for a meal.  It's an interesting state culturally.  I was surprised to hear southern accents across the river from Louisville and I'd say that the southern third is an extension of Kentucky.  Indianapolis is purely Midwestern while the northern third is much like Chicago or Michigan.

I arrived at the airport just in time to pick up my buddy Nick, who had flown in from Atlanta and we checked into our hotel downtown before heading to the expo where I purchased a nice warm hat and some fuel for race morning.  Dinner was a high priced but very good dry rub Ribeye.  That night, it became apparent that my formula would have to be adjusted because the Cal/Mag sensitivity had flared up.  I'm going back to the Taurine but it's too late to make any big changes but I knew of a quick fix to deplete the excess Cal/Mag.  Kickstart Energy just before bed!  It worked and I began feeling better soon after and actually got 6 hours of sleep.

Course and weather:
Fast course and one of the flattest that I have raced mostly through the city with some residential areas.  There were really only 3 noticeable hills and none of them were particular steep or long and I did notice a few gentle declines as well.  When I arrived in town, it was 37 degrees with light rain and a 20-25 mph wind.  That would be the worst possible conditions.  Fortunately, the weather did clear by the morning but the wind did not really die down too much.  It was still 15-20 mph winds with gusts up to 30 with temps in the upper 20s.  I've run in worse and it really wasn't too bad once I got started.  The sun came out in the 2nd half and I was actually comfortable in a long tech and pants.

Congested start over the first quarter mile but once I found some open space, I was moving well and feeling very strong.  I aimed for a 7:00 pace but I was doing in the 6:40s once I cleared the congestion.  I dialed it back in Mile 2 but was still doing just under 7.  Then my legs tightened up at 1.75 miles and I would have to slow down and settle into a sustainable pace.
6:56- 6:56- great
7:03- 13:59- on pace but slipping
7:17- 21:16- in trouble.

I was fearing the worst now and was prepared to accept another meltdown and a finish over 1:40.  Fortunately, I was able to hold my pace at goal marathon speed and once I got past Mile 5, I knew that most likely, I would be able to hold it to the finish.
7:19- 28:29- still holding on
7:14- 35:43- this is going to be okay.
7:15- 42:58- feel no worse than Mile 3.
Passed the halfway point in 47:03.  If I can hold a sub-7:20, I'll be under 1:35.

I ran the next section like a metronome and my pace never really varied no matter the terrain.
7:18- 50:16 still okay
7:18- 57:34 took a gel
7:18- 64:52- I should be a pacer.

In Mile 10, there was a bit of a downhill and my gel was kicking in so I threw in a bit of a surge but it was short lived and I slipped back to pace in the next mile.  With 2 miles to go, I knew that all I needed was 2 more 7:30s to break 1:35 and that was a pretty safe bet.  I tried to surge again but felt a twinge in my groin.  OUCH!  PLEASE hold up until the finish.  In the end, I did feel a few jabs of pain but it did hold up.  I shortened my stride and picked up the turnover as the course turned slightly downhill early in Mile 13.  It was my fastest Mile since #1 but I ran into a fierce headwind with about a half mile to go.  I continued driving toward the line but my groin was starting to give out with .1 to go so I just cruised it in.  I am NOT injured, just abnormally sore because my pills were off.  I was glad to finish respectably in 1:34:30.
7:10- 72:02- I'm going to break 95.
7:18- 79:20- back on pace. LOL
7:21- 86:41- groin
7:03- 93:44- finishing well
:46- 1:34:30- cruised it in

1st half: 47:03, 2nd half: 47:27.  That's one of the most even races I've run and certainly the most even for Miles 3-12. Overall pace: 7:13.  AG: 41/387.  Percentile rank: 89.
I'll take it.  It's my best showing at this distance since last January.  I know I'm better than this and will try one more in Tulsa before the year is out.  I have now completed a half/full in 20 states.
Congrats to Nick on another MASSIVE PR of 1:40:55!

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