Saturday, September 13, 2008

Asheville Half Marathon

1:58:35. Slowest Half-Marathon time, but considering the course - I am very happy with it. Rested yesterday, waking up at 4:50am and out of the house by 5:30. Drvie to Asheville wasn't too bad (Luckily - I had filled my gas tank Thursday morning, before the onslaught of $4/gal gas prices.). Got my bib, chip, saw a few people from the GTC, did a small warmup run which I normally don't do and started at 8am. Started out comfortably, missed the Mile 1 sign, so really had no idea of my pace until Mile 2, which was just under 18. Perfect for me. Hard to gauge my running wilth all the hills, but I fluctuated with them - never feeling like I was going too fast or too slow. Found a girl (A.L.) and guy (J) running who had a similar pace around Mile 2 or so. Pretty much stayed with them (or within 30 yards) the rest of the way. Chatted and ran up and down hills. Didn't have trouble - even with the really steep ones. We got ahead of J, then I fell a little back a little about the 8 mile mark and followed Andrea a while. I did catch her, but then she was off ahead again going into the last hill, which covered the last 1.5 miles or so. That was where I finally walked once or twice for no more than 30 seconds. At the crest of the hill, you turn left and have 0.1 down to the finish line. That is where my legs felt the effects of the hills - not quite cramping up on me. Hit the wrong button on my watch - so I didn't know my finish/chip time until the reuslt were posted online. Chip-Gun time were off by almost a minute - it was that crowded at the start. Great volunteers! So many water stations - there was only one that was too crowded to get water - but I carried my own anyway - kind of a mental thing, but it did come in handy before and during the race. Very nice crowds along the way - one guy with a water hose to wet us (didn't do too much it was just set to a light mist). Maybe a mile or so was on Beaver Lake Trail, so much better than pavement!! Finisher Award and shirt are both very nice - I will wear that shirt proudly!

My pace was pretty comfortably - take away most of the hills and ask if I could do that for another 13.1 miles- I'd probably say no. So - Looks like breaking 4 hrs at NYC is not very realistic, but beating my previous time (4:18) is!

Light stretching afterwards (and eating/water!) and my legs felt fine. Found out later that A.L. was a bandit. More on that in another post - but it was disappointing after exchanging stories, etc for over an hour. The race did sell out beforehand, and she didn't take advantage of many water stations, and pulled off before the chute/medals - so that was at least something.

Anyway - may do 3.6 tomorrow and see how that feels. Traveling on and off the next 2 weeks to Juarez, Mexico and a trip to Atlanta in between, so hopefully that won't hurt my running schedule too much!

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