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Monday, November 1, 2010

Haunted Hustle Race Report

I went into this race with zero expectations and just wanted to finish the season with a good solid effort. My only expectation really was to run better then I did when I melted in May in the Madison Half-Marathon. I really was very laid back about this race, how laid back? Well I spent my Friday night until about 1am playing scrabble and drinking some of the wonderful Great Dane beer (not exactly the best way to hydrate). I woke up and arrived late and so as soon as I parked my car, I walked down to the race start and within an minute we were off.

Upon my late arrival I was seeded in the back half of the pack, so once again the first mile was about :30 off my mile pace that I was hoping to maintain, but this time I tried not to worry about a slow first mile and let it ruin the rest of my race. I just simply ran with the crowd and waited for things to open up and by the second mile the crowd was thin enough so I set into a solid rhythm and I found my pace.

The first 4 miles were through residential streets in Middleton and the only time that we would be exposed to any real significant elevation changes. I knew this going in and so I planned on running those miles just above 8:00/mile, but after the first mile I checked my watch and saw splits of 7:48, 7:51, and 7:52. This was a sign of good things to come, especially since my HR was in check and I was feeling great. I was curious to see how my body would hold up after the first 5 miles since I have only ran more then 5 miles once in the 6 weeks since Ironman, and I have been having small issues with my calves in those runs of 4 or 5 miles.

Mile 5 took us off the streets and onto a bike path for the majority of the rest of the race. At about 5 1/2 miles we hit a turnaround and this gave everyone a chance to check out everyone's halloween costumes that were strongly encouraged by the event staff. Forrest Gump took the cake on costumes, especially since he was in about 3rd or 4th place so even his speed matched up well with the character! I continued on with my race reaching the midpoint just over 52 minutes, exactly where I wanted to be, and now I realized my season goal of running 13.1 in under 1:45 was within reach My only concern was that this was now my longest run since IM and I wasn't sure how well I will hold up with another 6 miles left.

I made the last turnaround at about 8ish miles and soon after had a small pain start in my ankles. It was nothing major, but just had me a bit worried. My plan was to negative split the second half of the run, and to really push hard the last 5K. Once I got to that 10 mile mark I lowered my head and upped my pace slightly. I hit the 11 mile split at 7:44 and as soon as I passed that point I hit a small downhill and my ankles started to really hurt significantly. With two miles left, no races left for the season I figured now was the chance to just grin and bear it and finish the season as best I could. Mile 13 was slow and I couldn't put in that last surge that I was looking for, but I was happy to see a time more then 2 minutes under 1:45 (1:42:46) for the day. A 16 minute PR of my last standalone half-marathon and 2 minutes under my season goal.

Reviewing the numbers I realized this may have been my best executed race of any sort too date. My mile splits and HR each mile were all within about 10 seconds per mile and about 2-3 bpm per mile, talk about consistency! A great race to end the season, and to work off for next year. 2010 is officially in the books and now the preparation starts for 2011!

Mile 1 - 8:17/164
Mile 2 - 7:48/169
Mile 3 - 7:51/167
Mile 4 - 7:52/165
Mile 5 - 8:03/165
Mile 6 - 7:49/167
Mile 7 - 7:55/165
Mile 8 - 7:54/165
Mile 9 - 7:57/166
Mile 10 - 7:46/164
Mile 11 - 7:44/165
Mile 12 - 8:03/165
Mile 13 - 7:45/166



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