Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Coming to you from the first snow of the season which is occurring as I type. When I checked last night they mentioned maybe an inch or two with no road accumulation .. well, that was yet another wrong forecast from our weather talking heads. It started around 3am and hasn’t stopped since now into the middle of the afternoon. Guessing we are currently somewhere in the 5-6 inch mark – when it will stop, nobody knows. My main interest in the weather was we planned a Springdale run this morning and wanted to make sure my apparel matched the conditions. Ended up having to switch a few layers after seeing the snow piling up. I will tell you, there is few things more enjoyable than a nice 7 mile run in the snow especially when you can pass those miles in the company of good friends.
In keeping with that theme, figured it would be a good time to give you a break from the birds and wait for it … bring you a post on the last race of the season.
Yep, another year in the running book closed out with the Peoria Half Marathon completed back on October 16th. I am not a big fan of this race, but it is conveniently close and most of all, I needed some race redemption. If you remember from my previous post, the race before this wasn’t a stellar outing (link here). This race was the third half marathon in less than 1.5 months and was a chance for me to prove to Linda that the previous race was just an anomaly.
Hit the jump to see how the race turned out!
Starting out with the traditional pre-race shots. Once again Linda was manning the camera as my personal event photographer (yea). First thing to note is the difference in apparel from the previous year (link here). Last year it was pretty damn cold and had to break out the tights (like this morning ha). This year, not so much. It was a cool at the start – you always want to be cold at the start of the race knowing you will be heating up once the legs get to churning. It was slightly concerning that it was going to warm up by the time the race hit the second half so went a bit cooler than I normally would and being cold is better than being hot post the heat stroke event.
With Shazam putting this race on, you know there will be plenty of advertisement opportunities – just noticed the banner we picked to have the pre-race picture with just had a itsy bitsy call out on the bottom indicating what this race was. Guessing by this time I was reminding myself to take it easy and don’t allow myself to get drained too early (thus the concerning expression). Inevitably the time came to line up and get this race going.
Looks like we are synchronized running – color matching, legs in step, but one of us at least doesn’t take running very seriously. Although I think that dude on my right is calling for a pizza to be delivered which might make him more laid back that even me! The first couple of miles was focused on keeping the pace under control. When you are caught up in the moment with the herd of other runners you tend to creep your pace up – so far so good on the first leg. Based on my expression, guessing I was still enjoying the race – now that dude in front of me was apparently experiencing some IT band problems – if nothing else, from wearing way to warm of clothes.
The next leg was steady as well. I ended up tucking in behind a pace setter for the 4:30 mark. WTF – why was a 4:30 marathon pacer anywhere close to me? I was at my goal of a 8:30/8:40 pace which should have put me ahead by minutes. She ran ahead of me for the entire second leg causing me to do a lot more math in my head than I wanted to. She was busy saying how this was her 150th marathon (you have to be impressed by that) and how many races she has paced etc. Eventually some guy running in her pace group questioned her pace and started quite a discussion that ended up with her dropping her pace resulting in me taking back the expected spacing. I didn’t see them again, but hope she didn’t burn her group out by taking them out too fast.
Eventually I found my pocket and settled in to some mindless miles. I inadvertently fooled myself into thinking I was further back in the race than I really was. I kept telling myself that I needed to cross over a particular road to get through the 3rtd leg (per the previous two races I had ran this race). After a while I gave some attention to my Runkeeper and heard her say what mile I was at – holy cow, I was in the final leg already – they changed the course this year. I was in good shape although I could feel the humidity that had sky rocketed after the 2nd leg. Out in the sun now and the sweat was pouring. To be honest, I was trying to track down this woman that kept stopping to stretch allowing me to close some distance and then she would bolt out ahead of me eating up the gains until the cycle repeated. To her credit, I never made up all the distance (she is in the pink below)
It wasn’t my fastest time for a half marathon, but it was a nice steady race and I stayed exactly where I wanted to be split after split. More importantly, just the normal race fatigue at the end achieving my redemption goal. Should probably mention that there were two reasons for not getting sick – one being Linda’s scorn and the other being we were heading out to North Carolina right after the race. Good to see Mr. Tights recovered from his early pains and beat the course as well.
From a race perspective, this race has to be the lamest when it comes to the expo and post race amenities. They go on and on about how great it is to end in an arena that holds 8,000 people or so … note to organizers, it doesn’t matter how many people it can hold when there is really just a small crowd made up of parents and spouses. I signed up a little late this year and had to pay a penalty fee, but the 80 bucks (pretty sure that is what it came out to) did not correlate at all to the quality of the race or swag. Recommend moving it out of the convention arena and dropping the entry fees – they act like it is as important as finishing on the Illini football field and IT IS NOT. Run for a few yards, cross the mats, get a paper plate with a banana and bagel on it and go and find your driver.
.. and lastly the traditional post race shot. There were no ambulances we could find (which makes you wonder a bit in itself), but we did find the bomb disposal unit trucks The disposal team didn’t look that interested in having their picture taken with me so opted to take a shot from afar.
I will give them credit for having nice medals so at least that took some of the edge off the entry fee. Another race completed and a successful close out of the 2016 race season.
Catch you all again soon, time to go work on the garage wiring – no rest for the wicked.