Sunday, October 23, 2011

Newburyport Half Marathon

Time: 113:42
Distance: 28.81k

W/u: 28:38 for 5.49k
Race: 71:45 for 5th place
C/d: 13:19 for 2.32k

I ran a half marathon today. I need to get back on my A-game to compete in New England. I am going to be really sore.

About a week ago Meagan encouraged me to run the inaugural Newburyport Half Marathon, but I paid her little attention. I haven't been doing much recently other than running her workouts for the past six weeks. The last workout that I would call my own was completed on August 27th with a bum foot. I had little intention to show up to the start line this morning, but then thought, "what else is there to do?"

The drive up to Newburyport was exactly what you would imagine a New England fall to be like. The trees were all shades of orange, yellow and tan while the air was crisp with the temps in the low 40s. I saw on Facebook that there were only 15 spots left for race day registration, but that turned out to be quite the ploy to create a sense of urgency. I hustled over to the registration tables upon arriving and found there to be a stack of bibs.

I should mention that race time wasn't until 10:00 AM which meant I had plenty of time to organize my gear, find a porto, do my warm up and head over to the start line with over 1,000 other participants. Not bad for a first year race in a small New England town of roughly 20,000 according to multiple legit internet sources including but not limited to Wikipedia (this isn't a term paper so back off). With the race starting mid-morning I also had ample time to scout the competition. I recognized Nate Jenkins who placed 7th at the marathon trials in 2008 and a lanky Kenyan who found the race director and was given a comped entry. I didn't feel like pulling that card as I'm new to these parts and was unsure as to whether I would run 70 minutes or 75 minutes. I'd rather pay this time out.

At the start line it looked like there might be 10 guys in contention to win part of the purse ($500, $400, $300, $200, $100). My limited goal was to put my nose in the mix and find out what would happen. After the race director yelled go over the mic, Nate and the Kenyan took off to the front. I ran in the second group which consisted of Alan who I just met at Rhode Runner in Providence, a little dude with a beard named Jose and a guy with a Greater Boston Running Co. singlet. By the 2k mark, Mr. GBRC had fallen back and I was about 10 meters behind Alan and Jose. I found the courage to bridge the gap by 3k, but was soon dropped about 300 meters later.

I was solidly in fifth place and had to watch Alan and Jose run away from me starting at the 4k mark. I hoped that they would come back, but they never did as both were running personal records for the day. I kept focusing on maintaining form and running the tangents, but this was a course that wasn't going to allow me to fake it. I ran tough and tried to think about the runners ahead and not the runners behind. I felt like a marked man as I was just in the money and knew others would be coming for me.

Late in the race, probably around the 15k mark I could see that the Kenyan was falling back and being passed by Alan and Jose. I was still close to a minute back and couldn't see anyone behind me when I glanced taking turns. The course was beautiful from the 5k to 15k marks as we ran around a pond on quiet country roads that rolled gently through the woods. I would have much rather been out for a training run than trying to hold onto my fifth position, but maybe in the future I'll return.

There was a long straight stretch from 15k to 18k that put me on the rivets. I backed off the pace because I didn't think maintaining was going to leave me with anything left if I were challenged the final mile. It was a smart move as I was able to regain my composure and run back into Newburyport feeling strong and comfortable with my stride. I kept things together and could see the Kenyan was coming back, yet was still quite a ways off and I was running out of room. I crossed the line in just under 72 minutes and learned where my fitness is at on Oct. 23rd. I'm a 71 high half marathon right now. There is lots of work to do...

3:11, 3:20, 3:15, 3:24, 3:22 (16:32 at 5k)
3:16, 3:25, 3:15, 3:24, 3:29 (16:49 split, 33:21 at 10k)
3:20, 3:23, 3:22, 3:33, 3:25 (17:03 split, 50:24 at 15k)
3:27, 3:35, 3:29, 3:25, 3:22 (17:18 split, 67:42 at 20k)
3:26, :36 for 183 meters
71:47 for 21.18k


Stephen Spada said...

Solid result Jordan!

Mad said...

nice - way to get back in it