Silver Comet Half Marathon Recap
Given that I have run this distance or more a few times over since training for my full, I was not super nervous about this. More excited than anything else, really. But I still wanted to run my pace and not try to over do anything and risk some injury.I had 12 to run on the schedule but figured why not add a mile and at least get a t-shirt and a medal out of it, right? Photos and details after the jump.
First off, it was freaking cold. I wish I could convey just how cold it was. I was so ready to get running just to warm up. I rode up with 2 friends, one of which was running the race. Her husband was kind enough to drive us and drop us off.
Since we both needed a bathroom break, and saw that the porta-potties had super long lines, we headed toward the nearest gas station. While in line, the guy behind the cash register tells the guys that there is a urinal and toilet in the men’s room so the line could move faster. The dude next to me looks over and says “I don’t need a urinal. I gotta drop a deuce.” Awesome, right? Like we have been family or something and he was the creepy uncle. I have never been more thankful to be in front of someone in a line before in my life.
After freezing for a while, the crowds were moved toward the starting line.
Since this was not a huge race (I think about 1500-1600 runners) there were no corrals. That may have hurt me. I say this because I think I got stuck in an area of people that were faster than me. I know this because every single one of them passed me for the first several miles. Or so it felt like it. Mentally defeating at times. But I kept saying in my head “run your race” over and over.
The course was simply amazing, though. We started off in the street and had only a very mild hill. After about 2 or 3 miles we made our way onto the Silver Comet Trail for and out and back. Talk about a wonderfully flat course, this thing was awesome. If anyone in the Atlanta area is ever looking for a great race to run their first half, this is it. Once on the trail, the sharp winds were blocked primarily by the massive amount of trees sidelining the trail. It was chilly but not too uncomfortably cold. I enjoyed every bit of it.
The first 4 or 5 miles kinda bothered me simply because it felt like everyone was passing me, except those who had to stop and stretch or sit down on the side. I just kept my pace and tried not to let it bother me. I knew at some point I would start to see the faster runners loop back to my left and when that happened I really thought it would mess with me more mentally, but it didn’t. In fact, it charged me up. I guess because I knew I couldn’t be too far away from the turn around. I ended up seeing my friend Becky and a high five and smile from her really helped me out big time. Amazing what a familiar face will do for you during a run like that. On a side note, and she will never admit it, but she is a great runner and offered me great advice. On top of that, she looks great when she runs. Not weak or broken, but confident and strong. Admirable.
I figured that the turn-around would be around mile 8 and when I hit it, I felt really good. Legs felt great. Gas in the tank. Smile on my face. Confident.
Around mile 9 or 10, I had a great moment as I saw a lady running who had not yet gotten to the turn around. I am guessing she was on mile 5 or 6. She was not a little lady and not running fast at all (not like I run fast mind you). But what blew me away was that she had a huge smile on her face. That right there is what it is all about people. She was out there doing it. And enjoying it. So as I got up closer to her I moved over and gave her a big high five and watched her smile get bigger.
I started to get a little tired around mile 11. The crowd had started to thin a bit and there were not many people around me. Taking the advice of my buddy Blake, I had been looking for people to pick off and pass. I had been passing several people who had passed me earlier and my confidence gained as I did that. I really feels good to have the steam to push ahead in those later miles. At mile 12 I wanted to pick it up a bit so I tried to stretch my legs and move a little faster despite being more on the tired side.
The finish line was awesome. Tons of people and that big ticking clock that everyone dreams of seeing. As I ran in, I could see my friends Becky and Justin on my right and hearing them cheer for me was just the absolute best feeling in the world. As I slowed down from the run and was handed a medal, I just couldn’t stop smiling. I had finished my first official half-marathon. And I did it running. In March, I couldn’t finish a 5K running, but I finished 13.1 running. Becky came over and gave me a huge hug and Justin had a smile on his face. She is such an accomplished runner (I think her time was about 1:50 and that is without preparing for this race. And she also stopped for a bathroom break!) so having her encouragement was the icing on the cake. She didn’t care what my time was. She didn’t tell me I could have done it different. She just gave me a giant hug and said she was proud. Freaking awesome.
My first half-marathon medal:
Me right after the race:
After the race, I picked through the line of goodies for a bit and grabbed a little bagel with peanut butter, then we headed out of there. We were all freezing. Becky and Justin were so kind to wait on me, after all, they could have been gone 30 minutes earlier if they hadn’t waited on me. We went over to Yeah Burger, a place I had not eaten before, and hooked up some post-run nommage that went a little like this:
How about one of the best veggie burgers I have had served with some sweet potato wedges? Yes please!
Cool fact #4598: This is the only race shirt that I have that fits. All of my others shirts from the races I have done this year are all too big.
As for my time… According to my Nike+ it was 2:17
When we were on the road about to start, I didn’t really hear any major announcement about “Hey everyone, we are going to start!” I just saw people go from standing to running. I looked down and hit start on my app. That could explain why my Nike time is less than my official time, since I stopped the app when it hit 13.1. I worry that my calibration is off though and will need to double check it. Not like I didn’t run the distance, because that is obvious. I just want to make sure everything is in sync. Although, I think its time to buy a Garmin.
Regardless, here are my splits according to Nike+
- 9:38 (9’38”/mi)
- 19:41 (10’03”/mi)
- 30:03 (10’22”/mi)
- 40:38 (10’35”/mi)
- 51:19 (10’41”/mi)
- 1:02:00 (10’41”/mi)
- 1:12:32 (10’32”/mi)
- 1:23:20 (10’48”/mi)
- 1:33:58 (10’38”/mi)
- 1:44:21 (10’23”/mi)
- 1:55:03 (10’42”/mi)
- 2:05:51 (10’48”/mi)
- 2:16:20 (10’29”/mi)
According to the official results from Active, here are my numbers:
Gun Time: 2:25:23
Chip Time: 2:24:40
I would be lying if I said I was not bummed that I didn’t hit 2:20 or quicker, because in the back of my mind that is what I wanted. Training run or not. I was also a little thrown off at the official pace I kept because I thought I have been running faster than that (something I have verified from other races). Again, I think I need to calibrate the Nike app. But I also have to look at it like this was still a training run for me and should not have really been for a quick time. I am glad that my legs held up, especially after a pretty tough WOD yesterday. My wife, who is awesome, put it in perspective for me when I got home and started talking about my time. She reminded me of where I have come from and that I have basically been running this distance each week preparing for the full. I am so very thankful for her support, love, and wisdom.
What really put it in perspective were two participants yesterday, my guess a father and son team. The son, who had a physical disability was in a special racing chair outfitted with pedals. The father was pushing the son and totally kicking butt. I mean, they were cruising. How can I honestly sit here and beat myself up over time when that guy’s son would give anything to be able to run? How can I complain when that father and son are making the best of their situation and out there doing it? Yea, I can’t.
So I am not going to beat myself up over any time. I am going to celebrate this and put it in the win column. This is another victory over the old me. This is something that I could not do this time last year, or even a few months ago. And this coming Saturday, I will be doing something that only 1% of the population will ever do.
I have a total of 10 miles to run this coming week over 2 runs. Love the taper! I get 2 fulls days of rest and then on Saturday it is time for the big dance: Rock N’ Roll Savannah full marathon!
33 Notes/ Hide
- robownslife likes this
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- mommyslosingitnow said: Great job!
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- pickyourhard said: I am beaming with pride. You are such an inspiration to us all!
- southcarolinagirl said: Great recap, and congratulations on your first half! It’s so awesome to read how far you’ve come in such a short time. You’re kicking butt. Was the father/son team Team Hoyt?
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- gillsquirt said: awesome recap, jason!! lots of what you wrote was stuff that swam thru my head yesterday! can’t wait to virtually cheer you on for your first full marathon a week after your first half marathon! you are crazy in the best way possible :)
- gillsquirt likes this
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- rxingmyazzoff said: So proud of you. You are amazing.
- victoriafindslife likes this
- runningwithguts said: Great recap! It sounds like we battled similar morning weather yesterday, and despite what you may think, that’s a GREAT half time! Plus, you now have a baseline for future 13.1 endeavors :D You’re going to smoke Savannah next week.
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