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Learn my lesson

September 5, 2011

6 weeks to go until STWM

Sept 4th race: Dodge Virginia Beach half marathon
Time: 1:03:16
Place: 5th

This weekend was one of my big tests before the marathon and it came in the form of a half marathon in Virginia Beach, VA.  The purpose of this race was to break up training, be competitive, push a little harder than marathon pace and gain confidence.

Right from the gun one Kenyan went out really hard while another Kenyan broke from the pack 800m into the race.  There was a decent pack of us through 2 miles but it quickly dwindled down to 6 of us with the two front running Kenyans pretty far ahead.  From 3 miles until almost 7 miles Samuel Ndereba led Ryan Hall, Gillis and myself with a Kenyan and a Japanese runner in tow.  Ryan Hall made a push and spread it out and then I pressed the pace quite a bit from 7 miles to 10 miles. Throughout the race Ryan Hall got many cheers and luckily I had some family, who lives in Virginia, come out and cheer for me too.

Early on in the race.

GIllis and I were side by side at 10 miles and when I saw the split, 48:12, I said to him that we’re running better than we did at Acura 10 miler.  After that Ndereba pushed the pace some more and Gillis was a little back. And then I made a stupid move.  Because the outside traffic lane was more slanted I moved into the inside of the road for a flatter running surface and I lost a little bit of ground on Ndereba and Hall.  This little break became a couple of seconds and then we went up a hill and the gap stretched a little further.  After the descent there were two 90 degree turns where I fell off some more.  Gillis later told me that he was gaining during that section.  Once I got onto the final straight I was 10 seconds back of Ndereba and Hall and that gap pretty much stayed the same, although they kicked the final 200m and added a few more seconds.  Lesson learned, stay with the runners to keep up with them, seems pretty obvious.

When I saw the 20km split of 59:59 I was determined to keep my pace under 3:00/km so I kept the effort solid all the while feeling that I hadn’t beat myself up too much. Other than not running with the pack during the late stages of the race I got what I wanted out of the race.  It was 21C and 93% humidity so even though I wanted that sub 63 I’m happy with my time under the conditions.  It gives me the confidence to know I can slow that pace down quite a bit for STWM when I’ll have to double the distance.

I had a solid mileage day today and recovery is going well.  A couple more easy mileage days before the next session.

On the flight home (Charlotte, NC to Buffalo, NY) we encountered some incredible turbulence.  For a a little bit it was just regular turbulence with the captain saying return to your seats and buckle up.  And then all of a sudden, whooomp!, the plane drops, drinks and snacks go flying and the stewardess goes down, hard.  I was lifted off my seat and tight against my seatbelt, it felt like a rollercoaster.  Shortly after we passed the storm the attendants had to wipe down the ceiling, every drink went up in the air.  Luckily we were sitting in the second half of the plane where drinks hadn’t been served yet.  Deplaning the plane looked like an after party with ice cubes everywhere.

Recovering after the race in my CEP socks in the Cavalier Hotel, classy place.


  1. BBB permalink
    September 6, 2011 8:30 pm

    haha why so happy in the first pic?

  2. September 7, 2011 11:06 pm

    you’re in good shape for Scotia after running that time under those conditions. The good thing is you got what you wanted out of the race and kept your discipline. I know how hard that can be myself after running a half before the Ottawa Marathon championships and having to let people go by me even though you know you can beat them. It’s not really racing but more preparing for your real goal. Good to hear your training is going well. Keep up the good work!


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