Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Long Beach Half Marathon: Race Leftovers

Some things that did not make the race recap...

Medals And Jacket

I will blog about my medals and my jacket but I need pictures. So keep an eye out for a separate post on that.


This is kinda cool. It breaks down the race in terms of a graphic.

Overall I did well but in my age group, I was ahead of about 73 percent of the rest of the 35- to 39-year-olds. That's good. All of these stats are good. I know I'm never going to be an AG champion but being in the top... well, near the top quarter is something to be proud of.

More Stats

The race web site provided some pretty cool and interesting statistics, a relative wealth of information. The statistics that most struck me were these:

The first 6.214 miles took me 54:31 to run, which is an 8:46 pace

The next 4.586 miles took me 40:16, an 8:47 pace

The last 2.309 miles took me 20:16, an 8:47 pace

That is consistent! At times it felt like my legs were churning as they do when I'm on the treadmill, which is to say that I was in the same gear, at the same speed, holding strong and steady. I know runners hate the 'mill but it's for reasons like this that I think it's a valuable tool. I've set the 'mill on a certain setting and have just lost myself in thought or music or whatever's rolling around in my mind.

What surprises me is that I wasn't able to gauge my speed because of the Garmin Gremlins, but I was able to keep going the same speed, and that speed was about 12 seconds under the 9-minute per mile mark. Score that as a pleasant surprise.

Fading Finisher

Remember when I said that it felt like many runners were getting past me during the last part of Sunday's race?

Check this out:
So I passed fewer runners than passed me. It wasn't a great feeling, seeing runners zoom past me, runners who had mustered up more energy and determination than me in the final portion of the race.

I remember one runner who passed me by somewhere in the final mile. She came up around my right and went past me and I told myself "stick behind her and you'll finish strong." Well, she was very strong and there was no way I could have kept up with her. It seemed like she was the norm and not the exception.

But that's fine. I just have to work on my finishing kick the next time out.

Lady In Yellow

Have I mentioned that it was exciting to see Katie A at the race? Well, if I haven't mentioned it yet, I was thrilled to have had the chance to run the same race as Katie, who was decked out in yellow for the race. Originally, she was supposed to run the full marathon but decided to run the half instead. I wanted to see her before the race but didn't, so I wasn't sure where she lined up exactly. Turns out, she was ahead of me, in Wave 1.

She romped through Long Beach as she ran an effortless 1:44:56. She chews up and spits out half marathons like they were grapes and Sunday was no different.

Check out her race report here.

Another cool graphic lets you compare yourself to another runner. Now, there is no comparison between Katie and LB...


... but I tried to compare ourselves during the race. Check this out.

So the part where the big yellow arrow is pointing to (away from the finish) is where I was when Katie crossed the finish line. Pretty awesome. She smoked my ass by 1.6 miles. To be fair, she had a five-minute head start since this measures from gun time. What would have been cool would have been for me to have started first and for her to have started in the second wave. She might have caught me up!

What's Next?

My next planned race is the Mission Inn Half Marathon on Nov. 14. I have to tell you, I think it's very cool that I can run half-marathons in such close proximity as these two and not feel worried. Not sure if I'll ever get to the point where I can run full marathons within four weeks of each other and feel great about it but all in due time.

Anyway, there is a tiny bit of an asterisk near that one. Because of soccer/work commitments, I may be in Salt Lake City on Nov. 14. Lots of things have to happen before that, and we'll find out by Sunday if there's even a chance of that happening. But for now, we'll have an asterisk next to that one.

If I'm not in the Beehive State on Nov. 14, I'm going to be in Riverside, running 13.1 miles.

I have to tell you, at times during Long Beach I made a deal with myself. I said "if you PR here, then you can just relax and have a half-marathon fun run on Nov. 14."

Of course, Katie believes in me, perhaps more than I believe in myself. She claims that I can PR there too, that if I focus on speedwork the next few weeks I can get an even faster time. I think she said 1:52 but I was fumbling for a nice way to say "You're crazy!"

Not one to pass up a challenge, I agreed that I would go for a PR then. Do I have buyer's remorse? No. I know there is a strong possibility that I do not PR then, but just as I would have been okay not doing so in Long Beach I know not setting a PR in Riverside will be fine. I do want to have a bit of a carrot to dangle in front of me. This is a crucial time coming up for next year's plans. With the Lopers, we will no longer be running under 10 miles. All of our runs will be double-digit runs. I will increase my weekly mileage because of that and I will also start to get in not just double-digit runs more often but runs of 12-15 miles. I've missed that distance! I like me some 15-mile runs, and between San Francisco and Long Beach, I only had one 15-mile run.

So I will be increasing my mileage with Surf City and LA marathons in the back of my mind. That's the ultimate goal, and getting in some speedwork now while increasing my overall mileage will help me become a stronger runner. And I like strength and I need more speedwork, so what a great combination.


Book Worm Runs said...

Those are so cool! Every race should have those types of graphics and statistics :o) And great job on running that steady pace...that is hard to do! Congrats!!

tahoegirl said...

Loved those graphics. Yup, you got the running bug.

Willoughby said...

The graphics are awesome!

I have to comment on something that I think you are overlooking. When you compare yourself to other runners, you're basically comparing apples and oranges. I mean, how many of the runner who passed you lost over 100 pounds in the last few years? And how many of them may have been running and training since they were in high school? You've achieved so much in such a short amount of time. That puts you ahead of most of the runners you competed with in my book! Pat yourself on the back, job well done!!

Tales from the Back of the Pack said...

That kind of pace consistency is phenomenal. And to do it without a garmin, awesome job!

I had no idea those graphics were available. Off to go check out my stats!

Tricia said...


Jacqi said...

congrats on your PR and your steady pace! Great job!