Distance = 13.11 (Half Marathon)
Calories = 1602
Max HR = 191
Avg HR = 165
Running Index = 45
Max Cadence = 100
Avg Cadence = 93
Equipment: Asics Gel-Cumulus 9s, shorts, tech shirt
This was the race I'd hoped to be training for following the Bataan Memorial Death March. Due to time constraints, this race requires runners to maintain 13:00/mile pace for most of the course. I was concerned about maintaining this pace as I was just getting back to training. I used the Bolder Boulder on Monday as a level-set to determine my ability to maintain a pace faster than 13:00/mile. My goal for Bolder Boulder was better than 12:00/mile. This I was able to do with room to spare. I started the Dexter - Ann Arbor Run Half Marathon knowing that I had the speed to maintain 13:00/mile or better. What I didn't know was whether I had the endurance.
My goals for the race were A: to finish (beating the 13:00/mile cut-off), B: PR (beat 2:32:52), and C: beat 2:30:00 (which means I qualify for the Pikes Peak Ascent). This race also completes Week 3 in my USAF Marathon training.
This is a point-to-point race. I parked near the finish and caught one of the first buses to the start. We had access to the school building at the start and there was a large bank of porta-potties in the parking lot. There were low clouds with very few breaks before the start. The previous night had had severe weather including torrential rain and even tornadoes in the region. The start was delayed by half an hour due to a tree across the course.
I started very near the back of the pack. At one point I may have had five runners behind me and I could hear the vehicles that were following the last runners. The course makes a small loop from the school into the town of Dexter before crossing the Huron River just past downtown. There was a band playing in town. On the bridge over the river you could see the size and rate of the river flow. We would follow the river for most of the course. The road is described as rolling, but some of the hills have a noticeable grade. Most of the course is tree-covered, but that was less of an issue as the clouds blocked the sun most of the time. There was even once that there was a slight drizzle, almost a mist. If I had been running harder, I might have found it muggy and humid. In spots, you could see where water had run over the road earlier. There were a couple places that still had a film of water and some mud. I forget where it was, but we did see the remains of the tree that had fallen on the road.
Spectators were sparse, but quite energetic. There was one woman I know I saw three times. There were aid stations every two miles with water; some also had Gatorade. There were musicians at spots along the way and some of the police had the radio up in their vehicles. The final segment is uphill and the finish is on Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor. The Taste of Ann Arbor festival starts just beyond the finish area. You are handed your medal (and a nice medal it is), your water, and have the opportunity for a photo. There is pizza, bread, and oranges available next.
I'm very happy with how this race went. I knew I had the finish in hand unless the wheels came off. About 5 miles out, I figured I had a good shot at the 2:30 finish. I set my target for the final miles to hit mile 13 before 2:30 on the clock as I knew I had taken about two minute to get to the starting line. When I hit the last full mile, I knew I had the 2:30 with room to spare. I felt great during the entire race. Early in the race I was very conservative, but I noted that I was running a heart rate well under what I had done for the USAF Half last September. I started paying attention to the grade and would short and quicken my stride on the ups and increase my pace on the downs. This worked real well and I will have to keep an eye on that for other races. Since the race, I seem to be recovering better than I did in the fall.
This is the last serious race until the USAF in September. I am mostly following Hal Higdon's Novice I program. My shorter races tell me I have the speed for a 4 hour marathon, but I need to develop the endurance. Based on my performance here, I will set a target of 5 hours for the USAF. This is mainly a baseline to guide my training. My A-goal for the USAF is to be their 7 hour cut-off. Everything so far supports this as already achievable. These will firm up as we get closer, but I'm currently thinking about targeting 12:00/pace as sustainable and a stretch goal to beat 5 hours.
Finally, this race achieves one of my goals set at the beginning of the year and that was to set a new PR (Personal Record) in the half marathon.
The Half Marathon Finisher's Medal
Lap Time Lap Time Max Avg Min Dist min/mile
1. 0:11:38.7 0:11:38.7 159 142 117 0.989 11:46
2. 0:23:21.3 0:11:42.6 158 152 142 0.994 11:46
3. 0:34:48.9 0:11:27.6 170 162 153 1.013 11:19
4. 0:46:09.9 0:11:21.0 171 163 156 0.997 11:23
5. 0:57:14.0 0:11:04.1 176 167 160 1.006 11:00
6. 1:08:28.3 0:11:14.3 172 166 157 0.998 11:15
7. 1:19:40.0 0:11:11.7 169 165 160 0.990 11:18
8. 1:30:50.5 0:11:10.5 180 168 157 0.995 11:13
9. 1:41:48.0 0:10:57.5 176 171 165 1.008 10:52
10. 1:52:32.8 0:10:44.8 177 174 168 0.997 10:46
11. 2:03:36.0 0:11:03.2 176 173 164 1.001 11:02
12. 2:15:10.0 0:11:34.0 183 174 162 1.005 11:30
13. 2:28:54.2 0:13:44.2 191 175 162 1.187 11:34
(last mile through the finish)