Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tales from the Silver Comet Half-Marathon


I did it. My longest run in over 2 years is over. Let me tell you about it.

Due to a bullshit timing glitch I only have an official gun time, no net chip time. The shoe I attached the chip to passed over the mat, but since I didn't stomp on the mat, it failed to register when I crossed the starting line. According to my watch I finished in 1:45:18, but my gun time is almost a minute slower. I know it 's splitting hairs, but it peeves me that my final sprint to shave a few more seconds off my time was all for naught. In all my years of racing I've never had this happen.

Not a PR, but close. I'm 10 pounds heavier and run less than half of the weekly mileage I used to. How I came within about 3 minutes of my old half-marathon PR, I don't know. We'll need to examine this later.

In another first, I had a mysterious case of FOAMING PANTS.

It was raining during the entire race, with spurts of torrential down-pours. Somewhere around the third mile I looked down and what did I see? HUGE SOAP SUDS covering my capri pants. I wiped them off, but they kept coming back. The suds were quite obvious as most people made comments as I went by. They were even coming off my butt. Humiliating. I ran the entire race looking like someone had sprayed my legs with light layer of shaving cream. I've read about this phenomenon before on runnersworld.com, so I'm not the only one this has happened to, but I was still a sight to behold. Time to start using less detergent and a second rinse cycle.

I held a pace of 8:40 for the first 3 miles. Feeling good, I steadily started to pick up speed. I loosely kept track of my time and checked my watch at each mile marker, but wasn't real precise. I know I ran negative splits, with each mile getting slightly faster than the one before. Miles 7 through 9 were the most difficult. I starting to get tired at that point, and it had been so long since I had run that far I started doubting if I could keep up the pace. The confidence returned once I hit mile 10, and knew I was in the home stretch. I mentally switched gears, and started visualizing myself running a 5k race. I picked a person ahead of me, then focused on closing the gap. One by one, I worked to reel them in. Working in small increments made it easier push myself to the next point.



The course is a paved bike path. You run 7 miles in one direction, make a u-turn, and run back 6.1 miles to finish in a parking lot where there are buses waiting. Then you get driven back to the starting line. It's flat and fast course, but also boring. The race was decently organized, but nothing special. Post race refreshments were the standard fare: oranges, bananas, bagels, and vats of peanut butter to spread on the bagels. I skipped that and right for the good stuff.

M had made a Mickey D's run during the race and had an egg and sausage biscuit, 2 hash browns, orange juice, and a black coffee waiting for me in the car. I devoured every morsel. I may have come up for air once or twice. It tasted awesome. He had already eaten the exact same breakfast while sitting on his duff waiting for me to finish. It's ridiculous how he can stay so skinny.



The finishers medals and long sleeve tech t-shirts were nice. Now I look forward to the 15k on Saturday. Cue Eye if the Tiger....

8 comments:

  1. Congrats on the great finish! So sorry your chip didn't work. I would be pissed too. I thought of you while it was raining on Saturday. Wish you could have had better weather. Good luck on Saturday!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, did you still want to run this weekend? I emailed the race director and they're allowing jogging strollers if you want to bring Hope along. DH had a choice of this weekend of or Thanksgiving, so he's not going to be around. If I can't find a sitter I'm going to run with DD too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats!! What a great time!!

    My dad has had this happen, twice. He spoke with the timing company both times and they used his watch time as his finish time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is so awesome. I cannot wait until after jan, when I can start "training" again for a race! My dad was a marathon runner all over the world, so I am always inspired at the heart and commitment it takes to complete a run! Oh I probably would be obsessing over my chip for weeks after the race, but I'm weird like that!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's not like I was breaking any records so I feel silly making a stink over it, but you gals know how it is. Every second is hard earned!

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's so cool. Did he take you along? Do you recall what some of his favorite races were?

    A lot of times races will take you to somewhere you wouldn't normally visit. I love making mini-vacations out of them. It gives added incentive to train.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Congrats on the great finish! So sorry your chip didn't work. I would be pissed too. I thought of you while it was raining on Saturday. Wish you could have had better weather. Good luck on Saturday!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The good thing about this race is its nice and flat...the bad thing is their idea of customer service. When I finished the race and went to pick up my t-shirt I was told they did not have any XXLs left (I'm a clydesdale for sure - big and relatively slow). I thought that odd since I had paid for an XXL in my registration. My racing bibb said "Medium". Also there were no instructions on how to get my correct size shirt. Just "thats all thats left". Okkkkkkk.....so I decided to contact the race director. This was her response to me on Oct 28th:

    "i have the xxl - i always keep them so they don't disappear. I am back in class - I have to catch up - may be nov 15 until I can arrange , but hang tight & yes."

    Dana Greene

    404-422- (Work/Voicemail)

    404-884- (Personal/Text Only)

    So I hang tight from Oct 28th until Nov 20th and I write again. No response. I text the race director about a week or so later and still no response.

    I then go to their facebook page and make my request public. I was not offensive, used no inappropriate language, but resolved. I posted a copy of my registration to prove I wasn't a loon (mostly lol) and simply requested my correct T-shirt. Each of my posts were deleted and still no response from THE race director.

    So after one of my last post the THE race director decides to finally address my complaint publicly on their Facebook page. Again this is still after never having written to me to explain. She apologizes in her posts to everyone (hey what about an apology for me? - lol) for the delay in T-shirts but her order is being delayed due to a large order from the Atlanta Hawks to the same company she uses. But wait......her email to me said that she kept the XXL's "so they don't disappear". There was never a mention to me about a delay because she never had the shirts. She also paints a very sympathetic portrait due to her "life issues" (going back to school...blah blah blah). I am certainly sympathetic to anyone having a tough time but to ignore my multiple requests for information regarding something I paid for just seems to be totally unrelated.

    So now I am blocked from their Facebook site because I simply asked for what I paid for. Very classy and customer-centric. And now if I want my correct T shirt I have to attend their "some date in the future" Open House. Pass. They can have my t-shirt and certainly I will find another second half of the year half marathon to run.

    I'm sure the people of this race are fine folks. I see they have plenty of supporters so my complaint will fall on deaf ears for sure. But if I were in charge of their race I would consider treating 1 racer as I do all racers. Friend or not. My two cents.

    ReplyDelete