The details -
20th Annual Tom King Half marathon (and 5k)
Saturday, March 8, 2014
7:30 AM (limited to 1500 registrants)
My morning started like all race mornings. Up about 2-3 hours before the race, walk around, and eat breakfast before getting dressed and heading out the door. We arrived in plenty of time for a stop at the bathrooms and to hang around. We even saw THE Tom King as we were headed back out to meet the rest of the group before our warm up.
The weather was perfect at the start. It was cool enough to not have to bundle up and warm enough that I could've have switched my crops for a skirt if I had packed better. My friends and I did a half mile warm up then a few striders and lined up, ready to go.
I've been having some hip and tailbone issues and in therapy twice a week for that for a while now. So, I knew going in that this was not necessarily going to be the PR race I had hoped for. However, my race plan was pretty much laid out that it could have been a PR if my body was cooperative. The goal was to start at 9:25 pace and progress down from there. I knew this goal was attainable given my endurance and speed workouts lately.
The course is really flat (compared to K'ville). There were some inclines but nothing I'd even come close to calling a hill despite the volunteers saying, "You're downhill now," and "it's all downhill from here." The start and finish is at LP field. Start is on the outside road by the stadium and the finish is inside. The course itself is ran on some road then a paved bike/running path in a wooded park. We crossed a few bridges, one of which was bouncy and totally weird!
I liked this course/race well enough but not sure I'd rush back to it next year. I like the out and back but there wasn't really a lot of scenery. The finish was ok except once you think you're close to the finish line and see the stadium you then have to run around to the back side of the stadium which is kind of a mental challenge that close to the end. And that isn't all, once inside the stadium you have to run the entire inside loop to the finish. Not really fun when it's the end of the race and the goal is to pickup the pace for the final sprint. It's grassy and I'm just not a fan of running on grass.
My splits -
9:26 9:35 9:35 9:29 9:27 9:17
9:36 9:30 9:22 9:34 9:33 9:41
Obviously, I did not hit my goal paces nor did I PR. However, as I stated before my hip has been giving me fits so I knew going in this would be tough physically. I can stand about 8-9 miles before the tightness begins. Rather than stop and stretch wasting precious time on the clock, I push forward continuing to move. The best thing with that is that I was at least consistent and for this race that was a plus. My schedule did not have this race set up as my goal race for the year, so I was happy to run/race and collect a medal.
The only thing I'd have really done differently was carry my own water. I debated doing so because I thought there were plenty of water stops. However, it was warmer than I expected and around mile 9-10 we were in an open area of the park where the sun was beating down quite hard. That would have been the perfect spot for an extra water stop. This was also the time in which I needed to take another gel but was difficult without fluids to wash it down. Next time, I'd have my smaller hand held just in case.
The great thing about the out and back was being able to cheer on all my friends as they were headed back. Everyone did such a great job and looked awesome out there. They all came home with PRs!!!
Finish time - 2:05:04
Age 35/39 - 48/107
Overall - 695/1283