Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Rocked Rock CF

Date: 03/25/12
Route:  Rock CF Half Marathon
Distance: 13.1 miles
Pace: 11:48/mile
Total Time: 2:34:29
Temp: 54 and cloudy

I was a little worried going into this race, as I have had a very bad week or so with running. I tried to do a long run last week of 12 miles, and ended up doing about 3 and deciding to sit down and rest. Mostly that was due to recovering from Pinkeye (funtimes, that), and trying to run before I was really ready

The weather dawned cool and cloudy, perfect for a half. I had crashed at my Aunt's house, which was only about 15 minutes away from the start, which helped me be able to sleep a little later. I arrived about 6am, so I was able to check in with plenty of time. I am one of those annoying people who get to races with an hour or more to space because I cannot stand being rushed on race morning. 

After getting all decked out with the Garmin, Gu's etc, and hitting to porta potties, I went over to the start line. I was looknig for a friend of mine from way back in HS, Brad Thomas, who I saw was going to be there on Facebook. Brad has an amazing and inspirational story. We ran together back in HS, and he was one of those fast people. Last year Brad had a tow truck roll on top of him, breaking several bones and ribs and doing severe damage to his hip. The doctors told him that he might never walk again, and certainly would not be doing distance running. So the fact that I might be able to run with him for his first post accident (16 screws and 3 plates in the hip later) half was something I was looking forward to.

We were able to meet up just before the start and then we were off. I had set some modest goals for the run given my sickness over the past few weeks. Brad was just hoping to finish, and maybe crack a 13 min/mile pace. We agreed to run together for the first couple of mile and then reevaluate.We came out pretty well, pacing the first three at 11:28, 11:31 and 11:33, that is pretty consistent. Brad was worried about going to fast, and I had basically made the decision to stick it out with him. We dialed it back a tad, but still maintained a sub 12 pace.

The scenery on this race is amazing. Grosse Ile is a generally upper income community located on an island in the Detroit River. So we did a lot of running by VERY large houses, and almost the entire course was right on the water.  Great view for almost the entire race. The weather stayed cool and cloudy, and we kept ticking off the miles. The water stations were very well laid out, probably about every two miles, so that was nice. They even had a station giving out GU packets! You can never go wrong with some GU.

As we got closer to ten miles, I could feel my legs starting to revolt, and Brad was in the same situation. We slowed down a little, but still kept up a good pace. Mile ten was our slowest mile, at 13:11, and that was mostly because Brad had to do a wardrobe change to shed his long sleeve tee. We finished fairly strong, with Brad 2 seconds behind me. Our pace was 11:48/mile, which I was happy with, and Brad was ecstatic with. Here is the post race pic:

Overall, the race was extremely well run, and has definite PR potential. A couple of bloggers I follow PR'd at this race including Megan over at Watch MeGo Run and Rose at Hacker Half Marathon who PR's be an amazing 11 minutes! Did I maybe run a little slower to stay with Brad? Possibly, but also possibly not. I was worried about even being able to run this, and maybe his company helped push me to the finish line. 

So a couple of questions:

1. What is you morning of race routine?
2. How long do you take off after a half?
3. Who saw Hunger Games over the weekend? 

Here is my cool Garmin widget so everyone can spy on my entire race:


  1. 1) I have never entered a formal running thing.
    2) See #1
    3) Me, me, me!!

  2. Great job! Sticking with it is hard when your legs stop cooperating at mile 10, but awesome job toughing it out. It was a beautiful day for a race, that's for sure!

    1)The only thing I do before every race is eat toast with crunchy peanut butter :) And I don't do much else at all.

    2)I used to take a week off after a half, but I have my mileage up consistently that I'm down to one day.

    3)Yes, I saw the Hunger Games at midnight when it came out and LOVED it! I prefer the book to the movie, but that really always is the case with me. I think they did a great job with the exception of casting for Haymitch - I think he was way off.

    1. I think it is funny how everyone has their own pre race food regimen. Most runners that I know are VERY specific about what they eat pre race. I always eat the same thing as well. I sense an upcoming blog post...

  3. I am one of those people who is always afraid that the movie version of a book I love is going to totally ruin it for me. I think The Wife and I are going to see the movie, but i am just scared it is not going to live up to expectations. Bethany, what did you think? Rose, you are scaring me a little, how did they change Haymitch?

    1. His character stayed pretty true to the book, but I don't feel the actor portrayed him well - it seemed forced or fake to me. I will say that a friend of mine thought he was spot-on, so let me know what you think once you see it.

  4. Great post, James. Glad you had a good run with a friend!

    1) I like to eat boiled grains with a little whey powder for the first meal, two or three hours before the race. Whether or not I get that in, I'll just down a gel or a banana half an hour before the start. I make certain to get the rest of my gels down early - no more than fifty minutes apart.

    2) Back in 2009, it depended on what was happening the following weekend... ;-)

    3) Not I; the baby is better than any movie!

  5. Great blog!

    Nice post about Rock CF on GI!! That is my old hometown where I grew up and went to school. No I didn't live on the river in one of those LARGE homes and YES it is a beautiful place.

    You'd think I would have run this last year and this year but NO. Other things in life have since changed up my running habits. Thanks for the inspiration to get back out there again and enter a run! I have only done a few "training" runs this year and no entry's into a half yet. Will I FINALLY do the DFP this year?? Hmmmm.....

  6. Great job, JD! It sounds like you ran a strong race and told that *last* long run who was boss.

    Wow, Brad's story is kind of unbelieveable. Some people are nothing short of amazing in what they overcome, and Brad sounds like one of those people. Three cheers for his first half-marathon after the accident, and three cheers to you for running with him. We lift each other up, and nobody is more loyal than you :-)

    PS I'm sorry it took me so long to comment on your race! I kept checking for your race report after the race, then it slipped my mind. Apologies!