Ocean City Half Marathon 2010
Weather was quite nice, about 50 degrees and mostly sunny with a slight breeze at the 7am start of the race. Felt pretty good at the beginning of the race and jogged about 1/2 mile to warm up the legs. First race with my new running shoes, although they had about 25 miles on them from previous runs. Pre-race hydration/fuel included granola and a banana, a small coffee, and a large bottle of water.My allergies were WAY out of control due to the crazy pollen in the air. I could only breath through my nose, at least until my Zyrtec kicked in. This screwed up my breathing for the first 2/3 of the race and I couldn't get into a rhythm.
Beginning of the race, I headed out at the end of the front pack and we headed down the boardwalk where we hung a left onto the Route 50 bridge. At the conclusion of mile 2, I was running at a 6:30 pace, so immediately brought my speed under control to a slower/more manageable pace. If I remember correctly, my 3 mile split was about 20 minutes while my 4 mile split was at 27 minutes. As we made our way out to Assateague Island, the first thing I noticed was that I started to get a horrible pain in my upper left side under my lowest rib. I slowed my pace to try and run through the pain, but it was radiating through my torso and I eventually stopped and tried to stretch it out. Feeling better, I continued. Now, the race information I was provided said that they would have water and gatorade every two miles. Ha! Little did I know, but they only had water. I ran, ran, ran, through miles 5,6, 7, and finally at mile 8, I got a gu packet and some gatorade. Wow...by that time, my legs were feeling pretty sluggish and I had slowed down significantly. Also, around that time, I began to feel that my feet were getting mighty warm, and figured that I was getting some blisters on my feet. Race continued as I plodded through the remaining miles and only received gatorade at one more refreshment point (mile 11). Well...I was thoroughly disappointed but continued my race. Mile 12 brought the final straightaway and the bridge onto Assateague Island. I made it up the bridge, then picked up my pace as I hit the bridge downward slope. Winds on the bridge felt great as the temps grew to about 60 degrees and the sun was blazing on my head. I hit the last 3/4 mile and picked up my pace. As I entered the Assateague Island state park I began my sprint to the end. I actually had some left in the tank and had a good sprint over the finish line.
Lessons learned from this race:
1. Make sure you always have your own fuel for a race (e.g., gu, carb loaders). I made this mistake and paid for it DEARLY.
2. Take allergy meds long before the start of races in the spring.
3. Think about training (running) for races....not just riding my bike.
4. I should always get the wide running shoes. I have wide feet, therefore, I need to ensure my shoes are also wide.
That's about it. Overall, quite an interesting race on a mostly flat course. Scenic views were great when near the ocean, yet running through the trailer park-laden roads of the Maryland Eastern Shore requires at least my Ipod, which I stupidly forgot. Oh well, still a respectable time and placing amongst the other competitors. Yet another show of the crappy support....people posting reviews on the active website noted that the finishers from 2 hrs and beyond did not have water at the end of the race. Wow...talk about crappy. My beer and nap following the race were quite nice and I probably ate about 3 lbs of food for dinner because I was so hungry.