Monday, August 27, 2012

Hobble Creek Half - Race Recap

A couple weekends ago my husband and I ran the Hobble Creek Half Marathon.  It's famed to be one of the prettiest races in Utah.  The kind of race that sells out within hours of opening registration.  I'm not actually sure how quickly it sold out this year.  I was online and registering the morning it opened.  This was my brothers first half marathon last year, and one of the few races I've gone to the finish line to cheer on.  Since then it seems like I've just been running them all.  But watching them finish this race last year is what motivated me to step up my training and run my first half marathon.  They were such an inspiration.  Plus this would be the first race I would actually run the whole thing with my husband.  I was excited for that too.

So as it turned out we were camping this weekend up at Jordanelle Reservoir.  This meant that we would have a little bit of a longer drive in the morning.  The alarm went off bright and early at 4am and we very very carefully tried to get ready in our trailer without waking any of the kids up.  Turned out we did a pretty good job of that, my dad didn't even hear us leave.  I had mapquested directions to the starting line and it estimated a 1 hour drive time.  As we raced down Provo Canyon we were behind another car that had a Ragnar sticker on the back window.  Based on their speed I said to Jeramie, I bet they're going to the same place.  But as we got to the bottom of the canyon and headed further south they kept going so I guessed I was wrong.  Until we then made a wrong turn and saw them pass us again.  I just thought it was funny to pick out another set of runners based on running stickers on their car.

We ended up making it to the finish line with just the right amount of time.  We geared up and walked over to packet pick up to get our bibs.  Once we had them pinned on and our timing chips attached to our shoes we walked over to the buses and literally just climbed on the bus.  We sat in the very first seat and spent the ride up the canyon listening to all the nervous runners.  I always find the bus talk amusing.  I was happy that the ride up the canyon didn't make me sick like the bus ride up for Timpanogos.  Once the bus dropped you off at the top you had to walk like another half mile up the canyon.  We laughed at all the people who were in such a rush to get up there.  We took it nice and leisurely walk, fast enough to keep us warm but certainly slow enough that we weren't using any race energy.  Once we got to the top we hopped in line for the Honey Buckets.  They were some of the longest lines I've ever had to stand in.  But by the time we finished we literally walked to drop my drop bag and then made our way to the slower pace signs.  We kept walking and walking, once we got to basically the complete back of the pack we were still at the 9:30 pace (faster than we planned) but we were at the back.  This really truly is one of my biggest pet peeves.  People who stand in the much faster corals than they clearly plan to run only to slow people down behind them who were respectful enough to stand in the correct coral.  It punishes those of us that are in the right place by forcing us to spend the first couple of miles trying to navigate around people running much slower.

Here we were at the starting line.  As you can see there's nobody hardly around us.

The nice thing about starting at the back
and running a conservative pace is there was little crowd to deal with.
This is pretty much what the first 8 miles looked like.
Slight down hill along a two lane unmarked road.
Very pretty.

Since we had only run Timpanogos Half a few weeks ago and it was my "A" race this year I had no intention of racing this one too.   Our goal was to go out at between a 10:30 and 11:00 min pace.

Mile 1:  10:37
Mile 2:  10:37

At this point we picked up an older gentleman.  He said to me that I should have been a pacer because I was running 10:30 on the nose.  I was a little bit flattered.  I'm pretty sure it was a compliment.  We chatted a little bit about what other races he had run and what he had coming up.  He mentioned going out too fast at Timpanogos and gassing out.  He was happy to pace with us for a while in order to avoid having the same thing happen.  It was kind of funny for me really.  I ran between the older gentleman wearing his BYU cap and my husband wearing his "Will Run For Beer" bondi band .. haha.  Opposite ends of the spectrum I tell you. He stuck with us until around mile 7, however didn't talk much after that.

Mile 3:  10:22
Mile 4:  10:29
Mile 5:  10:22
Mile 6:  10:01
Mile 7:  10:19
Mile 8:  10:19

At this point I have to mention that I am apparently very natural at maintaining a pace.  I don't spend a ton of time watching my Garmin.  I just pretty much run by feel.  I think it was around mile 8 that we started to hit the bottom of the canyon where it diverted us off of the road and onto a paved trail similar to the trail that I run the majority of my training runs on.  There were some rolling hills in there and a lot of flat.  This course is much more flat than Timpanogos was.  Jerm and I were still running together.  Not talking too much, he was feeling pretty good and I was happy for that.  I was feeling pretty great.  Not too tired. My heart rate was in a great place.  Just felt like a speedier training run to me.

Mile 9:  10:26
Mile 10:  10:22
Mile 11:  10:07

This is where it got interesting.  I was just chugging along.  At this point we had dropped out into some neighborhoods.  I was just running along when all of a sudden I noticed that Jerm had pulled ahead some.  I didn't think too much about it. He does that occasionally when he gets impatient with another runner.  He'll leapfrog over them and then we catch back up together.  But this time he just kept going.  So I picked up the pace a little thinking, well okay we wants to go a bit faster as we come into the last couple of miles.  As I sped up he did some more.  At which point I let him go.  I was a little bugged that he didn't say hey, do you want to pick it up and finish strong?  He just took off without a word.  So I continued to chug along at a slightly quicker pace at this point.  I really didn't have a whole lot more to give without really pushing it.  This whole time I could see Jerm in front of me and I noticed that the gap between us was closing.  We were heading into mile 12 at this point and so I picked up the pace some more with the intention of finishing strong.  I caught up to him and basically said, "WTF was that??"  He looked tired.  Apparently when he hit Mile 11 his MotoActive told him he was heading into lap 12.  He thought it meant he had hit 12 miles and he was pushing to finish strong.  Only to find out that he had only finished mile 11 and rather than 1 more to go he really had 2 more.  I laughed.  Hard.

Mile 12:  9:13
Mile 13.1:  9:14

I still felt great at this point.  My legs were a bit tired but I had some gas to finish strong and so I pushed him to keep going.  He was a bit miserable at this point.  But finish strong is exactly what we did.  I enjoyed running with Jerm for the majority of the race. Once we finished we walked through and picked up our t-shirts (this race hands them out at the very end to finishers). Picked up our medals.  Grabbed some fruit and chocolate milk and went and sat to catch our breath.  I wanted to check and see what our official time was and this took FOREVER.  I guess they were too interested in posting times for us slower runners.

I got a truck load of compliments on my outfit.

Love running races with this big guy.

Official Results:

My time:  2:12:10
Average Pace:  10:05/mile
Overall Place:  732/972
Age Group Place:  116/147

Jerm's time:  2:12:10
Average Pace:  10:05/mile
Overall Place:  733/972
Age Group Place:  50/61

387 Male finishers
585 Female finishers

Jeramie missed a PR by 4 freaking seconds!  If I had known we were gonna be that close I would have pushed harder sooner.  But the good news is that we both felt great and enjoyed running the race together.  Overall the race itself was pretty good.  Although they did run out of the energy gels before we got there, that was a drag. I almost wish that they would put them in your swag bags before the race so that everyone would get one, rather than letting people who pass through first grab a fist full leaving slower runners with nothing.  I did enjoy being one of the runners that spend the whole race passing people rather than the runner that is passed.  Ragnar I got passed a lot.  I like that you have to earn your t-shirt (even if I didn't love this years design as much as last years).  I thought it was cool that they decided to hand out medals to all finishers as well.  Although the medal itself was a little plain.  Better than nothing though.  I could see doing this one again.


What are your thoughts on the free race energy gels/chews? Have they run out at your race before?