Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Race #3 of the Season: The Dino Half

Last Saturday, we raced our first (of three) half-marathons of the season. As we are Team Baby Dinosaur, it was only fitting that we signed up for the Dino Half once we heard about it. Duh.

We took a few days off to drive up to Vernal, Utah (where the race was) so we could see Dinosaur National Monument while we were out there. We left early Thursday morning - drive took a lot out of us - and hiked around Dinosaur on Friday. That was essentially our pre-race taper/warm-up. Packet pick-up was at the hotel we were staying in on Friday afternoon/evening. We padded downstairs, got our stuff and went back up.

I will say right now that, for the most part, I like local races. They're usually cheaper and fun. That being said, the one thing the big races have going for them is organization. The race was a point-to-point; park at an elementary school in town, get bused to the start, run back. I asked the volunteers at packet pick-up the best way to get to said school from the hotel ... they had no clue. Not helpful, thanks.

After that, we had issues finding a place to do our typical breakfast-for-dinner thing. The Denny's in town had to have been new and fresh and exciting because it was PACKED at 7:00 on a Friday night. We tried some diner; didn't serve breakfast. Finally we found some place in a hotel - wasn't great, but it did the job. We then found the elementary school ourselves; did it to gauge how long it would take us in the morning and so we knew where we were going.

Saturday Morning

First alarms went off around 5ish; buses left the school between 6 and 6:40; breakfast started at 6. We were down there at about 6:01; not everything was out. We delayed as long as possible for the scrambled eggs ... they finally came out about 6:15; they were NOT worth the wait. I had a bite before I gave up and went for a hard-boiled egg. I was also feeling fairly nauseous - no idea where that came from. 

We got to the school about 6:25am; no buses. Took the opportunity to do my second race-morning poop and mostly hang out at the car.


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Kidlets looking at the race arch.

6:40 rolls around. No bus. 6:50. 6:55. 7:00. Finally, at some point after 7 (I forget when exactly), several buses roll into the parking lot. We are on the first one. We attempt to scout the course from the bus - "okay, so slightly uphill here, ugh, this looks like three miles of climbing, downhill to start, great."

Sometime after 7:30 we get to the start. It was a relatively chilly morning (canyon in the shade in the desert; it happens) and I felt bad for the other half of the field that had been up there for at least a good 40 minutes. In any case, off the bus, put our stuff in our drop bags and pretty much start the race ... 15 minutes late at 7:45.

First few miles were fast. Probably faster than they should have been. Slowed down in mile four - Brandon needed to use the porta-potty and I had to loosen my shoes. Five was also a bit slower. Picked it up in six and eight ... and from nine on, everything pretty much went downhill.

The hills we thought we saw on the bus? Never ran into them. 

The lack of training (we totally crammed for this race) caught up to us in the later miles like we thought they would. The lack of racing caught up with Brandon - he just mentally couldn't go in some of the later miles. If I had left him to run on my own, I maybe would have finished a few minutes quicker - but no more than three, I'd say. But this was the DINO HALF - ain't no way Team Baby Dino wasn't gonna cross that finish line together!

And we did - .6 seconds apart (i was quicker. woo!). This meant I didn't do my typical sprint to the finish, but I'm okay with that.

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Medal table!

Final Stats:
Time: 2:21:49(.0)
Pace: 10:49/mi
Overall Rank: 86/215 (total guess looking at results. remember: i can't math)
Gender Rank: 67/125
Division Rank: 21/30 (F30-34)

Probably one of my worst average placings in a running race in a while ... but it was small and I was undertrained. And it still wasn't my worst half-marathon time ever, either. So really, I'll take it.

Plus we got to see dinosaurs and get a cool medal. TOTALLY worth it.

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If you're interested ... Garmin splits (for the 13.15 mile - close enough - race)
Mile 1: 8:49.9
Mile 2: 8:56.4
Mile 3: 9:43.1
Mile 4: 11:18.6
Mile 5: 10:47.0
Mile 6: 9:31.1
Mile 7: 10:51.7
Mile 8: 10:01.4
Mile 9: 11:45.9
Mile 10: 11:55.8
Mile 11: 11:47.0
Mile 12: 11:50.5
Mile 13: 13:00.3
Finishing bit: 1:29.0

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