Thursday, October 17, 2013

Inaugural Lake Health Northern Ohio Half Marathon Race Report

Lake Health and Second Sole Mentor did an excellent job with the inaugural Northern Ohio Marathon/Half Marathon. It was a very well-organized event, the course was marked and easy to follow with plenty of aid stations and volunteers. I was planning to run the full marathon originally but due to health issues I needed to scale back this fall. Lake Health was very easy to work with in switching my registration to the half.

Race Morning:

The race starts at Fairport Harbor very close the the beach (minutes from my house), which was a definite bonus on race morning. I was able to sleep until almost 6am. As I was up late the evening before following the Kona coverage I needed this sleep! I got up, took a quick shower just to get moving, had a cup of coffee, got dressed and ate breakfast and was ready to run out the door by 6:45. Steve and the kids were coming to cheer me on so this was exciting. 

hanging out with my stepdaughter prerace
We arrived near the start and parked on the side of the road at 2nd street. It was still dark at this time (around 6:55-7am). I got out of the car and immediately did my 1 mile warm up. A bit faster than planned at an 8:30 pace but I was definitely warmed up after that. A little stretching and a quick potty break and it was time to lineup at the start. I said hello to some running friends and got my garmin ready to go. My goals for the race were to try for a PR of 1:38 and/or a top 10 female finish.

The Start & First Half:

The start was fast with a pretty decent downhill at the beginning of the race and a nice flat section. I had intended to pace myself around 7:30 the first mile. Glancing at my garmin I could see that I went out a little fast at 7:08 first mile. Still I felt good and slowed the pace down to that sweet spot of 7:30-7:45.  I felt great the first half. I had gotten passed by a couple of ladies but not many so I just wanted to stay in a good position and try to finish in the top 10. Around mile 5 I took in my first gel (thanks Powerbar) and felt an immediate kick. I felt very strong coming up the hill on Corduroy Rd entering Mentor Headlands. 

The Back Half & Finish:

The next few miles went pretty well also. I liked running by Headlands Beach but was a little disappointed we didn't run down by the water. I felt steady and each time I looked at my watch I was on target with the 7:30-7:40 pace. At mile 9 I took another gel. It must have been about mile 10 or 11 that I could feel a change in how I was doing. I slowed down to closer to an 8 minute pace and tried to hold steady. At that point I wasn't sure the PR would happen but I still wanted to try for it. Mile 10 went ok, mile 11 was tough and mile 12 was not pretty. I had gotten passed by one woman who just had it that day and in the last 1/2 mile or so two more women passed me. It is rare for me to let someone pass me this late in a race but I honestly didn't have my usual kick left that day. I didn't fall apart but I just didn't have my drive. 

the stats were available instantly!
After making the turn back onto 2nd street I could see and hear the crowd and I heard Steve and the kids yelling for me so I pushed as much as I could until the finish. My time was not a PR but I was happy with the 1:42:29. It was not an easy course and it was a little warmer than I would have liked but overall it was a good race and I was able to capture 2nd in my age group although I dropped to 13th overall female. 

Post Race:

Lake Health generously had set up a tent with massage tables and pools with ice water so I was able to take advantage of both of those two things to start the recovery immediately. I also had a water and a snack. 

Getting my age group award!
We hung around for a little while and waited for my award. Second Sole Mentor provided gift certificates to the overall and age group winners, which was very nice of them. In addition to the awesome medals Lake Health also provided a high quality 1/2 zip tech shirt as well. 

On the way home we stopped at Pulp so I could get my favorite smoothie and I went home to take a recovery bath, nap and use my Normatec MVP recovery boots.

It was a good day. I definitely recommend this one to anyone looking for a fall race for 2014!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the report! I am trying the half this year.