Friday, March 15, 2013

Oceans Run Half Marathon Review and Recap

Y'aaaaaaaaaall. Whattup.

So I'm still training for the NJ marathon... and I kinda wanted a slightly more accurate half marathon pace to assess my fitness for marathon pace.... whatever that is. As awesome a performance as Vegas was, I dont think it was really a great test of fitness. As a side-note, I don't think that story will ever stop being redramatized. By now my husband thinks that the entire race was uphill at 8000 foot of elevation with 50mph gusts. Not to mention that I was suffering from hypothermia and wearing a weighted vest.

Anyway, the hubs and I had already decided to do a weekend getaway, and I found the Oceans Run half marathon in South Kingstown, RI. Very scenic place and apparently a beautiful course with a small field of runners: perfect.

The two weeks prior, I had continued my marathon training plan per usual, just dropping the tempo and long run at the end of the second week:

Feb 24-March 2
Sunday: Central Park Half Marathon (13.1 miles at 7:53 pace)
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 8 miles easy
Wednesday: 6 x 800s at 6:22min/miles (9.4mph) with 400 jog recoveries at about 9:30-10 min miles.
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 9 tempo
From my fast running blog: Best workout so far. Completely awesome. I had a 5-mile tempo scheduled but did 6 miles effort because it just felt good. Did two easy miles, around 8:30 pace. Tempo splits were: 7:23, 7:09, 7:09, 7:01, 7:04, 7:08. Cool down for an easy mile. So the average here was a little bit slower than last week's 5 mile tempo, but what made it so awesome was how it felt. Completely controlled. The splits were a little bit uneven in places because of wind, but the effort felt very sustainable, even and even easy. The last two miles flew by, and for the first time on a tempo run, I was not counting the minutes til I could stop. Average overall pace was 7:09 with fuel left in the tank.
Saturday: 7 miles easy
Total: 45 miles

March 3-10, 2013
Sunday: 14 miles easy
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 8 miles easy
Wednesday:  Speed. Hardest one I've done so far. Warmup (1.5 miles), then 5 x 1K at 6:22min miles (5K pace - 9.4mph) at 1% incline, with 400m jog recoveries.
Thursday: rest
Friday: 7 miles easy
Saturday: leisurely Cliff Walk in Newport, RI
Total: 37 miles

Plus delicious pre-race meal of lobster tail and blackened swordfish at the Black Pearl in Newport:
Who needs carbs when you have lobster and garlic butter?
Who needs lobster and garlic butter when you have this cute man to go home with?
Sunday: RACE!

The plan for the race was to run 5-10 seconds slower than what I "thought" my best HM pace would be. I estimated that my present fitness would have me running at about 6:55-7avg pace. As long as I could keep an even effort, (and not trash my legs) I would get a PR and have a bit more information up my sleeve about what my marathon goal pace should be.

The day was a bit gusty along the ocean (apparently the hubs was very fearful for me as he heard the walls of the finishers' tent flap around madly in the wind), but I was mentally prepared for that (unlike Vegas) and determined to push back.

Miles 1-2: 7:04, 7:04. Right on target. Legs still warming up as it was 37 degrees; this helped me keep pace in check.
Mile 3: 6:50. Oops! Slow down! Came upon an Australian running the race. He was so stoked to meet a fellow Aussie in a pretty random little area of the world. We trotted together for a few minutes, but he was wanting to maintain a 7:30 pace, so I kept going. 
Mile 4: 7:04. Up a hill that people had been calling "gigantic." Um, no. It was a hill alright, but I guess the Harlem Hills have given me a tougher hide over the last few months. Started a caffeinated Gu. Was told I was third woman... passed one of them.
Mile 5: 7:02. Finished Gu. Played tag team with the woman I passed.
Mile 6: 7:01. Gu kicked in, holy crap. I had to hold my legs back from sprinting in this mile. Passed the other woman.
Miles 7-10: 6:57, 7:01, 6:51, 7:08. Uneventful. Completely by myself; the lead pack were about a mile ahead. Hit another bigg-ish hill. Tried to listen to turn on some music, but kept fumbling with my iPod. It ended up just annoying me, so I shut it off. Had another Gu. Didnt want to litter so I shoved the two packets up my sleeve so it got all gross and sticky up there.
Mile 11-12: 7:14 (music fumbling), 7:01.
Mile 13: 7:19; turned into a headwind and a slow incline in this mile. Very tired and legs starting to burn, but thankfully by no means dead like I was in the final miles of Philly.
Mile 0.1: 7:09 pace... tried to kick it in... gotta work on that.

Garmin time: 1:32:31, Chip time 1:32:29.  Third woman overall. Nice little PR to boot. 

The hubs just caught my less-than epic finish 

Bad news was that I wasnt third woman back at Mile 4, but 5th. Unfortunately the two lead ladies were not that far ahead of me (they finished in 1:30xx and 1:31xx respectively) and I kind of wish I had known or seen them... might have given me something to run harder for.

For placing, I got two medals:

AND a cash prize of 25 whoppers!

Can I quit my day job now, do you think?

Oceans Run Half was organized by Trimom Productions and they did an EXCELLENT job on the race. Markers were clear, water stops were well-staffed and volunteers were awesome. Great spread of post-race treats (I swiped several cookies and brownies for the drive home)... and the course was really pretty. The hills were not awful... you get to run by the ocean, and through some really pretty countryside. Great job to Trimom.

So what'd I learn? I definitely don't think I was sub-1:30 ready in Vegas. I think I could have run this course 1 minute or so faster, and I definitely have a 1:30:xx in me if I was tapered and in the right conditions. Marathon goal pace sits around 7:20-7:30 for training purposes. Race strategy to be determined.


  1. Totally quit your day job! Cash prizes are the best!

    1. Ha, on this type of salary, I can quit for about 38 minutes.

  2. A nice weekend and a nice PR, congrats!! :)

    1. Ta, darlink. Definitely spending the weekend in a beautiful seaside town with the hubs was the best bit; PR = icing on the cake :)