Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mines of Spain Half Marathon 2015

Training has been mediocre. My mileage is not great, just around 50 miles per week. While mileage is certainly not the ultimate predictor of race performance, it seems to correlate better than any other simple metric. So I went into only my second race of the last nine months nervous. My workouts have not been stellar at all. They have been okay, but nothing great. I decided to wear my team USA outfit because I do most of my running at the Mines of Spain and I am thankful to the community for all of the support I have to follow this odd habit of running long distances. It was my way of saying thank you. Hopefully it might encourage a few other people to try the 24 hour race distance. When I was younger it seemed the best, the people at the top, were unapproachable, not human, now I know and want to pay it forward that we are all just humans. I'm just a person, you can talk to me, you might be able to do what I do too.
The Starting Line
I took it out moderately hard to get in front for the service road descent, and had a 10s lead by mile one, which I maintained until five miles when I took a wrong turn and ran an extra 50 feet and by the time I was back on route I was running on the heels of the eventual winner. We traded leads until mile 7, me taking the downhills a little quicker, him taking the up hills a little quicker, and the flats a fair bit quicker. I knew at mile 7 we had about a one minute lead on third, and from then on as the leader ran away I ran scared trying to get to the finish.

The last few miles were torture. I even walked, twice! Once around mile 11.5 for about a minute going up the Calcite trail, and a second time for about 20 seconds around mile 12. I also twisted my ankle on the Calcite trail descent, and it hurt, but adrenaline kept it from being a big issue. Also around mile 10.5 I took a hard right turn coming out of the marsh and slipped and fell! I haven't fallen in a race in a long time, maybe since college.
My Strava Splits and "Adjusted" Splits
Above are my splits and the "adjusted" splits based on the terrain and elevation changes. You can see effort was fairly consistent until the last three miles when I slow down significantly. Finally here is a picture of my ankle Sunday afternoon.
Twisted My Ankle, and it Left a Bruise!

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