Sunday, March 29, 2009


I finally put all of the elements together today and ran the best race of my career. I debuted in the half marathon distance today with a 1:22:30 (unofficial) in the Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon in Clearlake, Texas.

I feel as though I redeemed myself for a sub-par performance at the Houston Marathon, and a few poor races since that time. I'm finally healthy, and I was very pleased with my results today.

My goal was 1:23:00 because that equates to an automatic bid to the New York City Marathon. Most people know that you have to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but it's less known that you can qualify for the New York Marathon and bypass the lottery selection process. I wanted to paste the Q-Times below, but the website isn't agreeing, so check out the site directly: The men's open division (under 40) requires a 1:23:00 half or a 2:55:00 full. Unlike Boston which gives you an additional 59 seconds, you don't get a single second of grace period for NYC.

My race equivalent full marathon time from a few sites is:
2:55:20 :
2:54:00 :
2:53:20 :
2:52:25 :

VDOT = 56.31

I don't think I can hit any of those times, but I really believe that a sub-three marathon is mine for the taking, provided the conditions are right. And speaking of that, who could have asked for better conditions today!? The temperature was great, the sun wasn't too bothersome, and the wind was calm.

Garmin splits:
6:13, 6:10, 6:05, 6:04, 6:11, 6:10, 6:07, 6:12, 6:13, 6:19, 6:25, 6:20, 6:17, 1:36 for .27 miles

The course measured long on my watch by more than a tenth of a mile. I wonder how they made this mistake twice in a row (it measured 13.5 miles last year).

I finished fifth overall, but was in third as late as about mile 10 when I started to tire. With a little more than a mile left to go I realized that the course would probably be long and that I might miss my qualifying time, despite having the sufficient 6:20 overall pace. I kicked it in gear, but as you can tell by the split times, I didn't have much left as far as speed.

I won 1st in my age group, but that's because the top three in my age group got bumped up to overall winners.

Pros of this race:
* Great pre-race communication and organization
* Copious packet pickup locations
* Nice course, loop instead of out and back, great road conditions
* Good road management by the police#
* Great volunteers
* Plenty of good food
* Koala massage was the best I've ever had

Cons of this race:
* #One large intersection was unmanned, and I was completely in the middle of it before I noticed I had no protection
* $70 for a short sleeve cotton t-shirt . . . How much more could a tech T cost? People are willing to pay that extra amount!
* 10 year age groups instead of 5 year
* no finish clock or any clocks along the course, nobody calling time
* long course twice in two years
* Despite having the chip times squared away very quickly, the awards took forever to announce and I had to remind her that she didn't call out my age group

Overall I'd do this one again in a heartbeat.

Look out New York City Marathon (November 1, 2009). Despite the tough course I guess this will be my next attempt to break three hours since I have no desire to race any long distances races in the near term.

Congratulations to my fellow competitors and teammates, including:
Jeff Nunn, who finished his first half marathon in years. His training was inspiring, and I'm glad to see him in such good shape.
Dynegy Running Club -- we cleaned up with Manfred's third place finish, my fifth place finish, Chuck's second place Clydesdale finish, and several other great times posted by our other runners. I can't quote any times or age group winners because times aren't posted yet.
Leno Rios -- Thanks for helping me get to where I am
Katrina Stilwell -- A fellow Tornado, and the first place female at 1:26:45. This followed up a 1st place age group finish of 30:49 in the 8K the day before!
Mike Lowe -- a good friend from LSU who had an ironman-esque fall and spring by running multiple marathons and distance races. Anybody who knows Michael knows he doesn't do anything half way.

Thanks to my wife, mother and step brother for providing support and a nice pick-me-up at mile 7 (a figurative "pick-me-up", not literal.)


Melanie said...

Hey, congrats! It's good to get an update. Can't wait to hear about NYC :)

Laura said...

what about the part about how you won fifth overall? wowza!

Linda said...

I loved seeing you in the race!!!! You looked fantastic and I am ready to cheer you on next year. New York in November sounds awesome!!!

Kevin said...

Awsome run. Sorry you can't make it down for the FIL 5K I guess I will win the title of fastest ATO (by default)!

Sorry also that you ran long for your race. Good luck in NYC.

elf said...

That's fantastic! Congratulations! You'll have a great time in NYC--it's a very cool event.


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