Saturday, October 27, 2007

Silver Comet Half Marathon 2007 Race Report

First thank you all for your kind words and prayers regarding my other post bemoaning our business situation and the drought. All businesses go through bad times, I know. I just hope this is one of those times and not what ultimately does us in. I really appreciate the good thoughts.

Now on to my report.

Last week I was emailing with my new brother in law--Wes--about various things. They are having a "gathering" (read wild blowout party, who are they kidding "gathering") for the World's largest cocktail party--Go Dawgs. I told him we probably wouldn't make it as today is packed with my race and Carmella's fall festival. He emailed me back " What race? Oh yeah, the world's most boring race ever."

Don't listen to him. Wes is a man on a bike whose only road race ever is the Peachtree. I am sure a bike race on the Silver Comet would be mind numbingly boring but really, he is a crit bike guy who does forty loops around Athens. Seems like that would be boring--even if it is super fast. So really I have no idea why he thinks Silver Comet is boring but I told him as a runner who never gets to do a flat race (or really a flat run) I think it is a super fun race.

And today was fun.

I carbo-loaded last night with beers and pasta. I always say that I won't have any alcohol the night before the race and pretty much the only time I've done that was when I pregnant and ran the Atlanta Half. Yeah, so what if I am an alcoholic with a running problem--they say--they being all those people who write articles about running-that you shouldn't try anything new before a race. Do what works.

I finally went to bed around 11 and slept fitfully--as always. I got up at 5 am and changed my outfit 6 times-- walking outside to figure out if I was going to be too cold or too hot. I really wanted to get it right. The weather today was perfect racing weather. The temp at the start was mid 40's. At best the high at the finish would be only 10 degrees warmer. Ultimately I decided on a blue/pink running skirt and a light weight long sleeve technical shirt. The decision not to wear a hat was a good one and while mittens might have been nice I was fine with out them. In retrospect I probably could have gotten away with my pink "Run Like A Girl" short sleeve shirt but the sleeves were nice at the start.

This year I left a little early so that I wouldn't have to miss the start while I tinkled in the portolet. I ran the .8 mile from the middle school parking lot as a warm up. I felt a new and unfamiliar ache in the arch of my left foot that worried me a little but it proved not to be a problem in the race. Maybe I was just cold.

I made it to the starting area around 7:15ish (race started at 7:45) and hopped right in the portolet line. This is where I met a guy who actually out talks me. Yeah, I didn't think it was possible either. He was very sweet and will be doing his first marathon in December at St. Judes. Never got his name but we'll just call him Chatty Doe. He ended up beating me by 4 minutes. Bastard.

I still had 5 minutes until the start and I found some of the Big Peach peeps and lined up with them at the starting line. I was so excited to actually be at the starting line this year since last year I was totally unclear as to where it was.

The gun went pop and all the runners went. I sort of fell in line behind Kate, whose recent finish at Twin Cities marathon got her $500 and 2:56 finish, so I knew that wouldn't last long--despite her saying she was going to "take it easy." Her easy is still impossible for me. Garmin was reporting a 6:20ish pace. I backed it off since, after all, I did want to finish all 13.1 miles of the race. And then I got passed. A lot. Oh well. Start in the back, sure I get to pass a lot of people but my time is less accurate (no timing chip for this race). I'll take a more accurate time over a falsely stoked ego.

Here is how the splits broke down as I recalled: First mile marker I never saw so I don't know. I think it was under 7 minutes. At 2 miles I was 14:10. At 3 miles 21:22. 4 miles was 28 something--which I thought was too fast so I pulled back. Wasn't getting passed as much any more. 5 miles was 36 something. At 6 I was right at 42 minutes. Shortly there after I had my Expresso Love Gu. Missed 7 and 8 splits. Mile 9 was 1:04 something. I was feeling pretty decent. I smiled at a lot of people. But somewhere in the 10th mile I started to feel myself fade. (Two women passed me during this time and I didn't think much of it but later it would come back to bite me in the ass.) I did some quick math and even if I ran 9 minute miles for the next 3 miles I would still beat my time from last year and have a new PR. So I hung in there the best I could. Garmin had lost the GPS signal so I was little confused on how much further I had. Once I saw marker 12 I picked it up.
I crossed the finish line in, wait for it . . .
That is almost a 5 minute PR!
Yeah me!
I had no idea my pace till I came home and checked it: 7:23. Wow. I am pleased.

I ended up being 3rd in my age group. A little disappointing since I was 2nd last year but my age group is the largest and from what I can tell the fastest overall. (Those two women who passed me were 1st and 2nd in my age group. Fast bitches!)

So I am happy.

I am going edit this quick because I have to go get dressed and take the kids to the fall festival.

Last weeks totals were this:
Run: 43 miles
Bike: 13 miles
Swim: none

PS Charlie I hope you had a great race too at Marine Corps Marathon.


  1. Great job. Very awesome time.

  2. Yay! Nicely done, Nat! You are a running goddess :-) No, no... Don't complain! It's official now!!! LOL...

    I like to carbo-load with beer too, but my problem is it gives me irritable bowel syndrome, if you ya know what I mean ;-)

    Congrats again, 7:23 pace is... dream like for me!!

  3. Outstanding run Ms Natalie!

    You done Great!

    Thanks race is tomorrow.

    Bib# 23740

  4. You rule! Awesome job - Wish I could have run it, not that i woulda been close to you, but it does sound fun.

  5. I met Kate too....she does tri's too and works at The Big Peach in Marietta.

    Congrats on your PR I knew that you would do it! You are insanely fast!

  6. Wow, you are a machine! Great job!!!

  7. Congrats!

    It's still a boring trail!

  8. Yay Nat! Congrats! 5 minutes is a HUGE PR!!!

    We all knew you'd do great:0) always do!

  9. pop and lala are amazed! you are so fast! We are proud of your accomplichment and pleased with ourselves for making you! (pat on back)

  10. Gosh, I wonder what result would have in a 5k race with your super fast speed??? For that matter, you're going to smash your next marathon personal record!

  11. Aw shucks, you guys are so nice.

    I am very happy with my time. I always have a great race out there on the silver comet. Good weather and flat terrain. Sure recipe for success for moi.

    Alas, I am not the fastest of them all. Oh well. At least I kicked last years younger ass. What more can I ask for?