Fort Ben HM Race Report
First the self shaming... from August 22nd until October 1st, I ran a combined total of 31.2 miles. That was 3 weeks of 0.0 miles, 1 week of 7.2 miles, 1 week of 11 miles and 13 miles last week on 2 runs before Saturday... So then Saturday rolls around and I figure I'd just go do what I could and see how it turned out.
I set the following goals, just to give me something to think about why trudging along:
Just finish the damn thing - check
No walking - check (although pace up the hill at mile 11 was a jog/shuffle, imo)
Run at a mostly consistent pace - check (mostly - hill gets an *)
Be under 2 hours - check
Try to be about 1:55 or just under - X
Pre-race - got up plenty early, had a movement and out the door with my breakfast to eat on the drive over. Couple cliff bars and a banana with a large glass of water. Got to the parking lot and the only 'warmup' was going to be the 1/2 mile or so walk to the starting area. Then got in line for another movement, which was significant. Finished up and came out of the port o pot right as the national anthem was playing. Hustled over to the starting line, ignored the "wave A" on my bib and looked for the 1:55 and 2:00 pacers. Fell in with them in wave B just as wave A was sent out on their way.
Miles 1 and 2: 8:38 (HR 140), 8:48 (144)
First mile is a gentle descent into the park and 2nd mile is nice and flat through the park before exiting out the backside to get to the first of 2 hills on the course. I was feeling pretty good here with a little too much energy... started to pull ahead of the 1:55 pacers and but realized that was dumb and made myself slow. Chatted with the 2 of them for awhile until we neared the 2 mile mark.
Miles 3 - 7: 9:07 (155), 8:46 (161), 8:40 (163), 8:35 (166), 8:30(167)
Toward the end of mile 3 is the beginning of the first hill and I started losing the 1:55 pacers a bit but I was ok with that. Miles 4 and 5 also are more or less uphill. My goal was to just stay calm and not work too hard until we got back out on 56th street, where I knew it would level out. I used the flat area from mile 4.25+/- to mile 7 to slowly catch back up to the 1:55 pacers, which I did at about the halfway point of the race. I could always see them but actually being beside them was nice.
Miles 8-10: 8:46 (168), 8:36 (169), 8:50 (173)
Here you turn back into the park and end of mile 8 into mile 9 goes back downhill. I really wanted to use this to pick up a little time on the pacers that I could use for the hill coming back out of the park, but just didn't quite have that. Mile 10 is nice and flat through the park and combo of my pace and my HR, I knew things were about to get tough.
Miles 11 and 1: 9:36 (171), 9:04 (175)
Toward the end of 11 is a lovely hill. It's not that much - like 70 feet up over .2 miles at the worst but it might as well have been a mountain. This year they embraced strava segments for it - they had special timing mats out for that section and had it all labeled as the "kill the hill challenge". A number of people went cruising past me here to get a time on that segment but I just did a slow crawl up the hill. Mile 12 is back out of the park with a little bit of a climb but not too bad. I tried to pick it back up a little but didn't have a lot in me. I lost sight of the 1:55 pacers by the time this was over but I knew that I was still going to be comfortably under 2 hours.
Mile 13 and the finish: 8:47 (171), 1:58 for .23 miles (8:33 pace, 158 HR?)
The last mile+ is basically flat but with a number of turns. I know where the finish is, but it isn't really visible until the very end. I had a few people near me that I was trying to pick off as motivation to get there as fast as possible. The last .23 says I had a little something left but it wasn't a ton. I was definitely feeling the end of this one.
Official Results: 1:56:41, 318 of 1032, 240 of 550 men, 15 of 50 AG
All in all I'm happy with the effort. Hoping to get a solid month of actual running in between now and the Monumental, where I just now changed my entry to do the half marathon. Goal there is to see how long I can keep up with Mr. London Marathon Smasher before he splits off to pace his group towards Broad Ripple while I take the shortcut to the finish line.