Saturday, February 2, 2008

East Beach Norfolk Half Marathon, 02 Feb 08

Today was my first half marathon of 2008...The East Beach Norfolk Half and 5K...Another race that I had wanted to run last year but was unable to because of injury. Another race where visions of breaking the 1:30 barrier danced through my head for the past four weeks...visions that seemed unlikely this last week because of a bad cold that had invaded my body with fever and head and chest with congestion...keeping me hostage at home for two days. But the training continued, although it was a trimmed back version to give this old body energy to fight back the viruses. By Friday evening, most of the body felt good except for a lot of coughing...the body's way of trying to get rid of all that phlegm still rattling around in the upper chest, but I knew that I would still run this race. I still felt confident that I could beat the 1:30 time I had set for myself.

The race takes place in the East Beach section of Norfolk, a picturesque setting along the beach with new high priced houses, condos and townhouses along with the older established homes, apartments, stores and restaurants. The course last year was a simple out and back and flat, but because of some construction going on this year, the out and back portion was shortened and a two-mile loop was added at the beginning and the same loop again at the end.

Woke up Saturday to cold temperatures but clear skies...I like the cold! The forecast called for race time temps in the 30's to 40's with sun and a bit of wind...a perfect day for a race! Drove down in plenty of time and picked up my packet, bib and chip and did my two mile warm-up. Everything felt good and the coughing wasn't too bad.

The horn starts us a few minutes past eight and we are off on our initial two mile loop through the new neighborhood with it's beautiful homes and condos. The first mile came in at 6:16...entirely too fast! I thought I let up the pace a bit but the next mile came in at 6:17. It felt easy and my coughing was only sporadic but I still tried to ease up the pace. We had now finished the loop and were headed out to the long nine-mile out and back. The three-mile mark came in at 19:02 and six miles in 39:09. We reached the turn around point and headed back. Mile nine came in at 59:04 and mile 10 in 1:05:48...again a new 10-mile mark. Reaching mile 11 in 1:12:34, I knew breaking 1:30 was in the bank with only the two mile loop to finish, so I let up on my pace and just cruised around the loop and crossed the finish line in 1:28:03 gun time...broke my PR by over four minutes! Oh Happy Days...The 1:30 is history! With my new time, McMillan says I can do a 3:05 marathon...I wonder if that is true? It doesn't sound possible. The Striders Distance Series 30K in two weeks should tell me more...I want to be healthy for that race and give it a good effort. After the race, a nice new medal for my growing collection along with good eats (Pizza!) and drink, a beach blanket as an AG prize and good runners to celebrate with!

Race Results:

There were 22 finishers in the Male 50 to 54 age group and 312 total finishers.
Overall finish place was 31 of 312
Age group finish place was 1 of 22
Time: 1:28:00.55 for an overall pace of 6:43 per mile

Weekly Totals:

Mon: 31 min elliptical, 46 min cycle, 16 min stairstepper
Tue: 2 miles run, 15 minutes of pushups and crunches
Wed: 8.8 miles run, 30 min elliptical, 30 min cycle, 10 min stairsteppper
Thu: 50 min elliptical, 55 min cycle, 13 min stairstepper
Fri: 2 miles run, 24 min elliptical, 23 min cycle, 11 min stairstepper
Sat: Half marathon, 15 total miles run
Sun: 30 min elliptical, 31 min treadmill, 46 min cycle, 16 min stairstepper

Next week is the second in the Mud in Your Eye cross-country series...a 6K in Chesapeake. I'm thinking about running a practice run on the course tomorrow...just so I will know what to expect this time.

Happy running to you all!


cymrusteve said...

Another nice week of training despite being sick for most of it, topped off with a fantastic race and new Half Marathon PR! Congrats Charlie!

I love how my race prediction of 1:27:59 was just 1 second away from your actual time today. Very spooky!

Enjoy the moment and have a great healthy training week.

See you at Bells Mill!


Steph Bachman said...

Awesome time, Charlie! Imagine if you were healthy!

robison52 said...

Congrats on your new Personal Record in the half marathon, done with a cold AND in the last two miles you eased off the gas and cruised!! I can see you getting ANOTHER half-marathon this year!!

Charlie said...

Thanks Steve! Yup, I missed it by one second but I will probably get it next time! ;-)

Outstanding race for you too wonder I couldn't keep up with you at the beginning! Congratulations!

Thank you Ms Stephanie! It sucks to be sick but it worked out this time.

Howdy Bruce and thanks! I did lose a lot of energy towards the end and was glad I didn't need to push it. There are a few more halfs to run this year as well as marathons that I look forward to!

Thanks for coming by and posting,

Paul Kindzia said...

Charlie, just read the blog and race report. AWESOME!!! Just goes to show that my best days are still in front of me. Very inspiring. I think you broke your PR because of the streaking challenge? HA!

Charlie said...

Hi Paul,

Thanks for coming by and for your comments!

LOL...As to the streak...I probably should have rested at least Tuesday and Friday, and I normally would have, but there was no way after committing to your streak.

We'll see how long I can last!

Nat said...

I am serisouly thinking about CMM but us running it together isn't going to happen--1:28 is AMAZING. So if I do toe the line with you at CMM you just have to promise me you'll wait around the 20 extra minutes it will take for me to finish and we'll go celebrate with some beers.Either that or you'll have to pace me to 3:25, you know if want an easy day.;)
Great job!

Charlie said...

Hi Ms Natalie and thank you!

Don't sell yourself are an awesome runner with lots of potential. I bet you will do very well in your next marathon.

Are you still doing Snickers? I might have a problem doing the CMM...scheduling conflicts...still trying to iron things out. I might have to go with ING GA or something else in April on a different date if things don't work out.

Have to see.

Nat said...

Definitely not doing Snicker's. I just don't feel confident about training to do it. No point in traveling, running etc if I am not going to do well, kwim?
I too am still waffling between ING and CMM. ING would be easiest but it woul dbe nice to do something new + the extra time to train would be bonus. . . Or I could just do both.

Charlie said...

Ms Natalie! You sound like both! :o)

Tell me about ING GA...

-How long did it take to fill up last year?...Want to decide and register after my Shamrock run on 16 Mar. Of course it was an inaugural race last year and may have filled up faster because of it.

-I hear they are starting and finishing in a different place...will that mean there is no up hill climb to the finish?

I'm sure I have other questions but those are the most pressing now.


Nat said...

I don't think it really closed out last year--I know they said that but I think you could still register. I think they ended up with just under 5000 for the full and just under 10k for the half. I think there will be less this year because of last year's debacles with corraling (which they said they have fixed) , powerade (which I think they have changed sponsors) and weather (which cannot be controlled) and some course changes (remains to be seen--every race I have done in the city of Atlanta has been hilly and by far the most challenging courses at every distance). Mostly it is rolling but Atlanta is the foot hills of the Appalacians and has lots of long slow hill and then some ridiculous monster rollers. Not San Fran hills but it is a city set upon a hill.You don't realize this until you run it.

My understanding is that the start and finish is in Centinnial Park. Everyone keeps saying you won't have that final 5k up hill but I know it is hilly over there because I have walked up the hill from the park to the Marta station--now how they come into the park I don't know but around here if you go down you are going to go up--it is all up and down around here. Most of the course is rolling but it isn't horrible. The only parts I truly struggled was the last 5k (but that could have as much been the heat as the hill) and miles 19/20 on Freedom Pkwy. It was super hot out there and is a long slow hill with NO shade. BUT I have heard they may take that part out. So many rumors. . .
This will be a challenging marathon no doubt but I have heard from those that have run Boston that ING is more a more difficult course and will prepare you well.

Just train on hills and you shoudl be fine. It is pretty course. And you should bring your wife and kids. The Aquarium is awesome and there is good shopping here.

Charlie said...

Thanks Natalie!

My wife's best friend lives in Canton, and I believe it's spring break for the schools up here around that it's a good possibility that they would come with me.

I don't mind least I don't think I do...I ran Richmond twice with a few rollers and Frederick with some rollers too, but hills at the end of 20 or so are going to be pretty tough...but bring them on!'s easy to say but...

Sounds good...Thanks,