UnitedHealthCare Half Marathon Race Report

Newport, RI —

The alarm went off at 6, waking me from one of the worst night’s sleep I have had since the night before my last half marathon (makes me wonder how I’ll sleep before the full in March).  I have been up much earlier than this for some of my other races this year, but for some reason it felt like an extremely early wake up, probably because now that we are well into fall, the sun is beginning to rise later and later and the temperature is getting colder and colder.  Anyway, I pulled myself together, got dressed, and headed to grab a Clif Bar and a big glass of water for breakfast.  As I finished breakfast, this is the view I had outside… (I am really starting to get a great collection of sunrise pictures)
I pulled myself away from the beauty of the sunrise, and went through my race bag for one final check to make sure I had everything.  Amy then drove me, her cousin Tim, and his two friends; Joe and Mike, over to the race start.  Joe and I looked for a Porta Potty, but wound up lettin it fly behind a sand pile because the line waiting for the toilets was just way too long.  We also realized that Joe forgot his iPod in the car, so we had to have Amy bring it over to the race site.  Even thought Amy did not run in this race with us, she still did a little running that day.
After meeting Amy to get the iPod, we literally had seconds to line up before the gun went off.  We jumped into the huge mob of people and off we went toward 13.1.
I am about one inch to the right of the light post wearing the red/white shirt and dark hat.
I felt great, but struggled with my pacing in the beginning.  I like to try and keep a 10:45-11:15 min/mile pace, but my first 4 miles I averaged 10:25 min per mile.  Now ahead of my scheduled pace, I began to feel the burn and started to slow considerably.  Mile 5 I finished in 10:50, and after that I really lost steam.
The course was beautiful! A lot of the course ran along the water, and what wasn’t on the water, was a tour through streets of unbelievable mansions.  The weather was pretty much perfect for a race too.  Temperature in the sixties with a clear sky! My only complaint would be the amount of wind there was at times on the course, especially near the water.
I ran by Amy between miles 8 and 9, she actually got a pretty good picture!
A few shots of me coming to, and crossing the finish line (Also provided by Amy).  My finishing time was 2:45:41, over 30 minutes faster than my time at the Binghamton Bridge Run Half Marathon.  I had wanted to finish in 2:30:00, but am still more than happy with my time.
My time did make me realize a few things:
     1) I need to get off the track for my long runs.  Running on the track, I have an idea of my distance…but when I get on the roads, I am lost.  Running a half mile on the road seems much longer than it does on the track right now.  I need to get more comfortable with road running.
        2) I need to get out and find some hills to run on.  This course had a few significant hills and some gradual inclines and declines.  I am so used to running on flat ground, that I tire so quickly when I hit a hill.
         3) I just need to stay focused and keep working.  I am definitely heading in the right direction, and just have to keep pushing.
Thats all for now, stay tuned for my 10k preview Friday.

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