Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Rutgers Unite 1/2 Marathon - Recap

I can't even remember when Mary Ann and I signed up for this, way back before it got cold I think?  We live close, yet see each other once a year for a race.  It works.

This one would be different because she is near Piscataway NJ and she invited me to stay at her home with her fiancee!  Usually we get a hotel somewhere.  She's been dating H (also a widower) for about 3 years and they got engaged on Christmas Eve when he handed her a big box in the car and said "Here open this."  and she proceeded to open box after box after box till she got to a little ring box.  Rather unconventional however they are in their 60's and unconventional really works for them!!

I never knew Mary Ann's first husband, Richard. He passed away from lung cancer.  He was the reason we met and became friends.  She is a free spirit; it is refreshing and energizing to spend time with her.  To say I was shocked when I found out she was 60 when we met would be an understatement!!  Runners seem to not age or behave like regular people?

Partly this run would be to get in the longest run I've had since October and mostly to see Mary Ann and meet H and spend some time together.

Mary Ann and Me at the finish!
Aren't we adorable?

Rutgers Unite 1/2 is flat, wicked flat, 247 feet of elevation gain!  OMG really?  Neither of us looked at the course map before we started the race minimally we were hoping for no surprise hills.  Well there was one, at the finish... with a course that flat the 30 foot uphill 'grind' was torture!!

Full results here.

My results:
Nothing spectacular - 2:33 

First Male:  1:11 
First Female: 1:25

A goal:  2:25
B goal:  2:35
C goal:  Do not die

My hope (no planning goes into hoping) was to end up with an average pace nothing north of 11:30, to at least not do worse than my 10 mile solo long run.  I'd of liked to (again no planning goes into liked to) manage 10:40 pace (2:20).  It was pretty clear from the first mile that wasn't in the cards for me.  I also suspected I was going to fade in the last 5 miles.  Maybe that set me up for fading?  Who knows...  Yeah, we all know the mind plays one of the biggest parts (other than actual thoughtful planning) in where we land to our goals.

We lined up behind the 11 minute pace group.  They were much faster than 11 for the first few miles.

I have a new water belt; the belt (Ultraspire) holds a 20oz bottle in the center of my back.  I've run with it already, so this wasn't anything new on race day.  Unfortunately I hadn't tightened it up enough and it was bouncing left of center on my back and my left hip and whole leg hurt. I was panicking because I couldn't fix it while running and the pain was getting worse and worse and I wasn't even 2 miles in.  Shit.  I stopped and dorked around with that for a few minutes to get it to tighten up and stop the annoying bouncing. 

Got that all situated and I felt good for the first 1/2 of the 1/2 and then my mind started and I couldn't stop it or I let it do it's thing.  The jury is still out, on what I consciously or unconsciously did (or will admit to - revisionist historians are the best aren't they??).  I think I wanted to test how far I could let it go before I was unrecoverable. 

I never reached unrecoverable, I met it at the brink, we shook hands and parted ways.  I explained to the demon I do this stuff because I enjoy it and what a beautiful course and what nice people!  So buh bye and check in from time to time but don't set up shop in my head.

How to break this down...

Mile by mile?  Seriously?  Not worth your or my time to break it down that much.  The first half I was peppier than the second half.  I had a porta potty stop.  I was a happy camper when it was done, and I was so ready for it to be done.  I left nothing on the course.

It was flat and fast, definitely if I trained I could break 2 hours on this.  Will I do that? Probably not.

It was a well-organized and well managed race, definitely would recommend it.  Rated as one of the top 1/2 Marathons in NJ, and it is deserved.

In the 1/2 there were just over 3K in the 8K just over 900 runners. Not a crowded race, you were never alone and you weren't tripping over people.

The gear bag had a really cool map of most of NY/NJ/CT with races on it.  I don't know if these are CGI (the sponsor of Rutgers 1/2) races or not.  I thought that was a really cool thing worth mentioning, otherwise the gear bag had its usual packet of BioFreeze and other advertisements.  The expo was small, so if you go to a race for the expo, this isn't the one for you!

The one thing, the only thing that bugs me is this Epic Suffer score.

I could not possibly have been running anaerobically for 1:43.  Considering my previous weeks suffer score, where I ran at Tempo pace, it seems odd.  Could the ambient temperatures make a difference? Could the fact I'd already run 23 miles be it?  No I ran 22 before my 10 mile run the weekend previously.

My pace distribution was similar, a little heavier on the endurance on the 10.5,  I would expect a peppier pace for the 1/2 running with people and all between the two runs so the heart rate thing makes no sense.  I trust this more because it is based on a recent 5K of 29:50.

Alas I will figure it out, reccomendations on things to read or people to talk to to understand?

After an always tense drive from NJ through NY through CT and finally back in RI where the traffic was light to non-existant (but wait tourist season is on it's way) I enjoyed this:

Kind of a nifty medal.  Not sure if I'll keep this or it goes in the Medals for Mettle box.

Beth, not an epic recap, to apparently what my heart rate deemed an epic race, but my mind calls a fun time. 


  1. I have never seen the heart rate thing like that before, what do you use for that? Great job on your epic half and congrats to your running friend for getting engaged!

  2. Yes, you are both adorable, and no, your friend does not look 60+!