Sunday, August 04, 2019

2019 Hofbräuhaus Cleveland Half Marathon

Finish line refreshment.
The course for the Hofbräuhaus Half Marathon is like they took the second half of the former route for the Cleveland Marathon, before they decided to ignore the east side of Cleveland and concentrate on the exclusive west side neighborhoods of Edgewater and Lakewood.

Starting at Hofbräuhaus, we headed through Asiatown, and Hough, down and up Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., and back to the restaurant.

Official Time: 1:43:00.7
Avg. Pace: 7:52
Overall Finish Place: 73/335
Place Men 50-54: 9/21
Personal Best Half: 01:41:21 (Cleveland 2016)
Temperature: 71°

I had no intention of making a personal best. For that matter, I hadn't considered my time at all! The original plan was to run this with Chris, and we would do what we would do. That last two half we have run together it snowed and rain, in May, respectively. Shitty, shitty days.

Fabio & me.
I made my personal best in 2016 because it was so cold and I was so wet I ran faster just so that it would be over. Also, Chris and I were pushing each other forward.

But Chris has been side-lined with an injury and is maintaining his marathon training via swimming pool. Seriously, while I was not doing twelve miles last week, he spent two hours running aquatically.

This morning I was very happy to receive a ride to the race site from Fabio -- he and Chris did a trail run a few weeks back when I was in New York. Chris and Allie also came a long, for moral support, which was greatly appreciated.

I decided to stick with the 7:30 (minute/mile) crew for as long as I was able. My goal, when I decided on one, was to beat 1:45. That's good, right? I paced myself by following this bickering couple with  headphones. At the first miles she was like," WHAT'S OUR TIME," and he was like, "WHAT?" and she was like, "OUR MILE, TELL ME OUR TIME," and like that. This happened every mile.

Meanwhile, behind me was coughing man. Or rather, coughing and spitting man. He appeared to be ten years older than I am. and everything thirty seconds or so he would cough up something and spit. I mean, more power to him, running the race, but I had this disturbing sound behind me for most of the run.

Feeling good.
Until he was next to me, and then in front of me. Not sure what his deal was, but if I need to cough and spit and run this fast when I am sixty, well. All right.

The first half (of the half) went well. The turnaround at the end of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard messed me up in a number of ways. I grabbed a water -- but I missed the gel table. They weren't handing them out, they were just sitting there, spread out on a table.

I actually doubled back to get one, because I had already been feeling like I hadn't had enough to eat. I was feeling drained in that way. And because I was hungry, I ate it right there, and it was awful because it was like this raspberry chocolate flavored thing and that is awful, and I had blown one of my basic gel rules which is hang onto it until you have about a quarter mile to the next water table so you can slam it and wash it down fast.

Instead, it's like I had this gooey cakey chocolately berry phlegm in my mouth.

Whatever, I kept going. I was tired. It was warm. And I kept fearing the inevitable, that the 8:00 pace guys were going to pass me. Because eight minute miles is a 1 hour 45 minute run. And they did, just as I passed the eight mile mark. Five miles to go, chasing the 8:00 signs just so I could clear 1:45.

It's Laura!
But I did. I followed them. I did not pass them. And I kept thinking, "They're lying. They're not going 8:00, they're going 7:55 or something. If I can just not lose them, I'll be fine."

And they were lying, they were going 7:55 or something, because that was my pace.

I was delirious at the finish, in a manner I am not accustomed to. But I was no so out of it that I didn't recognize an old friend from high school as we were getting water and bananas. And then Chris, Allie, Fabio and I grabbed a table to enjoy our beer and brats.

Week Eight Total: 29.35 miles
Total To Date: 177.5 miles


Itibrout said...

Great race time! Congratulations!

pengo said...

Many thanks!