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Presque Isle Half Marathon

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Presque Isle Half Marathon Empty Presque Isle Half Marathon

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:51 am

I ran my 7th Presque Isle (Erie, PA) Half Marathon this morning and in the fastest time that I have ever run it.  I have always liked this race, but it always seems to be hot, humid weather for it (it is July on Lake Erie), so I have never really just run it.  I've used it as a workout where I went out slow and tried to run the last 10k hard, I've run it when I was in good shape with not super results, I've run it in 90F weather, and I've now run it on a day like today where I just decided to go with the flow.

I've been having a rough time this year with some not so stellar results, bad luck, recovery from surgery, old ladies crap, a trip to Europe with no running, hill, heat, and humidity, so I really had very little expectations this morning.  The weather gods did help as the extreme heat has broken, but it was still warm at 69F and 87% humidity at the start, and the humidity seems to hang on the lake like a blanket for longer than it really should (it is 74F now and still 71% humidity).  You know it is bad when it is warmer and more humid on Lake Erie than Atlanta, GA.  Given that I ran a decent 5K last weekend - not stellar, but it was a tough course - I decided with my coach to just go for it and see what happened.  

This year brought the largest field ever to this race with over 1300 entrants - 800 of them from outside the Erie metro area.  I'm guessing it has caught on that the course is flat, kind of fast in spite of the heat, and well run as the Erie Runners Club is just a top notch organization in spite of them still using the old champion chips.  You can sign up the hour before the race and they pushed the start back to 6:45 am to combat any heat issues.  The first mile was of course more crowded than usual, so I just bided my time and then settled into pace.

I decided not to look at my watch and just go with it, and that worked quite well for the race.  I chit chatted in the middle with the RD for the Erie Marathon and Half in September (great guy, Chris who told me that 40% of last year's field ran a BQ, but it is weather dependent).  He also told me I could switch to the full the day before if I am so inclined in September.  For the most part, I just tried to pick off runners and stay as steady as I could.  I've been dealing with a wonky Achilles which I now know how to keep under control, and I just ran the miles.  Somewhere around mile 10.5, I did have a bit of a mental breakdown and I had to really force myself not to slow too much and keep from walking (so I ran my slowest mile then), but I regrouped and finished the last two miles strong.  

Final time: 1:46:00 which turns out to be the fastest time that I have ever run on the course! Very Happy  I was 171st overall, 2nd in my AG, 39th woman overall, and 10th Masters Woman.  The 1st woman in my AG ran 1:39 (those were the days!), and the 3rd place woman was at 1:48 so really right behind me.  Not too shabby!  I am farther along than I thought and I hope that bodes well for the fall.
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Post  Chris M on Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:47 pm

Great result!  Sounds like steady 8s throughout the whole race except for the brief mental-caused slowdown?  I've had some of those and often in the same kind of setting where the result is actually a bit beyond what you thought it would be going in.  It can be hard to keep pushing when it invariably gets hard.  But way to pull it back together and run the last 2 miles fast again.  Are you considering switching to the full with me in September?
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:50 pm

@Chris M wrote:Great result!  Sounds like steady 8s throughout the whole race except for the brief mental-caused slowdown?  I've had some of those and often in the same kind of setting where the result is actually a bit beyond what you thought it would be going in.  It can be hard to keep pushing when it invariably gets hard.  But way to pull it back together and run the last 2 miles fast again.  Are you considering switching to the full with me in September?

 You never know, Chris, you never know; however, I will only have a month since pacing in SD.
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Post  Mark B on Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:55 pm

Not too shabby at all! Congrats!

After the less-than-perfect running situation you've had this year, I bet it feels good to pull through that rough patch at mile 10.5 and finish strong. That you also nailed your best time ever on this course has got to be a nice confidence builder.
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Post  Alex Kubacki on Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:30 am

Another outstanding race in the books. Looks like you should primed for the fall.
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Post  Chris Coleman on Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:44 pm

That's a great result. You deserve it after persevering through the year's setbacks.
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Post  KBFitz on Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:31 am

WOOT!

Not too shabby, Indeed!

Like you, my best half was on a day that things came together and I just went with it.

You're back in the mix. This does indeed bode well for the fall season.

Coolio!
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Post  RobA on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:14 am

Great race and a great result Michele. Well done !!!
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Post  Dave-O on Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:06 pm

Good stuff Michele!
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