I thought I would test out the notes section for a quick run report and this is a complete brain dump that jumps around and is not formatted well...
John Laino and I did this last year, it was my first half marathon, I don't really remember why I did this one other than John was doing it and I had done the Dammit Run with Dan and him a few months before hand.
Last year looking at my miles and training it was a bit light but passable for running the half - and the half marathon isn't really that far when you break it down - worst case you are exercising with some walk breaks just 3 hours, best case if you have been doing some training you probably would hit my time of about 2:13 or so. I remember being pretty happy about that.
This year while this isn't an "A" race for me it is one that I really wanted to improve upon and do better than my Portland Half which I surprised myself at coming in under 2 hours.
I have recently gotten to run a bit further and really rather hit the trails than the streets for me it is just a lot more enjoyable. But to that end, a friend of mine has been coaching me there with helping direct me on some weekly mileage / elevation / time goals also a lot of questions I have because running the trails and some of these distances are pretty new to me and having someone there that is very accomplished along with his wife I get 2 for 1 help sometimes.
I tried to work a bit more over the past month on some speed work and doing the "strides" and some progression runs have helped I think. Strides are probably different for a lot of folks but what I am doing is about 200 meters or so you divide that into 3 sections mentally and start at your normal pace for the first third then push to a faster pace in the second third and the final section you are "doing a controlled sprint" (not a full on Phoebe sprint - from Friends). I am sure that has helped increase my general foot speed. The great thing is on some of the trails I have taken to doing this in the middle of runs when I hit some flat areas, so it is great to be able to see that really help.
I got up early and got everything ready, I have new short shorts so I look a bit more like a runner than a jogger now :) Dan gets to the house and we are off - of course I pick the car that has just 25 miles left in the tank but that is plenty unless of course you take a wrong turn and get stuck in traffic, luckily we left very early so we just parked away from everyone and got a mile warm up walk with plenty of time to meet up with John and take a picture and complain about everyone that sure didn't look like they could run a 2:00 half lined up in our corral :)
I did a classic start too fast - I think I was hopped up on old coffee and peanut butter as well as nerves to get out of the pack - http://www.strava.com/activities/87337218
Looking at the first 6 miles were all under 8 minutes a mile (which is pretty fast for me) after that it was a slow climb up to 8:47 a mile for the next 6 then the last mile I had to push pretty hard (and I think I saved a bit too much I could have pushed harder earlier). Hard to say if going out that fast was good or bad, I don't know that I would have came in the time I wanted. Once I hit mile 12 I realized if I didn't start to go faster I would be very disappointed (again I wish I had figured that out earlier I think I had a bit too much left at the end). I ended up with a time of exactly 1:46:00, which is 27 minutes faster than last year (that much improvement might be hard to duplicate :) ). I can almost give my Brother-in-Law a run for his money now.
I think something that helped quite a bit was I carried my water, and a gel because I hate getting caught up in the drink stations and when I try to drink out of them and run I always choke. Then the gel because I think getting a gel at mile 9.5 is more of a mental help than a real benefit at least for me I think I would rather have one at mile 5 or 6 and maybe another at the gu stop...? Something I probably should have talked to John about.
It was great fun joining Dan and John because we have been encouraging each other a bit, John hasn't been able to get in the miles lately but Dan has and he said he felt great for a lot of the run so that is encouraging for next year and any other races I can drag him to!
I also had a few other friends out there (Melissa, Renee, Michael, and the Hawkins Clan) and I wish we could have all connected before and after but this place was a mad house - I saw an article that 16000 people entered they only have slightly more than 10000 in the half so I assume there was quite a few doing the Mini Marathon as well.
All in all it is a fun "jog" through the city besides the normal soreness, I feel pretty good, that is my story and I am sticking to it. I don't think I am going to do anymore of these road half or full marathons after the Las Vegas Marathon in November, except for this one every year - it seems like a fun gauge as long as it doesn't hit any of the trail runs I want to do. The roads just aren't as interesting to me, that may change someday but I don't see it anytime soon.
I want to make sure and throw out a few thanks to some folks mentioned here;
Dan Burton - it is his fault I am running now he started me out with the Dammit Run and continues to keep me going
John Laino - He really killed it last year and gave me a target to shoot for, if he gets the time to train I will be in trouble next year for sure.
Amy Heywood - My sister for harassing me all the way and having fun running while I jog
Kenny Heywood - He has been running a lot and really doing well so it is fun to progress with him and he has a full marathon coming up soon so that will be exciting to watch
Bryan Brown - My Brother-in-Law, I look like a walking Nike billboard because of him and giving me a time at the portland Half to shoot for - I didn't quite make it but hopefully you guys could come down next year and we could run this together
John Burton - He has been coaching me and I didn't want to embarass him by saying that and putting up a bad time - I can't tell you how nice it is to find someone that can mentor / talk about this because the internet can only get you so far if you don't have someone to work with and talk through my questions plus both he and Amy have shown me some great trails here very close to home!
Amy Burton - John's wife who has put up with me on a few runs and slowed down to a walk on some of them while answering my questions and showing me some good techniques as well
And Mostly Melanie - My wife for putting up with me running around the block and letting me do this "cheap" sport
Of course that isn't all and I am sure I am forgetting some folks this is my first try at this so sorry for missing you :)
I would like to put in a quick plug for the Quicksilver Running Club as well - so far they are a great group of folks, and the Quicksilver park is a great place to hike and run (a lot of real runnable fire roads and single track) I would be happy to show anybody the area. If you want to join the club and support the area it is very reasonable and they also have a great running team that is very supportive and does very well within the USATF rankings here in Northern California. http://www.quicksilver-running.com/
They are also putting on a 10k / HM and a free kids race on the 19th so if you have some time and want to come for a run, I will be volunteering and would be happy to show you the course or meet you there! http://www.quicksilver-running.com/#!12m-10k--kids-races/cpu1
If you made it this far you deserve a medal as well.