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Hi, I'm Whitney! I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009. Join me in my adventures in life and training. I run with the Rush Running team and enjoy the fun that comes with such a supportive group of friends who understand what running means to me. I'm newly discovering road biking and the fun that it entails.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bentonville Half Marathon Race Report

Today marks a special day...I've come full circle with one year of blogging.  Looking back my very first Race Report was for the Bentonville Half Marathon and today I completed the Bentonville Half Marathon again!

Bright and sunny start for the race.
Last year I spoke of the weather and how horrible it was with cold and wet conditions.  Today was far from that with temps quickly warming up into the 60's during the race.  I actually got overheated but still would pick today's weather over last year's any day!  The course didn't change so there was still the horrible hill to deal with at mile 12...in fact the last 3 miles of the course are pretty much uphill. All of the elevation change for the course seems to happen during the last 4 miles of the race when you drop down a steep hill throughout mile 9 to begin the climb back up at mile 10.  Just the spot where I'm usually feeling less than perky during a half marathon!

About 900 runners completed the half marathon.
Today was my 14th half marathon and I definitely am continuing to learn more about running these races as I go along.  I wasn't very motivated for the race and had a horrible training schedule. I skipped long runs and even had weeks with only 1-2 runs total during the week.  That lack of consistent training showed in my performance today.  I'm not upset with my time by any means just know that I'm capable of more (when I train for it!) I would like to lay out a more structured training plan for my long runs for the next few months.  I would like to keep up the longer distances and work at building up to fewer walk breaks and more consistent pace on long runs. 

Another big lesson was in some choices I made for apparel and gear.  I chose to wear capris, short sleeve tee, and singlet.  I should have skipped the tee and worn shorts because I was miserably hot throughout the race.  The second choice I made with my gear was to skip wearing a water belt.  I hate to wear them in a long, organized race since it is extra weight and things to think about.  However, from mile 10-12 all I could think about was water and how thirsty I was getting.  The final mile uphill was also tough for me and one of the volunteers had a stash of some Gatorade that really helped me out.  I will probably wear a water belt on my next half marathon for sure.  It's just nice to be able to drink when you want to. 

He was out playing some tunes on the saxophone for all the runners.
The race was well supported with awesome volunteers from a teen leadership organization called HOBY.  They were always cheering and had great signs along the course too.  There were a few music spots on the course including the high school band at the top of the dreaded mile 12 hill.  The finish line was 100 times better than last year because there was actual food this year and people stuck around and created a fun atmosphere. 

My sister outgunned me by 12 seconds at the end.  My legs just didn't have any get up and go left!
Overall, this continues to be a great race and something that I hope to be able to run for years to come. 

Today I ran the first 6 miles with my sister and my running partner Anne.  Anne then did some tempo work for a few miles and left Lindsey and I to finish the course on our own.  I was thankful to have my sister by my side during my low moments on the hill when all I could think about was how much my stomach hurt and how badly I was overheating.  She thoughtfully suggested I puke it up and get moving! I think my nutrition could have been better and that's why my stomach hurt...I was running low on fuel in the tank.  We took some walk breaks at water stops and then a little more frequently in the last 2 miles.  Time wise, she beat me by 12 seconds with an awesome finishing kick! My time this year came in at 2:27:39 (about 1:30 slower than last year.) It wasn't my best and wasn't my worst and I finished  (though the smile didn't come until after I crossed the line!)  My unspoken goal for any race is to finish with a smile! 

Any suggestions for my 15th half marathon? 

4 comments:

  1. What a great race report - thanks for sharing! Posts like this make me want to get out there and run more often. ;)

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  2. My 15th half marathon is next weekend. It is a great distance.

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  3. Well done! I love half marathons.

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