Sunday, October 21, 2012

RnR St. Louis Half Marathon 2012

Today I ran the Rock n Roll St. Louis half marathon. I signed up for this way back on 11/11/11 when the entry fee was relatively cheap. My running volume has been pretty good the last couple of months, at the expense of swimming and cycling, so I figured I could PR given good weather. The only problem was mental. I've had some changes at work that have increased my stress level and responsibility as well as decreased my free time substantially. Not good for racing. On top of that, I really don't like the stress of racing nor racing alone. I also didn't do myself any favors having a cookout last night and having a few cocktails. Oh well, I put on my big boy panties, sucked it up, and toed the line anyway :-).

Last night I feel asleep on the couch watching baseball, woke up at 3 am and ate breakfast, then went back to bed until 5 am to start my day. At that point I still wasn't sure if I was going to have fun by high fiving people, taking my time, and walking when I felt like it or go for a PR and suck it up even when things hurt. I got to the race site about 6:15, looked for some friends and didn't find them. I headed to corral 2 out of something like 16, took a Gu, drank some water and just hung out and stretched my IT bands. The weather was a brisk 55 degrees and since I chill easily, I brought a couple of those chemical hand warmers. They were wonderful! Note to self: bring spares. A woman standing next to me was shivering uncontrollably so I gave her one of my two hand warmers. She looked at me like I was a creep, but took it and used it :-).

The race started and I just started running with 16 plus thousand of my closest friends. I don't have a Garmin and had no idea what my pace was and just tried to stay comfortable. Mile one was ~8:20 and I was feeling decent so tried to keep about the same pace. Mile 2 and 3 were about the same, fast for me! but still feeling good. I did the first 5k in 25:40 and was feeling good. Next 5k was in 25:25 and I was stilling feeling good, but starting to get a bit fatigued. I knew I could PR at this point, knew it was going to hurt and decided to try to hang on. My pace started slowing a little on the stretch heading to the 10 mile marker, but I was holding it together. I was working hard enough that I decided to skip taking a GU at the one hour mark, wasn't sure it would stay down. I did take a salt packet instead. I know, nothing new on race day, but it sounded good at the time. I did take a couple sips of water at each aid station too. The last 5k was rough. My glutes were aching, I was breathing hard, my legs just ached, but I sucked it up and kept going. Trying to do math in my head, I knew I had my goal in hand (<1:55) and maybe my A goal (<1:50). Two miles to go and I was struggling. One mile to go and my left calf , hamstring, and glute were starting to cramp. I'm sure my form went to hell at that point, it was pure mental effort to PR for sure. Somehow I kept going, trying to smile for all the people cheering random strangers like me on. Crossed the line with a five+ minute PR (1:49:49) and staggered a little. Got some water, Gatorade and a space blanket and started making my way the 10 blocks or so to my car.

I was at the race by myself and get really cold right after races, so I made a b line to my car. Would have been fun to stay and hang out if I had some warm clothes handy, oh well. On the way home I picked up one of my favorite breakfasts, McDonald's sausage burritos, hash browns and coffee :-). Once home, the cold set in and I was shaking, so a long hot shower was in order followed by the burritos, then a nice nap.

After a second nap and some grocery shopping, my race number took it's proper position on the garage wall then I had another cookout.

Grill 2 was lobster and scallops.

Grill 1 was salmon, prime rib and potatoes.


Have a great week!


  1. Wow, that's a fantastic PR ... 5 minutes is nothing to sneeze at - I am very impressed, and happy for you :). Congratulations...this is what racing "should" be about, if you ask me :).

    You have the best grilling food EVER! Seriously drooling here. When you come to Colorado, I hope you'll be doing some grilling for me! :)

    Congrats again, what a great day all around :).

  2. I'm totally coming over for dinner!

    And congrats on the HUGE PR!!!! :)

  3. GREAT job, Mike! Way to go!! I was thinking of you and hoping it was going well. And yeah, it's so not the same when your friends aren't there at a race.

  4. Congrats on the PR! Bummer about the chill, but clearly the grilling reflects your recovery. :)

  5. Excellent job on your race Mike!

  6. Congratulations on the PR....and that food looks amazing!

  7. Great Job on the PR! Sorry I missed you before the race. On another note as fancy as you are with the grill your breakfast was a little disappointing to read about.

  8. Mike congrats on your PR. I know that is one of the best feelings in the world! Especially after pushing yourself those last few miles.

    Nice job on 'sucking it up!'


  9. You did a great job! It sounds like it was tough and you pulled off a PR. I often start to die after 10 miles which may be why I like ten milers so much.
    The stuff on your grill sounds pretty awesome!
    What's up next for you?

  10. Awesome Job!!!

    I ran the RnR St Louis Full yesterday as my first Full Marathon.

    My goal was to be under 5 hours.
    I came in at: 4:53:21


  11. Great job D! I was wondering how your day went. Awesome job on the marathon! I still can't visualize running that far.

  12. Absolutely Awesome.I am impressed!!! I don't like running without "my people"...but seemed to do it all summer for some reason....

    Great time and....yeah...I'm gonna say it...GREAT looking food.
    WHY are you not my neighbor? WhY?!

  13. A five minute PR?! That is some BIG improvement! You ran it without a garmin? Ha!

    That lobster looks pretty tasty. Not nice to tease us.

  14. Awesome!!! Congrats on the PR. I need to run with you; sub 1:50 is my goal too. :)

  15. Awesome! Boo-yeah PR!!! And one hell of a dinner! Great job, Mike!!

  16. Outstanding race report, I felt cold reading about it. That's hilarious about the shivering woman looking at you like you were a creep....and still taking the hand warmers!!!

  17. Realized when I read your comment on my blog that I hadn't checked over here recently. Great race! Congrats on the solid PR! Doing races with friends is definitely more fun, but it can be hard to "run your own race" that way too. Bummer to not have some kind of sherpa for the warm clothes and someone cheering specifically for YOU though. Not to mention a lack of pics of you. Those grills look amazeballs! I'm so going to hold you to the offer of a cookout sometime.

  18. Seriously??? You should have a cooking blog as well...I want to be invited for dinner!!! you and my husband would get along BEAUTIFULLY!!! He is so the cook in our house...i could open up a can of tuna and be perfectly happy...every day btw...

    Awesome job on the half...and keep sending pics and recipes for my lame attempts at cooking ;

  19. Now I wish I didn't wimp out and not sign up for that one cuz of the hills! Nice job and congrats on an awesome PR! Always nice when they aren't expected.Great celebratory grill spread!

  20. The conversation you had with your wife about stress reduction is the same one my husband and I would have.

    Last year you told me some swimming drills. Do you remember them to tell me again. I didn't do them last year because I was taking lessons but I would like to try them.