Category Archives: 13mi

Rock N Roll USA Half Marathon

Start time: 3/15/2014, 7:50am
Location: All over Washington DC
Distance: 13.1 miles
Finish time: 2:05:52
Average pace: 9:27min/mile
Total Miles For March: 36 miles
Total Miles For 2014: 164 miles
Current Shoes: 230 miles

Much better than the last two times I ran this course (2011 & 2013), both of which were in the 2:13 range. I ran the first half with Armand, which went well and uneventful. I knew I was going to lose him at the hill exiting Rock Creek Park, in part because I was starting to overheat and I’d decided that once we left the park I was ditching a layer, and partially because he’s great on inclines.

So when we got to the hill, I took my one walk break in the race around the halfway point, which allowed me to catch my breath, and then fumble with my t-shirt that was underneath the long-sleeved one and remove it. According to Mr GPS it added about a minute onto my time, so not bad at all. After that, I kept running it out, although looking at Armand’s splits he definitely picked up the pace big time once he was on his own. (Which he should have! He’s faster than me and even if I didn’t lose him on the hill, he needed to make that break before long.)

Nothing too big to report. One tiny calf twinge around mile 12.75, so it was great to not encounter those like last year. On the whole, much happier with this finish time. It’s not as good as some of my better halves but it’s closer to those finish times (1:58-2:01 range) than I’ve been in in the past for years. So that’s a great improvement.

Rock ‘N Roll USA Half Marathon

Rock ‘N Roll USA Half Marathon
Start time: 3/16/13, 8:00am
Location: Washington DC
Distance: 13.1 miles
Finish Time: 2:13:34
Average pace: 10:12min/mile
Total Miles For March: 46 miles
Total Miles For 2013: 118 miles
Current Shoes: 17 miles

Another year, another March race. This is one where my training’s been a little haywire but I was still hoping for better. Unfortunately I started cramping around mile 8, which added with back pains around mile 1 and in retrospect I should be glad I finished. Nothing seemed to go quite right, unfortunately. Dressed too warmly and in layers that would be difficult to remove, coupled with (making a mistake I’ve done before) filling my water bottle with a sports drink that I then barely sipped because I’m not crazy about the taste. Between the two I might have dehydrated a little bit. Oops.

Bizarrely I ended up within seconds of the last time I ran this race, two years ago. And also one in which I wasn’t thrilled about. So I guess that’s… something? Maybe?

Anyway. I finished, that’s a victory, but there are a lot of lessons to be learned here that I’m still parsing.

And that’s a wrap

Start time: 12/31/11, 9:30am
Location: National Mall, Hains Point, Mt. Vernon Trail
Distance: 13.04 miles
Average pace: 10:33min/mile
Total Miles For December: 99 miles
Total Miles For 2011: 743 miles
Current Shoes: 33 miles

Last run of the year; we started late due to some late night Friday commitments and instead of the planned 14 did just 13 since the other two guys had missed the 12 (so that we can we have two 3-mile jumps instead of a 4-mile jump). It was a nice, pleasant run; gorgeous weather out (shorts!) and a steady pace with good company. Nice way to end 2011.

Mystery 13-miler

Start time: 6/25/11, 6:00am
Location: National Mall, Mt. Vernon Trail, Georgetown, Cap Crescent Trail
Distance: 13 miles
Average pace: 10:39min/mile
Total Miles For June: 64 miles
Total Miles For 2011: 371 miles

I vaguely remember this one only because of the slightly unusual route.

Little Bit Extra

Start time: 4/9/11, 7:00am
Location: DC
Distance: 12.9 miles
Average pace: 10:01min/mile
Total Miles For April: 31 miles
Total Miles For 2011: 202 miles

The plan this morning was to meet on the National Mall, run 6 miles, swing by and pick up John, run 6 more miles. Except thanks to the Cherry Blossom Parade (oops!), we couldn’t actually get to the meeting point. So we met up at the old Southwest Waterfront location and picked up around 5.6 miles, scooped up John… and then messed up our math entirely and ended clocking just shy of the 13 mile mark. Ah well! Extra mile never hurt. Aside from two of the guys needing a bathroom break during mile 8, no real lingerings or any such during the run. I’m good with that. Probably should’ve added on an extra tenth of a mile, but I’ve rounded down enough I figure it balances out.

(9:40, 9:58, 9:41, 9:59, 10:07, 10:02, 9:45, 11:14, 10:06, 10:26, 10:05, 10:05, 8:08)

An entire race of “eh”

National Half Marathon
Start time: 3/26/11, 7:00am
Location: Washington, DC
Distance: 13.1 miles
Finishing time: 2:13:27
Average pace: 10:11min/mile
Total Miles For March: 66 miles
Total Miles For 2011: 164 miles

Another spring, another half marathon… well, except this was the most “eh” half marathon I think I’ve run. I was never feeling it from start to finish, unfortunately. Just a lot of plodding along, wondering when it would be over, never quite having the drive (or speed) that I wanted. Considering I was some 11 minutes off of the last race of this distance I ran, it showed. My third worst, and the other two were the Disney Half Marathon (where I was saving a lot of energy for the full marathon the next day), and my very first half marathon back in 2003 when I weighed a hell of a lot more (and it was an hour slower). Oh well; everyone’s got a not-good race (or five) in them, and this was one of mine.

As for the race itself, well… I swear, each year this race finds something new to screw up. This year it involved mile marker signs that were mostly not set up (what are the odds that everyone missed them?), and the ones that were set up were incredibly small and also parallel to the street so you couldn’t see them until you were on top of them, if at all. Nicely done there. On the brighter side, this year the course went through Howard University instead of (at least back in 2009, the last time I ran this particular race) near the hospital, so that was a nice change of scenery. And I loved seeing Charlie, Cristina, and Brett along the way, plus getting to see Beth and Chris come up toward the finish line after I was done. And my friend Ben from my running group did really well, so that was an added bonus too.

Since my GPS said I ran 13.3 miles, I have no reliable splits for this race, so you don’t get them either.

Return to Virginia Beach

Shamrock Half Marathon
Start time: 3/21/10, 7:00am
Location: Virginia Beach
Distance: 13.1 miles
Average pace: 9:18min/mile
Finishing time: 2:01:51
Total Miles For March: 60 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 179 miles

The last time I was in Virginia Beach for a race, it was 2003, the race was the Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon, and I was much heavier than I am now. So if nothing else, I knew I would do better than a 3:14 finishing time.

That said, it was an odd feeling going into the race. With multiple blizzards this winter (and then my community center/gym being closed for weeks at a time because of said snow), I knew I was not as well-prepared as I could have been. I had a feeling that a PR was not happening, even as I kept hoping it would. After yet another pre-race night’s sleep being not very good (when will I learn to pack benadryl?) coupled with my body deciding to try and remove all moisture from itself beforehand, though, and I should’ve seen the writing on the wall.

I actually had an ok time for the first 8.5 miles, but after that I started dragging a bit, and just feeling out of energy and enormously thirsty. During mile 10 I ended up walking while drinking a cup of Gatorade, and while I rallied a bit for the next mile, miles 12-13.1 were the pits. A pity, too, because that’s when you finally get to the concrete boardwalk and it’s a pretty finish area. So, no PR, and not even under 2 hours (also disappointing) but at least the 2:01:51 was nowhere near my first race in Virginia Beach so no complaints. I’d told myself last month this would probably happen, so at least it wasn’t a surprise. You just move on and try and do better the next time.

(9:14, 17:45 (miles 2-3), 8:47, 8:49, 9:03, 9:05, 9:06, 9:24, 9:57, 9:38, 9:54, 10:03, 1:01 (.1))