The almost my 1st half… glad it was not!


After a successful prior half and being able to train several time at the Umstead Park trails my friend Roland and I were ready to tackle the second Half Marathon of the triple crown challenge, the NCRC Classic. We knew the hills, the route (we thought) and where able to put a sound strategy in place around when to push the pace and where to pull back.

Well, we all learn new things every day and during this event, it was no exception. I learned that not matter how much you trained, or how great your last 12 milers were, when it comes to the actual event you must tackle it like it is a new run that has never been done in the past. While running the actual route is great to learn what is coming up, at the actual race the route somehow will move, change, extend, increase in altitude and will not look like the place you where running the week before. (I know is impossible, I think it is a perception thing).

Once again I started too fast (I think), although checking my splits I was running slightly below pace even at start. We did follow the plan but the problems started as early as mile 4-5. There was a mile long hill that I have run in the past, although challenging it was doable. It was warm and humid, my brain started to play games, seeing lots people having problems with the hills equated that I should have problems with the hill as well. So, we slowed down to a walk way early.


Then humidity was still high, temperatures continued to climb and the running wheels started to come off. Between mile 11-12 the course suddenly changed route. Could I be dreaming? Nope, it did. It was a different route, but not from the official route, but from the one I thought it was official. Roland and I read the event route wrong, so now we were going to these trail areas that we were not expecting at all. And that by itself, killed the little energy I had. The last 1 1/2 miles felt like 8 miles long. The little rolling change in elevation (I know because I ran that trail later in the year to see what it was) seemed like +11% grade long hills.
So we did finish but it was very painful.

I wonder what would of happen if a year ago I selected this Half instead of the Run Raleigh series to be my 1st half to try. I almost did and I am glad I did not.

[vtftable cols=”{0}0-4:c9daf8;{/}”] {f1}Month/Year;;;{f1}Event;;;{f1}Location;;;{f1}Type;;;{f1}Time;nn;
May-13;;;NCRC Classic Half;;;NC;;;Half;;;2:26:41;nn;


[vtftable cols=”{0}0:c9daf8;{/}”] Event Highlight & Learning Points;nn;Highlights:

Course: The scenery is great, trails are wide and the Umstead Park is very relaxing. The course is extremely hilly. Tons of ups and downs.

Venue: Good start/finish line. Good parking

Expo: No Expo

Weather: Clear skies 69 with 94% humidity.

T1D: Sugars with in running range at start. The race was so horrible in performance that I do not even remember how often I check (If I check) my CGMS.

Fueling:Pre-Race: Oatmeal and Latte. One energy gel with caffeine 15 mins before the start of race

Race: Water at the water stations,  GU Strawberry Kiwi gel around mile 4 and 8.

Post: Banana and oranges

Learning Points:

  • Need to pay more attention to the course map.
  • Need to realize that not all the races are going to be good ones.
  • It is ok to “fail” compare to the goals.