Do you hear what I hear? Triple Crown its in the air


131durhamlogo2015Today with this event, I completed another Triple Crown Challenge. Also this event was the Durham Half inaugural race and the last event for the Race 13.1 Series. Since I was just coming from another half just three weeks ago, there was not much preparation for this one. Other than some good fast runs at Umstead State park with my friends from the Raleigh Trail Runners club.

The last couple nights prior the race were not as good as I want them to be, so I am still a little bit tired. The night before the event, I went with my wife to pick the bib and to have a light dinner. A Ham sandwich with a cup of soup that settled well. It was something other than the usual pre-night pasta.

That morning I stick to the usual breakfast and the banana about an hour prior to start. The sugars were within the running range. Got to the event area with plenty of time. Walked a little bit, quick visit to the porta potty. I went ahead with my 1 mile warm up that have served me well this year in almost every event. The venue was very well organized. Plenty of porta potty, even with over 1500 runners and then more with their families and friends. Just before I head out to the starting corral I checked once again my sugar and they were good and holding steady. My CGMS was not providing accurate data today.

131durhamtemp2015I lined up near the 2:30 hour pacer. Since this was the last event for 2015 and the last for the Triple Crown Challenge there was not really a plan to go at it. Weather was decent, but humidity was high. Also there was a change that the temperature was going to rise quickly as the hours passed by. The initial start was good, there were plenty of room to run even with the amount of runners. The route takes you around the event area so all the spectators were concentrated along the initial 300 meters of the event which it was nice at the start and at the end of the route.

131durhamsplits2015First few miles were good, but bit slow. The route was very nice 1st going through a few neighborhoods in which we encounter lots of hill. Not too challenging but enough to make you modify your pace. This is near Duke East Campus with very nice building and shaded roads. Beautiful route you were able to see others runners across the street doing their morning workout. The route continues with a few more turns and hills, then to a Greenway paved path with some flat portions. I take my caffeinated gel close to mile 5. I was running by feel for a while. After mile 5 I started checking the time and figure out that a PR was not going to be possible today. It was not the plan but I instantly created couple goals. 1) Finish well below 2 hours and 2) to finish under 1:50. I continue to press on a bit and after a loop portion we ran back the same way. Same hills, I tackle them same way, quick short step, maintaining the breathing in check. Body feels good but sensor still says I am well below target. Understanding how my body react to my sugars while running was key. That for me it very important in every event you never know if you get some sensor malfunction or reading.


We met with the 10K runners and got crowed again, still plenty of room, but seeing and passing runners is always a plus for me. Since different from other races that start the 10k at the same time, this time there was a delay of 30 minutes to start the 10k. So I 131seriesdurham2015did not necessary encounter 10K runners at too fast of pace. Some more hills then some more Greenways for about half mile, then more neighborhoods in one last hilly loop. Getting close to the turn into the loop I see my friend from the Raleigh Trail Running Club we yell some words of encouragement which provided me with the additional energy to tackle the hills and held steady to meet my secondary goal. After that it is about 2 miles to go and with about 400 meters to go, my music started playing one of my favorite songs for fast running and with the crowds cheering at the end I finished strong to complete the race and the challenge.

131durhamresults2015One thing I realized after looking at my splits was that in reality I was not super slow compare to the rest of the event. Miles 2-4 were one of the better splits for this event. It is crazy sometimes what your thoughts get you to believe during a race if you are not looking at your watch to confirm.

[vtftable cols=”{0}0-4:c9daf8;{/}”] {f1}Month/Year;;;{f1}Event;;;{f1}Location;;;{f1}Type;;;{f1}Time;nn;
Dec-15;;;Race 13.1 Durham;;;NC;;;Half;;;1:48:39;nn;


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

Course: Great ample road right of the start. Expect lost of short hills. Water station setup and distances were really good. Pretty well staffed too. The course was well marked too.

Venue: At finish, excellent food, plenty to drink and beer.

Expo: No Expo

Weather: Overcast skies, 57º with 94% humidity. (When I left the venue the temp was around 66º)

T1D: Sugars with in running range at start. CGMS was not providing accurate reading compare to body cues.

Fueling: Pre-Race: 1 serving Hot Cereal and Latte. One Banana one hour before start of race

Race: Water at the water station. Gel every 40 minutes.

Post: Protein Shake, humus, pita chips, grilled chicken and lentil rice at the event (Great food).

Learning Points:

    • Running by feel sometimes yield good results
    • Need better rest prior to event
    • Good to understand body cues in case of CGMS missed readings