Charlotte 13.1 Race Series Half in prep for Chicago Marathon


Charlotte half, Carlos Candelaria, Roland Flood, Luis Morales, Arvind BalaramanThis summer and fall season I have been concentrating on my marathon training in preparation for Chicago Marathon in early October in the hopes to achieve a PR. I ran this event two years ago and the course is pretty nice and easy with the exception of some unexpected hills during miles 6-7. This year, my friend Roland, my brother-in-law Luis (remember him from running his 1st 5k couple years ago) and a few other friends from RTR. All started with the typical morning routine, but with a little bit earlier than usual since the event was about 2 1/2 hour drive. We got there with plenty of time, checked sugars and they were right on spot, but trending down. I decided to eat a banana an hour before the start but no bolus. I went out for a short 1 mile warm up, a little bit slower than I normally do. The temperature was ok, not too warm just enough breeze to make it pleasant. The event started at 7:00 AM right on time with over 1,000 runners participating in today’s events.

Miles 1-3 were very uneventful. I started just in front of the 2:00-hour pacer. I quickly found a decent pace, not too fast and not too slow. Not enough for a half PR but enough to practice the pace for the marathon, plus about 1 1/2 of this portion was downhill. Many runners passed me during this portion. Mile markers for mile 1 and 2 were spot on, mile marker 3 was off by more than a quarter mile. Subsequent mile markers followed that trend.

Miles 4-6 The course is now very flat and running by effort. I am maintaining again a decent pace. The temperature is going up as the sun is out. We are running in a greenway with a combination of asphalt and wooden boardwalk. I decided to use a gel just passed mile 5, with my sugars within running range it was not needed for a half, but since I am practicing to the full I decided to continue with that plan.

Miles 7-9 We step out the greenway to run a portion of the event throughout a neighborhood. But as soon as we step out, I encounter a familiar feature of the event, a steep welcoming hill that puts a lot of pressure to the runners. I shorten my stride down and increased my cadence to tackle the hill. Some runners struggles and others started to walk. Last time it got me by surprise and I was one of those walking that time. Not this time. After reaching the crest, I continue with my previous pace, although I had to slow down to tackle a few ups and downs of these section of the event. After the turnaround, I was able to see a few of my friend. Luis was running strong well ahead of the 2:30 pacers group, followed, not too far behind, by Roland also looking strong.

Miles 10-12 Now we are back to a flat portion of the course and making our way back to the starting area. At mile 11.5, I was feeling over heated, heart rate has been hovering steadily around 170 BPM. I also felt that I needed some water. I decided to walk some, about a quarter mile and then again at the next water station, I grabbed couple cups of water and started to feel better to be able to increase my pace back to normal.

Mile 13-13.1 After going over an overpass, it is mostly couple rolling hills to the finish line. Finished with a good pace at the end but with a time of 1:57:10, slightly slower than two years ago, even though that time it felt I walked more.

Carol Candelaria, Carlos Candelaria, Carolina Morales, Charlotte HalfIn all, it was great to finish another half, temperatures were around 66 by the time I was done. Arvind finished a strong event against fast runners, Luis and Roland finished within their respective goals. My sister and niece were there at the finish line receiving the runners. I was great to see them there and having so much fun. They were very proud of Luis finishing his 1st Half Marathon.

Side note: To friends from my Islita del Encanto, Puerto Rico, that are dealing with the aftermath of the Maria Hurricane, stay strong and never loose hope.


[vtftable cols=”{0}0-4:c9daf8;{/}”] {f1}Month/Year;;;{f1}Event;;;{f1}Location;;;{f1}Type;;;{f1}Time;nn;
Sept-17;;;Race 13.1 Charlotte;;;NC;;;Half;;;1:57:10;nn;


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

Course: Great start/finish. Great ample road right of the start. 1st couple miles mostly downhill, then flat with some hills at the turaround point. The mile makers were off after mile 2 The water station setup and distances were good.

Venue: At finish, as usual for a Race 13.1 series event, great food and plenty to drink.

Expo: No Expo

Weather: Overcast and hot, 64º with 94% humidity at the start, rising to 73º by the end of the event.

T1D: Remained stable during the event.

Fueling: Pre-Race: 1 serving Hot Cereal, Latte and banana.

Race: Gatorade and water at the water station. One Gel after mile 5.

Post: Tons of water and protein shake.

Learning Points:

    • Having the same routine helps.
    • Warming up ew sensor location is working great. Sugar monitor trend very stable over time.