Saturday, February 25, 2012
Scenic City Half Marathon Race Recap
For the second year in a row I had the opportunity to run the Scenic City Half Marathon here in Chattanooga. The race is a great event with a good course. If you have ever had the opportunity to run in Chattanooga you know that the Riverwalk is one of the best spots in the city to run. Just about any time of the day you will see a ton of runners out enjoying the scenery. The Riverwalk runs beside the river from downtown to the Hixson dam. The Scenic City Half uses a portion of the Riverwalk while also crossing two of the downtown bridges.
Abueloruns and I met before the race at Finley Stadium and we arrived to cold temps once again. Just two days ago it was 70 degrees here in Chattanooga. It was about 34 degrees this morning. Of course, the weather this morning was warm compared to Mercedes two weeks ago. There was a good crowd out for the races. They had a 5K and the Half and they said 600 people ran the Half.
I wasn't real sure how this Half was going to turn out for me. I was looking for a PR and I really wanted to break the 1:50 mark. I worked out hard this week though and I did absolutely no tapering. With that in mind, I wasn't sure how it would go. From the start I knew my legs were not fresh. They weren't necessarily tired, but they definitely weren't 100%. Tim and I set out at about an 8:20 pace. As I got into my groove I felt comfortable at the 8:20 pace. I did a few miles at 8:05 but most of them fell around the 8:20 to 8:40 pace.
The first half of the race I felt good. I pushed the pace a good bit and never really struggled. I commented to Tim at mile 6 that I was concerned about the hills that I knew were coming from miles 9 to 11. Exactly as I suspected, at the UTC practice field and the first hill, my legs really started giving in. I could feel my pace slowing and it wasn't because I was tired from the cardio but my legs wouldn't push me. I struggled through the lengthy mile 9 hill but felt alright as it ended. I headed across the Market St bridge at a good pace worried about the hill and next bridge at mile 10. The same thing happened at mile 10. The legs gave way and my pace slowed. The same result was seen at mile 11 and I had dropped to the maximum pace I could run to finish below my previous PR, 8:24.
On the course as you move to mile 12 it flattens out. I picked the pace back up and knew I was dead on my PR pace. I turned the corner at mile 13 and had to head up the last little hill for the final .10 mile. According to my watch I finished in 1:50:51, a 6 second PR!
This wasn't an easy race by any means but I felt good after I finished. I had PR'd once again even on tired legs. It's great to be able to run down the street to run a quality event. I look forward to this race every year but next year I am pretty sure I'll be joining my Anniston Running Club friends for the Cheaha 50K!