Monday, April 14, 2014

Martian Half Marathon #4

Last entry, I tried to convince you this year was different, and that I'm trying to do things right.  One of the things I've never been able to do is get myself to sleep early on the night before a race.  The night before this year's Martian Half Marathon, I was in bed at 8:30pm.

I'd love to take full credit for that, and say it's all me, but some of that was missing sleep during the week, and another good chunk of it is my new job's 4:30am wake-up time.  Yep, I'm back on toddler time, people.  I'm even waking up BEFORE the dog.  No more whimpering wake-ups for me, I'm shaking him awake to go outside.

After getting an incredible amount of sleep, I woke up and realized that the new, more prepared, more thoughtful me had put everything I needed for this run out the night before.  So, after taking a shower, I realized I woke myself up way too early.  No matter, I just stayed up, drank a few more glasses of water, and watched Mister Ed, thinking about how a remake with Bruce Campbell as Wilbur would work out.  Close your eyes and listen.  The vocal resemblance between Alan Young and Campbell is uncanny (at least it was at 5:30am).
He has worked with horses before
We got down to the race a bit late, and we've learned our lesson from previous years to park far away and foot it to the race.  So, no getting stuck in traffic and waiting for pedestrians for us.  We're (unpaid) pros.  There was also no time to do a run back to the car to drop off our shirts, but I planned on throwing it under my "We Come in Peace" shirt anyway, to prevent a cotton rub, and did.  I also noticed that the screen on my point and shoot camera was busted.  No matter, I still was able to get a pre-race photo (but not much else during the race).


We started in between the 2:10 and 2:20 signs, figuring that's about where we'd end up.  I just wanted to do better than last year, which was my worst halfer ever, and feel better after too.  With all the work I've been putting in, I figured that was a lock.  With the heat, I wasn't sure a course PR was in the cards, but if it was there for the taking I was going to go for it.

After the start, the first few miles went really nice and easy.  I was falling a little more and more behind the 2:10 pacer, but that was expected.  I just wanted to hold pace and run my race, and not be too concerned with that.  I have a love/hate relationship with pacers anyway, due to their accuracy issues, and always seemingly finding the one that's going way too fast or slow at a given point.  I try not to put too much stock in them.

About the 6.5 mark, I caught and passed the 2:10 pacer, but later it seemed like they magically turned into another person running significantly faster, and he came back and passed me.  I tried to keep up with about everything I had, but I think I was getting massively dehydrated out there.  As I've said before, for this race, I just wish there were more water stops.  Also, the 70 degree weather was a bit of an adjustment from the 20s (and below) we've been running in.  Honestly, I'm not sure I've run any decent distance in anything above 40 degrees.  I think that went for a few people.  I saw a larger number of people than usual that went down, pulled off, or hurled in the heat.  Luckily, the only thing that happened to me was a little cotton mouth and a bit of slowing down.

As I was coming down the home stretch for the finish, I heard someone on a speaker, megaphone, or some enhanced spectating mechanism telling everyone there were cookies at the end.  That turned out to be none other than Spike and with him as always is Redhead Running.  When it comes to spectating they are pros.  After hearing there were cookies (actually I didn't partake) and them calling out my name, I knew I better hurry and I picked up my pace a lot.  Also, thanks to them, I have an actual race action shot (see below).

I assure you, I didn't take this picture

I came in with a chip time of 2:12:28.  Not a course PR (2:11:03 in 2012), but very close.  I still believe I'm in better shape now, and that it will show up later.  As soon as I got my water at the finish, I felt really good, better than I've ever felt at the end of this race.  I don't really think I left too much out there, though.  I don't think I could have moved my legs any faster.  The only thing I think I could have done to help my cause was double-fist the water stations (and not accidentally grab Gatorade instead at station #1).  Bobby Boucher would be so disappointed...

You drank what?
Not wanting the challenges of the day to end, I also decided to take on Rio Wraps El Gigante.  Just couldn't pass up the chance to run a Half-Marathon and complete an eating challenge in one day after the failed 5/3rd burger weekend.

El Gigante!
El Gigante weighs in at a mere 2 lbs, and, supposedly, according to our waitress, there is an 8-year-old out there who has finished it (someone call child protective services!!).  Personally, I don't know how that's possible.  Even though it's only 2 lbs, it's really dense, and if I stopped very long, I wasn't going to make it.  However, in the battle of Brent vs Running vs. Food, today, Brent won.

For a mere $15 you can get your own El Gigante, and if you finish, you can also get your very own commemorative shirt for the occasion.*

Me  proudly displayingmy medal and shirt
Shirt (back)
Martian Shirt & Bib

* - I am not an official spokesperson for Rio Wraps, nor do I have any association with them.  I just like food.  I've tried to get Big Boy to be an official sponsor, and maybe get some white and red checkered overalls, but they won't return my calls.


  1. Congrats on kicking last year's ass! You looked really strong when you ran past us. I can't wait to show Spike how you celebrated your race, he'll be so proud!

  2. Hey Brent,

    Great job on the race! I'm always impressed with how you tie in two of your favorite things into your race reports.Great job! I think there's PR in the near future for you. Keep at it.


  3. Congrats on the race! Nice job finishing strong, especially in the heat!


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