Tale of two walks…

Yesterday, I took Mat to Mahomet to do a half marathon. Weather was reasonably cool and the course was “gently rolling”. But I was tired from the start; while Mat ran very well (2:02), I was 2:52:33 (about 7 minutes over goal).

I was mostly doing 12:20 on the down stretches and 12:40 on the uphill stretches until mile 9. That was my first 13:xx (13:10) and I thought “oh crap”; I was 1:58 at 15K at 2:07:50 at mile 10. Then I fell apart and averaged about 14:20-14:30 the rest of the way, getting passed by the 3 young guys just before the overpass and the pretty young woman on the track. I was “just done”; legs were dead and I had no energy.

But…when we went to breakfast, I perked right up. Yes, I did not eat before the race, but then again, I didn’t eat before the Galesburg half either and I did get zapped this badly.

I think it is a combination of things, INCLUDING weighing over 200 pounds. That has to change in the next month, if I am to walk a marathon in under 6 hours.

Results: 2:47, 1:56 15K (2:45 half equ.), 2:42, 2:52. All were since the first week of June. Yes, that is too many to race optimally, but I am using these to train for a marathon. I remember that when I ran my masters PR marathon (3:38, back in 2000), I had a series of slow half marathons that, while they felt discouraging, got me ready for the goal marathon.

So, while my race stunk, I enjoyed the first 10 miles of it and had fun with Mat.

Note: I’ve done this half marathon as a runner many times; I had a 1:55 (1998, 2001), 1:48 (2000) and a 1:37 (1999).

Today, I went out for 4 hours (15.5 miles; 15:30 average pace). What was good is that the final 5 miles (of the first 14.9 miles) was done in 1:12:40 (14:32 pace). That got me to 3:51. I did a 9 minute final loop to get me to 15.54.

What was interesting is that about 6 miles into it, I slowed down a few times; I was really ready to quit. I felt tired, had no energy..was discouraged. The first 5 went fine but for some reason, the next two miles really, really sucked. I was ready to turn it in but the 10-15 minutes of slower walking seemed to revive me, so I turned TOWARD Tower Park instead of home…and then I could feel my pace pick up; I felt good again.

The rest of the walk went fine; I am sure glad that I didn’t miss it. What caused that “depression” in the middle still baffles me. But I really did my best walking in the final 6 miles. And I even got greeted, several times…and got encouragement from ladies in a van.

The course: my standard trek to the River (Cooper, Moss, Union, MLK, Kumpf) though I did an out and back through the Gateway (they were breaking down the area), in front of the Riverplex, back to the trail, around the goose loop, around the ball field wall (that was 5 miles today) then the standard through the cemetery.

I took the “right hand road” path up the hill in Springdale to get to Prospect, then to Forrest Hill, then up Central to Tower Park (the standard “Boredom” way. Then I returned via Boredown (Hansler to get to Broadway). I felt awful in Springdale, started to feel good going up Central and felt GREAT from Tower Park back home.

Photos from the race:


August 6, 2017 Posted by | Friends, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Why record keeping helps me…

I have my “marathon and beyond” list here.

Here, I am going to list my walking half marathons (and one 30K) Why? It makes a point: (note: I rarely walked this distance in the first few years of walking; I was more into the marathons and ultras, though I did do this distance frequently as a runner)

September 2003: 2:17 (Appleton Fox-Cities powerwalk division)
January 2008: Austin 30K 3:50:56 (about 2:40 for the half marathon split)
September 2008: 2:25:13 Quad Cities
September 2010: 2:39:13 Quad Cities (surgery that summer)
September 2011: 2:40:53 IVS
September 2011: 2:22 Quad Cities
January 2012: 2:34 First Light
June 2012: 2:30:18 Galesburg
September 2012: 2:24:46 IVS
April 2014: 2:25:26 Peoria Heights
May 2014: 2:19:15 Peoria
September 2014 2:35 (IVS)
September 2014 2:24:17 Quad Cities
September 2015 2:38:13 IVS
June 2017: 2:47:24 Galesburg
July 2017 2:42:19 Chicago RR

One thing to remember about my sub 2:30 half marathon powerwalks: they were almost ALL done in cooler weather. So when one takes age into account, my last two warm weather results do not look that bad.

July 18, 2017 Posted by | walking | , , | Leave a comment

Chicago Rock and Roll Half: acceptance

It wasn’t hot, but it was humid.


11:00, 11:28, 11:34, 11:33, 12:16 (57:53), 12:38, 12:24, 12:40 (1:35:36), 12:53, 12:42 (2:01:12), 13:07, 13:29, 14:40 (2:42:29) (13:20 last mile).

You can see what the issue was: I started out too fast. My final 5K was pretty awful though I didn’t look that bad; I might have had more oomph toward the end with a more reasonable start. I’ll have to work on that.

In terms of age grading: this was similar to the walk I did in 2011 (Mobile, Alabama)

I started in Corral 16 which meant that my wave left about 31 minutes after the start. There was very little crowding early; that was a very good thing. Yes, eyestrain..lots of very tight, pretty spandex to chase. And perhaps I chased too much of it early. Somewhere around 4-5 miles (I was taking s-caps every 3-4 miles or so) I realized that my pace was unsustainable; after a sort of bad mile 6 (see the photo), I recovered somewhat and just walked.


1. We did have a brief stop to let an emergency vehicle through.
2. There were several signs held by spectators: one said “free motivational butt slaps” (lol); the other said “you smell great”. I bellowed: “I don’t think so” and people chuckled.
3. I liked the course; in the last 2 miles or so we went past McCormick and Soldier Field and the Museum campus.
4. At about 11.5 a racewalker passed me. She told me that I had inspired her for “13 miles”. Her form looked great..and oh, what a cute rear end in shiny spandex. But alas; I tried to go after her and could not reel her in.
5. Event was well organized; I can recommend it. The lodging is pricey but the event was fine.

I did have some longing for days past when my body worked better, but I had the health and the means to do this race, and that is something to be grateful for; something to savor.

But I do have to face reality: a good marathon pace for me would be 13-13:20 or so. I need to practice walking at that pace.


The pre race ritual…

View from my corral.

The start line is in the distance! 6 more minutes!

Ankle inflammation kept Barbara from doing the 10K. But she was a good sport and cheered me on. Here I am at mile 6; kind of rough sledding (perhaps breaking form for a water stop?)

These next 3 show me between 12 and 13; my form is MUCH better here (even legal) though I was focused on “walking as well as I could” as I knew my time was not going to be a fast one.

July 17, 2017 Posted by | travel, walking | , , , | 2 Comments

Ok, I have something to work on…

Running. But walking…OMG…

These were relatively early. Sadly, the cut out the lady I was with at the time who was wearing bright turquoise running tights.

This is the start line (I am behind the lady in pink)

At about mile 6 or so…I am on the right, about midway. I am chasing the lady in yellow and the lady ahead of her; I caught them both.

Workout notes: weights, treadmill, walking.

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (4 sets of 10, then 7-3) good, incline: 10 x 135, 3 x 160, 7 x 150 (good hips), military: 15 x 55 (seated, supported), 10 x 50, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55, 10 x 60, headstand
run: 20 minutes treadmill: 5.2-5.5, 6.7-7.1, then 7.2-7.3 (7.3 at mile 2), 10:36, 19:11, 2.1 miles, then 5K walk outside.

I must focus on posture. Drills starting tomorrow.

June 7, 2017 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

I lose round two: 10-9 also

I walked the Run Galesburg Run half marathon. It was warm; 72 F, 76 percent humidity at the start, 80-59 at the finish.

Time: 2:47:22, 12:47 mpm; roughly speaking I was 1:22:30/1:24:50 for my half splits.

12:03, 25:56 (2m), 12:42, 12:34, 12:29, 12:43 (1:28:01 at mile 7), 12:54 (1:40:56), 12:46, 14:23 (? huh?) 10:43 (2:18:49 at 11), 12:53 (2:31:43), 15:39 (bridge) for 2:47:22.
I kept telling myself that I would “pick it up”; never did (or could, really)

The effort was what I’d call moderate; I had something left but I was also tired. I might have maintained to 25-30 km, but not much further than that. Not in this weather.

The event: they changed the course from previous years; it now features more shady neighborhoods and just more shade, period. I like the changes. Traffic control was outstanding. Aid stations, volunteers: all first rate.
It was a small event (151 finishers; I was 136) but the course is open for 3:30 (16 mpm pace), so a reasonably fit, non-elderly person would walk it.

My event: my google maps came in handy; it routed me via underpasses; a friend who didn’t allow for “train time” got to the course late and started 2-3 minutes late.

We started and did 2 miles with the 5K people. There was one large male who was trying to run and trying so hard to stay with me; I wanted to tell him to “do your own race; I’ve done this before). The course soon emptied out and I had a couple behind me; one male who was LOUD..he’d yell “only x.1 miles to go” at every mile marker. He was running with a lady who was evidently an ex swimmer.

I was focused on trying to catch 3 people: one woman named Golda (bright blue spandex leggings) and two others; one of which ran the West Peoria 4 mile yesterday. I eventually caught and passed them; from my 7 mile split no one got me in the final 6.1 miles; I passed a few during that stretch. It WAS warm and sticky…

I think that the 10-11 mile splits were off; I did NOT slow to 14 minutes..though the final 1.1 might have been right; we did have an uphill overpass and the only runner in sight was a bit too far away to inspire me to really pick it up. This was one of those days where I told myself: “I’ll pick it up at mile 8..well, make it mile 9, ok, make it mile 10….and I just never did.

My goal was 2:40, so this was a loss, but one I can live with. I feel ok.

The purpose was to force me to walk some “faster” distances; I”d love to do one of these a month until marathon time. I do think that 12:30 isn’t going to happen for me; but maybe a cool day 13 would be a good goal?

Note: I read a Centurion’s report on how he pushed through troubles in the first 6 hours to make 100 miles..under 23 hours. Wow. He is older than I am too.

June 4, 2017 Posted by | walking | , , | Leave a comment

2015: my final Illinois Valley Striders Half Marathon ever….I say that every time. :-)

Ok, i’ll be blunt about the event: very hilly and much of the course is gravel/crumbly road. That makes for tough walking; I found that I need heavier shoes on this course. That can be hard on the shins if one is walking.
Every year, I say that I am going to get this right. And I never do. And I always vow “never again”. And I always return with a new plan…only to fail yet again. 🙂

There are upsides: potluck lunch afterward (hamburgers and hot dogs provided), great traffic control and while the course is..well…I’d say “trail half marathon” difficult (albeit with better footing), it is pretty. There is no denying that. Just remind yourself how pretty it is when your legs are screaming at you. 🙂

I didn’t keep track of splits (not exactly) though I did the first half in 1:18, second in 1:20:18. and time was 2:38:13. I was just under 2 hours at mile 10.

The day couldn’t have been any better for running/walking. Perfect weather.

I showed up and did 3 miles in lane 2 on the track (12 laps) in 40:06. Then I did the 13.1, then I got a diet Pepsi (nice and cold), walked to the track and did 2 more miles (31:30) and that gave me 18 miles for the day.
I looked at my past records and while I have walked faster, I’ve also been slower….in 2011 no less.

I was far back enough to where I didn’t have many to chase, though I did have a fun “back and forth” with T. She got away from me and beat me by about 0.1 miles or so. Yes, I could tease about her spandex but I really did want to catch her for performance/athletic reasons and wasn’t able to. I never did catch that older man who was jogging, though he finished right when I entered the “hair pin” turn part in lower Glenn Oak park.

What I learned: I wasn’t organized when it came to taking the salt tablet. I need to anticipate the aid stations.
I am not fast, at all. BUT, I did have enough left to finish two more miles on the track, albeit at a slow pace. I am going to have to take it out very easily in the marathon.

I am also going to have to do some “marathon pace” work during my 8-10 mile Tuesday walk; that means 12:30-12:45 type miles. My shins are sore and that usually means weak shins.

2011 2:40:53 (1:19:45/1:21:20) (slightly warmer)
2012 2:24:46 (1:10:21/1:14:25)
2013 2:29:51 run attempt (hot) (1:08/1:22)
2014 2:34:59 (1:18/1:16)
2015: 2:38:13 (1:18/1:20:13)

Update: I looked at last year’s race; I was only 3:19 faster last year and I was within 20-30 seconds of last year at mile 10. I lost 2:40 of the difference in the final 3.1 miles. And last year I had a 2 mile warm up at 14:30 mpm; this year I had a 3 mile warm up at 13:20 mpm. It wasn’t all bad.

September 13, 2015 Posted by | walking | , | 1 Comment

2014 Quad Cities Half Marathon: social, mistakes, but some success

I had bib number 85 because I had registered for the marathon. But I got a head cold last weekend; I went home early from work on Monday. Yes, some people can do a successful marathon with a head cold, but at this stage of my life, I am not one of those.

So I changed races at the expo. But to ensure that I’d make the change, I ran a 5K (hard) on Saturday.

The facts: 2:24:17 for a half marathon. Cool day: 1285/1946 overall, 624/770 males, 45/57 age group, but I was walking in a running race.

I powerwalked, and mixed some slower walking with the faster powerwalking style at about mile 5 when it appeared that I was exerting too much energy to be able to sustain it. Yes, my knees were bent.

I made this trip with my department chair Mat. The night before, we had dinner with marathon maniac David (see the report of the runner who did the marathon with a bad cold; Dave ran a 3:39 which was his SIXTH marathon of September!

Also of note: Mat picked up Jason’s packet (Religious Studies professor) and Jason ran a 3:21.

After the race, we ate with Mat’s brother Bill and family (wife and daughter); all of us did the half. Bill ran 1:57, Mat ran 1:59 and Maria (daughter) and Teri ran 2:26…BUT they stopped to assist a fallen runner. They would have been several minutes faster than that otherwise.

All of them will be doing the Chicago Marathon in a couple of weeks.

I enjoyed this trip quite a bit, even if I didn’t snag my marathon finish.

My race: modest success but some lessons

I warmed up with a walk from my hotel to the start line (.7 miles) then 12 minutes of quicker walking and shin exercises. I saw Jason, Maria, Teri and Bill. And while warming up, I saw Dave.

I lined up behind the 2:30 pace group which was a good thing to do. However the race takes you over the I-74 bridge; it is VERY congested there. I wonder if that part of the race will continue to be doable. But coming off of the bridge, I ended up getting ahead of myself a bit; I found myself getting ahead of the 2:20 pace group which I knew was a mistake.

So the early miles looked like:

21:16 (mile 2)
10:50 (uphill) long climb
9:52 (very downhill)
10:30 (52:28 at mile 5) here we entered the Bettendorf to Davenport bikepath.
10:24 (mile 6); I lost 5 age group laces from this point onward.

At this stage, I knew that what I was doing was unsustainable today. I made the decision to do 3 minutes of slower pace walking every mile. I was to eventually lose ground to the 2:20 pace group; I leapfrogged with people I was to see later.

10:56 (in Rock Island)
11:02 (in Arsenal Island)
12:25 1:48:11 for 10 miles. We had crossed an old railroad bridge. During this mile, I tried to pick it up after 3 minutes of “slower walking” but wasn’t feeling great. So I stayed with the slow walking.
11:01 (picked up the faster walking; it was starting to warm up)
11:36 (just before that long bridge to the finish; I felt that I was going to make it)
12:21 (to mile 13; I was feeling bad so stayed with “slow walking” for the duration of this mile; I got some people back here)
1:08 (.1 to the finish)

Afterward, I was feeling woozy and just plain bad. I made it to the hotel and wasn’t in good shape. I had forgotten to give back my chip! I did so later…I felt better after an ice tea.

But the problem: I did NOT take my electrolyte tablets; I was short on electrolytes How I could tell? It took a couple hours before I could ingest anything and when I nibbled at my french fries…I perked right up. It was quick. I needed salt.

So next time: I’ll take my tablets with me; I had ordered some for the marathon but figured that I didn’t need them for such a cool day. I’ll take them early and often during Mc-Not-Again. Though my pace will be much slower, the hills force you to work a bit.

The Quad Cities race itself
The I-74 part is beginning to worry me. Though the traffic is going slowly, given the huge crowding, we are only one trip/stumble away from disaster. I found myself staying waaaay to the right, even if it slowed me down.

2014 marathon powerwalks
April 12 Peoria Heights Half Marathon powerwalk 2:25:25
May 18: River City Half Marathon powerwalk (2:19:58)
September 14: 2:34:59 half marathon (IVS)

Quad Cities History
1998: 3:55 as a runner (hot)
1999: 3:45 as a runner
2000: 1:40 for half of a relay
2001: 1:49 for half marathon (week after giving blood)
2002: 4:44 marathon as a walker
2004: 5:12 marathon as a walker
2005: 5:34 marathon as a walker.
2007: DNF at mile 23 (walker)
2008: 2:25 half marathon (walker)
2009: 5:28 marathon (as a walker)
2010: 2:39 half marathon (as a walker; knee surgery in July).
2011: 2:22:27 (half marathon powerwalk)
2013: 2:20:59 as a runner
2014: 2:24:17 powerwalk.

September 29, 2014 Posted by | Friends, walking | , , | 1 Comment

Upcoming half marathon: I almost aimed too high….

I am planning on walking a half marathon with the long term goal of preparing for the Quad Cities Marathon in late September.

So, I figured: in my last “good” marathon, I walked 5:14 and I figured “why not aim for that”?

But…that was…almost 5 years ago. Then: I had finished a 100 miler in April and was running in the low to mid 24’s for the 5K and ran my last sub 7 mile.

I am

a) older
b) not in that kind of distance shape.

Using the “age equivalent” calculator yields a time of 5:26 for a 55 year old (which I will be by race time).

Note: that 5:14 walking marathon equated to a 24:00 5K run (I ran 24:01) and a 6:53 mile (I ran 6:54 for the 1600).
The 5K of 24:00 grades to 25:00 for right now (at my current age) and 6:54 then grades to a 7:12 for the mile (which I just ran two days ago).

So, I should probably aim for “anything under 5:30” for the marathon walk (12:35 pace). This means: I should aim for something like 2:45 since I am after a “practice my marathon pace” effort. I don’t think that I’ll get pulled from the course. 2:35 would be a “good day” time.

Now I did walk a 2:22 in 2011, but let’s just say that my knees were a mess as in “bent”); this equates to a 2:25 this year. Who knows?

I should probably go out conservatively.

April 10, 2014 Posted by | walking | , | Leave a comment

Illinois Valley Striders Half Marathon

Ok, I saw the official results: 141/166, 2:24:46; First half was 1:10:21; second was 1:14:25.

Note: I powerwalked; there were too many steep hills and too much gravel (say, 50-60 percent of the course) to attempt anything like legal racewalking. My knees were soft.

The day: low 50’s, sunny and drive. There was some wind at times, but the course gave you protection from the wind. But it was very, very hilly.

I admitted that I didn’t sleep well the night before due to staying up late to watch Illinois get CREAMED by Arizona State. Oh goodness; we looked terrible. But that is the subject of another post.

I decided to walk hard; I got in about a mile of warm up. And yes, I used trail shoes this time; there is too much rocky gravel to use the lighter race walking shoes. I got some sore shins but my feet didn’t get beat up.

I liked the atmosphere; the course had us doubling back several times. Hence I saw the entire field at one point or another. And there were many greetings exchanged; mostly from fellow long timers. I got to chat just a bit with a relay runner who passed me late; one of the other relay runners was someone I remember from Galesburg.

I started off in the back of the pack and then managed to pass a few people during the first mile; once we got to mile 3 or 4, I was more or less in the position that I was going to finish in. I got passed once in the second half and did some passing (not much).

The first half of the race went well; I enjoyed the “Go Bradley” from the Bradley XC team who was helping out. And I probably felt the best at mile 4 and again at mile 6; what helped some is that I changed walking technique from the gravel sections, the steep uphills and the steep downs and the flats. I was “sort of” racewalking on the flats and downs; I had a bent knee power walk on the uphills and a hiking style on the gravel.

The second half was tougher mentally; I was really tiring on the hills; perhaps the roughest was the first long incline on the second loop and the last big uphill from miles 10.5 to 12. I was internally cussing during this stretch.

But there was some light hearted banter too. T passed me on the first large uphill and said “Ollie, eyes UP” (e. g. “don’t look at her butt”). Then I passed her and I said “ok, now you are safe.” 🙂

Later (at least a couple of times) she made a point of saying that she and her friend were trying to catch me…and I admit that during the last part of the last loop, I kept thinking “oh no, she got me” when in fact, I was getting passed by a relay runner.

Fred (T’s very patient husband) took some photos; he joked that as I came in: “you’ve slowed to a WALK”. It took my fatigued brain a few minutes to catch the joke; I didn’t at first. After the race, he took a photo of T with me; I gave T some “bunny ears” and she said “you are a sh*thead”. All in fun. 🙂

Afterward, I had two diet Pepsis (nectar from the Gods!) and talked with Pat; Pat had placed 3’rd in the race this year, after placing 1’st last year. Not bad for a 4X year old!

As to me: I walked HARD; I was whipped when I finished. Just whipped; I gave it my best effort.

The clear medal is the IVS half marathon finisher’s medal. The trophy is from yesterday’s 5K run where I was second in the 50-59 age group.

mile split time
1 10:41
2 11:01
3 11:54 (mismarked)
4 9:17
5 11:16
6 10:25
7 10:31
8 11:31
9 11:38
10 10:32
11 11:02
12 11:41
13 13:11

Recent Past Half Marathon Walks
First Light
Quad Cities 2011
IVS 2011
Quad Cities 2010 Half Marathon

September 9, 2012 Posted by | racewalking, time trial/ race, walking | , | 8 Comments

Galesburg Half Marathon, June 3, 2012: Report on the race itself and my race

Short version of my race: I started out ok, then it got warmer and the wind kicked in…a headwind of course. Hence my “half way” splits were 1:11:34 and 1:18:44. That is too much of a difference. Time (I walked 100 percent of the time): 2:30:18 (by the chip). Place: 125 out of 149; the median time was 2:08. I was looking for sub 2:30 and so I was very mildly…well…not disappointed. It was more of a “darn it…should have gone harder at the end” sort of thing.

Though I got hot, I did get an annoying pain in the right foot (ball, near the toe); not sure if this is because I need to replace my orthotic pad or something else.

Those who want to read about MY individual race (pace, etc.) click here.

What follows is a “race critique”; e. g. about the event itself.

Event Critique: about the race itself.
I got there just under an hour early and started to worry as hardly anyone was there (save the packet pick up people and those setting up the start/finish line). It turns out that many had picked up their packets early; I need not have been worried. There was a kid’s mile (started 10 minutes later) that had 126 participants, a 5K that had 226 and the half marathon which had 149.

About the race start stuff: easy packet pick-up, lots of port-o-potties (I’ve never seen shorter lines) and there was a nearby park where I did my warm up mile. Though the start wasn’t that crowded (maybe 10-15 seconds to crossing the mat), the first part of the course was congested as it featured a few turns, and since I started in the back, there was the going around the clueless 20 minute a mile walkers, the run/walkers who came to abrupt stops without warning (in the first half mile of the race!) etc.

But that was minor compared to other races; however anyone who is interested in moving faster than 10 minutes per mile and cares about their race performance should line up further toward the front than normal.

Eventually the 5K people and the marathon people split.

The course: mostly soft country roads, though there were two “brick road” sections and one very brief portion (between miles 2-3 going out, 10-11 coming back) was rough and hard on the ankles; I’d recommend taking care on that portion.
But that couldn’t be helped; given that Galesburg is a train center, the race director had to direct the course through the train track underpasses.

Traffic control: : outstanding. There were cones the entire way, along with alert volunteers and police officers at intersections. Aid stations were more than ample (every 2 miles, at least and offered water, Gatorade and Gu) and there were several port-o-potties along the course (easy access). Miles were marked by signs (some were hard to spot, given that they were white and planted among vegetation) and they had a “half-way” mat that recorded your chip, with volunteers taking your number if the chip didn’t record.

There were people on bikes with radios (they looked like EMT’s to me) who went up and down the course to check on people.

The bulk of the half marathon course was your usual Illinois corn field road course, prone to not being shaded (though a surprising amount of the course offered some shade). One “spur” went through what passes for a suburban neighborhood and one out and back went through the “not posh, but not completely run down either” East Galesburg. Drivers were friendly (at least the ones that I saw).

There were a few “sort of” hills between miles 4 and 10; these were small “rolling” hills, slightly harder than a country highway overpass. It was more scenic than I thought that it would be.

At the finish: massage tables, water, fruit, more food (though I didn’t eat any).
Swag: I liked the finisher’s medal (though I did little to deserve it) and I like the technical t-shirt.

Of course, the winners finished way before I did, and note that the mild heat and wind probably slowed the times down a bit.

But this was interesting:

The first human across the line ran for the University of Illinois, got her degree, and then ran for Missouri State as a grad student.
I’ve seen women win a race outright before, but it is not the norm.

One further remark about the course: I noticed that there was a bit of a disparity beyond the “extra .1” on the mile markers, when I compared the “you are at mile x” signs versus the “mile y signs” that you’d see coming out. Example: I reached, say, mile 10 and then it would take 2:30 or so before I saw the “mile 3 going out” sign. Something was a bit off; then my mile 12 was about 30 seconds faster than I expected and my last “1.1 mile” was a minute longer than I expected. But…mile markers are really approximate anyway.

Overall, I can recommend the race. It was 65 dollars if you didn’t sign up late, but I am fine with that given the traffic control, immediate results, chip timing, bathroom availability, etc. You got something for your money, IMHO.

My Detailed Race Report

I had a chance to stretch and get in a bit more than a mile; I walked around a shaded park near Knox College. When I got back, the start area was getting “normally crowded”; it had been empty prior to that.

Here was what the weather was to be like:

I mentally prepared for a warm day and I wasn’t disappointed…later. But early on, I had a ball. I took it out at 10:35 pace for the first 4 miles or so, doing a bit of weaving around some 5K runners…ok, people very new to running. You had the usual “come to a complete stop”, people burning out within the first .5 miles, etc. But the worst part…not that it was that bad, lasted only for the first 1.2 miles or so.

When it was just the half marathon people on the course, well, we were sort of spread out. I was to jockey with some woman who wore a race number on her back (and I didn’t see her after mile 5 or 6) and a woman named “Tina”; I know this because she had something on that indicated that it was her birthday. She was to open a gap on me at mile 7…I caught her at 11 and then she pulled away from me at the end.

I took a couple of Succeed tablets (electrolytes); one at mile 4 and another between 7 and 8 miles. I took water at most aid stations, save the one at mile 11.

We did a loop through the “suburban” neighborhood (an out and back spur) and that featured a small “almost a hill”. But at the turn-around, I saw that there were very few people behind me. 😦 That changed somewhat a bit later on.

We got back on the cornfield section and my pace slowed to the mid 11 minute mile range, and yet I caught a few people. One was wearing neon orange shorts, neon pink calf-shin supporters and neon orange shoes. She was easy to spot. 🙂 Yeah, there was some eye candy too (spandex); I enjoyed this one blonde with sunglasses. But she was already run/walking and I knew that I’d catch her and leave her.

I got caught by a couple of young people (guy and a gal) running together; they were to finish 8 minutes ahead of me (almost an even split for them). They gradually drew out of sight.

I was tracking Tina and 4 dying runners who were attempting to stay with her. I was to catch two of these late in the race.

But by mile 10 I had slowed to 12:0x a mile and we were bucking a headwind:
. Grid lines are 5 mph increments. And yes, it picked up the most in the final 2 miles for us! 🙂

But the wind did keep me from overheating. And yes, the out was slight net downhill and we were getting that back.

Then as I tried to pick it up, I did mile 12 in 11:26…about 40 seconds faster than I had anticipated, given how I was holding my relative position at this time. It turns out that the finish saw those turns and for some odd reason, the last “1.1” took me 15:06??? I did NOT die and so was a bit puzzled; then again the difference between the “you are at mile X” and “mile Y going out” signs was a bout 2:30, which is about 1:15 more than you would expect (e. g., there should be about a .1 mile difference between mile 10 and “mile 3 going out” sign). That was pretty consistent for miles 10, 11 and 12.

Overall, I was happy with how my body held up, though I had a puzzling pain in the “behind the ball of the foot” in my fight foot; I had this perhaps 12 years ago. I wonder if it is time to replace the orthotic pad, or if it slipped a bit.

The pain was not present in regular walking about; it came from the “push-off” when I was “sort-of” racewalking.

Yes, I know that my right knee was soft and both knees were way soft on the rougher brick section of the course (very brief). This section couldn’t be helped as Galesburg is a major train center for Illinois and they needed to use the portions of the road that went under the train tracks.

My data (in gory detail)
10:36 (31:50)
10:23 (42:13) (some downhill)
11:23 (53:37) (some uphill)
10:58 (1:04:36) country part of the course
11:27 (1:16:04)
11:50 (1:27:54) uphill
11:46 (1:39:41) getting tired and hot
12:03 (1:51:44) mile 10; headwind!
12:04 (2:03:48) mile 11
11:26 (2:15:15) thinking I’ll break 2:30…short mile marker?
15:06 (2:30:22) (13:43 pace? I didn’t die THAT much, I don’t think)

The half way: 1:11:34 out, 1:18:44 back. Some of this was wind, some was heat, and some was me. 🙂
(other: First Light Half, January 2012: 2:34, Quad Cities Half Marathon 2:22, September 2011, Illinois Valley Striders Half Marathon, September 2011, 2:40:53)

Needless to say, my half marathon walks have been all over the map (2:22 to 2:40).

June 3, 2012 Posted by | racewalking, time trial/ race, training, walking | , | 8 Comments