Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mine Is Shorter Than Yours

The Capital City River Run Half-Marathon Race Report

So, I had this little half-marathon on Sunday. It’s a local race but one I’ve never done before. I prefer to travel looong distances and spend lots of money on hotels, meals, and transportation making a $50 race a $1000 event. Apparently.

But with the triumvirate of Chicago-Disney-Boston races in my rear view mirror plus a non-race trip (*gasp* there is such a thing?), the wallet needed a rest. Local race it is! How was it? As the old saying goes, "once you go local, there’s no going back."

It was nice to wake up in my own bed. By “my own bed” I mean, of course, the floor of my living room on an air bed. No, Mrs. Nitmos didn’t finally get wise. My parents were down to watch my colt run the mile race. Me they couldn’t have given a shit about.

I had targeted 1:29 way back during my SOS2 goal setting in the spring. By the time this race came around, I felt like I could easily beat that and considered lowering my goal. Glad I didn’t. I’m used to races not measuring exactly to the hundredths of a mile. They might measure on a different line than you run. You might have to work side to side to pass people. There’s normal human (and machine? Say it ain’t so Garmin p.b.t.n.) error. Normally, however, I come in pretty close to the actual distance give or take a couple hundredths of a mile.

The Capital City River Run starts out in downtown Lansing, Michigan and then veers right to hook up with the river walk trails. It bobs and weaves like, well, you would expect a river to bob and weave all snake-like. I figured it was important to really run the tangents for this race due to all the twists and turns of the path. I was tangent cutting like a tangent cutting mofo. As I watched runners in front of me swerve side to side down a trail, I cut a straight line bringing myself to the edges of both sides of the trail as it twisted through the woods. I remember mentally patting myself on the back and thinking ‘You are one smooth tangent running Mr. Geometry. Other runners, take note! Don’t give me lip or I’ll drop a radius on your ass.’

Somewhere between mile 4 and 5 my Garmin chirps started coming in well before the mile markers. Garmin is infallible, we know that, and I’m Mr. Geometry, we know that now too, so, clearly, they screwed up on their measurement. I really didn’t pay it much attention. Sometimes all the mile markers don’t line up but seem to come pretty close by the time you get to the end of the race.

As usual, I failed to follow my pre-race plan to run two to three 7 minute miles to warm into some 6:40’s. Instead, I ran pretty consistent splits. Here they are in all their glory:

Mile 1 6:45
Mile 2 6:33
Mile 3 6:54
Mile 4 6:43
Mile 5 6:43
Mile 6 6:53
Mile 7 6:50
Mile 8 6:47
Mile 9 6:43
Mile 10 6:34
Mile 11 6:44
Mile 12 6:27 * Best mile!
Mile 13 6:55 * Followed by worst mile! Coincidence?
Last .21(!) 1:21 @ 6:24 pace

Not sure why I eased off so much in mile 13 except with the almost tragic belief that I had my goal in the bag. I remember looking at Garmin as I passed the 12 mile marker thinking ‘1:29 is done maybe I’ll see how close I can get to 1:28.’ Then we arrived back downtown. And took a left, And then a right. And then another left. Where’s the f*%&ing finish?? I’m over 1:28 already!! And then a final right.

There it is. Holy crap, I better pick it up to beat 1:29.

I crossed at 1:28:51 according to me and cooled down for a few minutes slightly confused. How did I end up so close to blowing my goal? Well, ole infallible Garmin tells me I ran 13.21 miles. Apparently my definition of a half-marathon doesn’t match CCRR’s definition of a half-marathon. Mine is shorter. For someone trying to hit a goal, a 1/10th of a mile is significant time suckage (i.e. 40 seconds or so). In fact, if not for the time it took to run the extra 1/10 mile, I would have (barely) negative splitted the race.

Then, to top it off, they recorded my finish at 1:28:53. Robbed of two additional seconds! Bastards!

In the end, it was a fun race. The course was a bit more challenging than I had anticipated considering I train on almost exclusively flat sidewalks. No big hills but plenty of slight up and down bumps. I feel like I should have done better but I'll settle for this result. For now.

This is my only half-marathon (besides the Goofy Challenge which I don’t count as a separate race) so automatic PR! And, in the end, I did beat my SOS2 goal…though just by the plaque on my teeth.

Numbers? Yes, numbers:

1:28:53 time (Garmin sez 1:28:51)
13.11 miles (Garmin sez 13.21 miles)
6:48 pace (Garmin sez 6:44 pace)

42nd of 1503 overall
11th of 98 in age group

Meanwhile, my colt took second in the kids’ mile race finishing behind the leader by two seconds!

Photos? Yes, photos: (Feel free to order me some. I'll provide the shipping address.)

Me doin' some bridgin'
Colt finishing the kids mile

Next up? The Detroit Marathon 5 person team which Nitmos = Two persons.

Happy trails.

P.S. Work still stucks.


Razz said...

So classy that you gave your kid a mention at the end. A whole sentence, too! With a noun AND a verb!

Nitmos said...

Maybe he should get his own blog.

Anonymous said...

Half at Goofy is a race. Been there, done that, got the medal. Sorry, that's just the way it is. However, at least you can say you busted your old PR.

Hey, I don't make the rules man.

B. Kramer said...

Garmin says, Garmin says ... don't be such a whiner. Take the PR and shut up. Nice race. Cheers!

Ace said...

The Colt should probably be paying for any mentions on your blog. Thats prime ad space.
Grats on the SOS2/PR/Not counting that other Half/Results.

Sun Runner said...

You beat Spike's time but he did better in his age group than you. Don't know what that means, but there it is.

If you want a perfectly flat, straight half marathon, come out and do the Wild Life Half in Jackson on October 11. I'm going to be there, trying to beat my half PR.

B.o.B. said...

Congrats on your race! I am sure you are pleased that is was longer than 13.1. Ha ha.

I'll be at the Expo for the Detroit Marathon at the Women's Running Magazine booth. Swing by and say hello.

Al's CL Reviews said...

Congrats on the race and the PR!

I am used to the people not mapping out the courses correctly (5K=2.45 miles), but still find it weird when it lines up almost exactly with my Garmin.

Jen Feeny said...

Awww the colt is such a cutie! Obviously he takes after his dashing father... just look at the determined look on his face! LOL!

Great job on the race... even if they were lying bastards and made the course longer by a whole 1/10th of a mile... cough *whiner* cough.

X-Country2 said...

What the hell kind of shoes is your kid wearing?! Are those BASKETBALL shoes? Tell him to get some parents who don't suck and will buy him some real running shoes and those 2 seconds are all his.

Spike said...

not to rain on your little "extra .1M parade," but my Garmin (pbtn) said 13.1M exactly. maybe you didn't run it as 'true' as you thought.

but you did spank me on time. well done achieving your SOS goal!!!

Lily on the Road said...

sorry work still sucks, however, it's got to pay for those looong distance race venues.

And look at you all buff and flying to the finish, good job on your PR...and Colt, well done!

Danielle in Iowa in Ireland said...

So Spike was the first blasphemer, but Garmin lies! Don't you know this by now! She has you trapped in her cult! You'll believe anything she says! Do we need to have an intervention?

one a side note, that is a really good picture of you. If it were me, I'd have it blown up and made into a poster. Maybe *I'll* have it blown up and made into a poster.

Another side note - someone said your kid looked determined. Personally I think he looks nonchalant like "Yo, look at me, I'm coming in second, and I don't even notice these dudes huffing and puffing on my tail. I'm so above that."

sneakersister said...

SOS2 paid off! Congratulations to you. I'm still waiting for my own SOS to pay off. We'll see soon enough. But then again, the weather may just be screwing with me this year.

Are you going for 1:25 next year?

Vava said...

Nice race! I've had my suspicions of Garmin as a perfectionist, and it seems that the fever has spread.

I also can't believe you didn't slam your colt for finishing second! What was her punishment?

Midwest said...

Way to rock out that race, Colt!

Oh, Nitmos, you did okay, too.

Tall Girl Running said...

I'm convinced I missed my "A" goal at my most recent marathon not because I crashed and burned the last seven miles but because according to Garmin, I ran three tenths of a mile longer than a marathon. Take off those three tenths and I would've missed qualifying for Boston by only half an hour. Robbed, I say.

Congrats to both of you!

Running and living said...

Congrats on the race. I tend to run an extra during races, does add up!

Phil said...

1:28 gave you 11th place in your age group?! When did Lansing get moved to Kenya?

Marlene said...

Way to bring it in just under the line! Congrats buddy!

My Garmin is rarely much closer than 200m off by the end of a half. Ann-oy-ing.

Unknown said...

Fast miles, great job!

Unknown said...

I'm with Viper -- quitcher gripin'. Congratulations!

Biscuitman said...

I checked out the photos and thought - where are the cargo shorts? But then I remembered that's the other bloke ...

Jess said...

Congrats to both you and the Colt!

Jess said...

A race course robbed me on Sunday too. They said 7.45 miles (12k), I say 7.55 and a faster pace!

Congrats to you and your kid. You're going to like doing a marathon relay.

BrianFlash said...

Great race to both of you, but that kid needs to work on the mental side of his game. He doesn't even look like he is trying and he lost by 2 seconds?!

Time for some parental 'encouragement.'

The Boring Runner said...

That post title was just a BIT too easy for the 'thats what she said'. So, I'll leave it alone.

I seem to run HORRIBLE tangents and therefore have to pay very close attention to the mile markers for most races. I rarely 100% trust my garmin during races to predict the finish. Only in shorter races can I be certain that 3.1 / 6.2 will actually be the end.

Anonymous said...

CONGRATS!! That is a speedy ass time. And your colt is darned cute.

mr loser said...

Congrats on a good clump. You're spot on about grandparents not giving a F'n #$%! about the "thing" they brought into existence (but loving the grand-things, their "thing" created).

Kristina said...

Shazam! Nice splits, sir.

joyRuN said...

Seriously, I keep thinking if my 13.36 half marathon was timed appropriately, I mightacoulda hit a sub-2. They should start just trusting Garmin (p.b.t.n.) for these races.

Congrats on hitting your goal! Congrats to the colt too :)

kristen said...

hmmm...I've never commented before, but now that I've seen someone else whine about a long course: my garmin measured my last half as 13.27! Can I take a couple of minutes off my official time? I think I can.

Irish Cream said...

Honestly, I say whine away! I ran a half a couple weeks ago (incidentally a different half from joyRun) that measured 13.36 miles on the garmin. I mean, really?! My "alleged" overall pace dropped by like 11 seconds because of the discrepancy. GAH. But anyway, congrats on making it happen despite some "technical difficulties" on the part of the race. I might have to consider doing my own SOS next summer! ;)

Laura said...

I don't think I've ever come within 0.1 miles when I do a marathon. One time I was off by 0.8 miles, and I really want to know why I can't count that as an ultra! I agree that even running tangents doesn't help that much.

Marci said...

Just catching up with your blog, congrats on your PR!

sRod said...

That is some fast footwork my friend. Congrats!