Saturday, January 28, 2012

Frostbite Half-Marathon Race Recap

Frostbite Half-Marathon Results: 1:20:07 for 1st female (course record!)
3 mile w/u + 30 min c/d

I know this race was a week ago but its better late than never.

Frostbite Half-Marathon starts 13.1 miles from Oktibbeha County Hospital, in the “blink and you miss it” town of Pheba, Mississippi.  My husband graciously agreed to drive me and my running pals out to the start about 20 minutes before the buses were leaving so we all got our 3 miles in.
Stretching before the race. Photo by Rod Simmons.

The temps were great, but I was a little unsure of my legs.  I had done a lot of work in the last few weeks and I was running this thing tired.  I did not intend to run a PR, although breaking 80 was in the back of my mind.

Quickly after the buses arrived, the 400 or so Mississippians (and one Canadian - me) positioned ourselves behind the spray painted start line.  It was time to get started

The group I was running with went out way too hard the first half mile, something like 5:38 pace.  One of the local high school stars was being sucked in, Joseph; I told him we should stick together.  After all, he was just doing frostbite as a training run.  Our pace slowed and we went through the first mile at 6:05, perfect.  I felt good at this point; there was still a possibility that this would be a good day.

Frostbite is not what I would call a flat and fast course.  If anything, I would say it is the exact opposite.  It is a straight shot, with rollers that I swear do not go down at all.  The entire way I felt like we were just climbing.  Right when you start to feel like you want to fall out on the side of the road, you hit a hill/mountain and climb for a good 1000m.  After that hill, you hit another one, and another one.  The final mile you climb a good 250 meters before turning onto hospital road to head for the finish.
Frostbite is hard.

After running with Joseph for the first 5 miles at just under 6:05 pace, my hip cramped up and he dropped me.  I spent the next few miles trying to loosen up and get back on pace.

Once we hit the half waypoint, Joseph had caught those running the relay and was over a minute ahead of me.  I wanted to quit, not because I was hurting but because y hip was so tight.  My husband, God bless him, had made it to every mile marker trying to offer words of encouragement.  I had stopped looking at my watch because I could not get back to 6:02 or faster, I think I dropped a 6:12 during mile 7.  I was slipping.
Somewhere around the half way. Photo by Joe MacGown
My hip loosened up during mile 8 and I split a 6:03 – great.  Houston was now making every half mile and I could tell I was gaining on the relay group in front.  I started racing.

I hit the hill and heard Houston say, “You can still get the course record.”  I guess this was his way of saying, “it’s not your best, but it will be solid.”  I took this to heart.

I really started closing the on the hill.  Even though this was my slowest mile (6:26) it was a steep up-hill climb and I felt strong.  The next two ups I split 6:10 and I caught two relay teams.
Getting back into the race.

Houston started yelling…I mean really SCREAMING.  I tried my best to turn it over, I felt like I was sprinting the last mile of a 10k. My last mile was 5:52 and it included a 250m climb.
Once I turned the corner to enter the finish line area, I saw 1:19:57 on the clock and realized why Houston was screaming at me.

I had stopped looking at my watch and missed breaking 80 by 8 seconds. Damn.

I felt good during the last 3 miles. I think I am more impressed that I really raced.  My closing miles on the hills felt amazing.
This is me looking at the clock ..MAD because I didn't know how close I was to breaking 80.

I didn’t go into this race intending to PR but I will take it.  It was a good day.


Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

Awesome! Honestly, I can't imagine how you race with your hip tightening up on you in such an unpredictable manner. So frustrating to feel great and have to slow down. Next time sub 1:20 is yours. You are getting faster and faster:)

Richard Hefner said...

Amazing time Meggan... congrats!

A-Pi (Peter) said...

Well done, I'd love to get even close to a 1:20.

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

hills or flat and fast - you are amazing. I envy people who do not intend to PR but do....this never happens for me.

what is your typical training terrain for routine running. rolling hills, flat, hilly? just curious. I have friends who primarily train on our FLAT rails to trails system but then go out and put up good or great performances at hilly races and it always amazes me. I do the opposite, I "train" more on rolling hills, but I'm NOT a great hill racer.

super racing and report! congrats on the PR on a TOUGH course,the course record, and the win!

this report has given me "race fever" (if I can ever get rid of this cough....)

Jenn said...

Fantastic race. Huge congrats to you on the PR and you look great doing it too!!! Love the pics. Really really impressed with your mental toughness with the hip. Disheartening and frustrating but yet, no stopping you:) Your hubby in the race-so awesome! Love this.

This sounds like a monster course. I like hills but primarily ones that go down-ha! Interesting on Ginny's comment though. I run almost entirely flat road here. All of my outdoor speed/tempo done on flats but yet my times reflect that I perform much better in hilly races than flat ones...not sure why that is.

Really excited to see what the marathon has in store for you!!

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, I did not yell "you can still get the record." I yelled, "you for sure have the record, so be aggressive". Meaning that you were so far under the record you were going to get that no matter what. I was telling you to be aggressive and take some risks and try to close really fast. In which you did! It was a great race and a great closing few miles!! Houston

The Salty One said...

Wow! I am not sure what was better the race or the race report! Sounds like an amazing recovery after a bit of a mental rough patch. Between this performance and your training I cannot wait to see how you do in NOLA!!!

Jesse Armijo said...

Great Job, and a nice last mile! Good luck in New Orleans. I can't wait to hear about it.

Amanda@runninghood said...

Just Awesome! Amazing...look at you flying in those pictures. You make me feel better about having to roll the Brooks shorts because you make that style look HOT!