Race Reports

Cleveland Fall Classic Half Marathon Race Report

This was my second half marathon this year and I was looking forward to it. This race is in my back yard and ran this route hundreds of times in training. I know every turn, slow sections, and fast sections. This is my second time racing this course. Usually at this time of the year, you pray for a decent dry weather. The past two years, the temp been in the mid 30s low 40s and sunny so wasn’t that bad.

I didn’t have any specific training for this race. Coach Heath had me just running a lot 6/days per week along with the swim and bike but no specific speed work. Goal is half irons and full irons distance next year.

This year the forecast had for wind and high of 25. Temperature at start of race was 20 degrees and feels like 9 with the wind. If you know me, you know I am no fan of cold weather. I am the first one to complain when the temp drop below 60 degrees. I was born and raised in desert environment and 80+ is my kind of weather.

Seeing low 20s wasn’t a welcome sight and started to think of what I should wear that will keep me warm but light. Basically I needed to double if not triple layer everything. I had the Craft Peformance run thermal tights, and the Craft Active Extreme Crewneck as a base layer, Sugoi Carbon as second top layer, and finally Sugoi Firewall jacket. Doubled on the gloves and had a hand warmer inside. One hat and Brooks Balaclava to cover my jaw, mouth and knick. Weight myself after putting all this on and had over 2.5lbs of clothing. Not too bad for all of this.

Made sure the car was warm and the seat warmers were on. Let the car running for about 5min before I left the house with a warm cup of tea. I tend to have stomach issues when running hard in cold and warm tea usually help calm things down.

Headed to the race and as soon as I got out of the car my fingers started to get numb. So I started jogging to race start hoping to get things warm. One thing I was really worried about is my feet. I decided to go with my Newton Racers which are very light but the toe is open mesh and I only had regular running socks on. Nothing to protect my toes. However, I usually never have issues with my toes once I start running in cold so was hoping this won’t be a big issue.

The course is two loops out and back.

Race started and things got warm very quickly and thought this isn’t bad. Wind was ok at first and first few miles were around 6:45 and was feeling good. Wanted to calm down a little and settle into around 6:50-7 for the first half. the first section has a very slight elevation gain and usually head wind but we had the wind coming from North so we had tail wind going out. Not bad. Made the turn back and thought i will hit the head wind now but it wasn’t actually that bad. Tried to stay close to other runners to help protect me from any wind out there.  Looking at my Garmin, I was around 6:50 pace. Perfect.

Aid stations were spread out every 3 miles or so and served slushy water that turned into more ice as the day went on and Gatorade (I think).

Finished the first loop and now out again and kept my pace around 7min for that section and felt I had enough in the tank left to push the last 3 miles knowing that it is a fast section and had a very slight elevation drop. Made the last turn and was ready to push. However, as soon as I made that turn, I quickly realized the wind had picked up… a lot. Half mile into the last section and my face started to get numb. My legs felt like they were ready to just stop moving and I quickly went from being comfortable and warm and thinking maybe I should take a layer off to I am close to hypothermia. Was having a hard time just moving any part of my body. My shoulders still hurt till today. Never had issues with my shoulder running before. It was the most cold I have ever felt in my life. I kept telling myself just keep running. The faster you run the faster you will get this over with. My pace started dropping and the last mile I did it in 7:40 and finished with 7:09 pace for the full race in 1:35~ No PR and missed my goal. The course measured  at 13.33 miles so a little long. for the 13.1 my garmin had me at around 1:33.

I checked my Garmin from the previous time I did this course and measured the same around 13.34 .

Immediately ran to my car and blasted the heat on.

I really need to learn to eat when running. I always take gels with me but don’t eat them. I had a flask with about 300c in my pocket so I don’t have to worry about opening gel packs with my frozen jaw but I think I only had about 100c. I did the same thing during my last half iron distance and ate/drank nothing but some water during the run.

To  give you an idea how cold it was, this photo was taken by a friend by Lake Erie. Basically this all happened overnight.

To give you an idea of how cold it was, this photo was taken by a friend by Lake Erie. Basically this all happened overnight.

Mile by mile pace:

Mile 1: 6:45
Mile 2: 6:46
Mile 3: 7:01
Mile 4: 6:56
Mile 5: 6:59
Mile 6: 7:06
Mile 7: 08
Mile 8: 6:59
Mile 9: 7:11
Mile 10: 7:18
Mile 11: 7:22
Mile 12: 7:28
Mile 13: 7:40

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