Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tom King Classic Half Marathon Recap

This would have been posted yesterday but my race day photographer (Allan) is on the other side of the country right now so I had to wait. Allan put work before the blog, shame on him! As will be the trend with race recaps I'm going to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Tom King Classic Half Marathon so if you just want to hit the high points read those. If you want a little more information that will follow!

Allan took this amazing panoramic shot inside LP Field (TN Titans stadium)
The Good
  • Speaker at the pre-race pasta dinner was Dave McGillivray, Boston Marathon Race Director
  • Course was along the greenway next to the Cumberland River which was gorgeous
  • I ran 10:15 minute miles the first three miles which is pretty fast for me and finished in 2:34:38
  • The finish line was on the 50-yard line inside the Titans Stadium and if that doesn't motivate you to sprint to the finish I don't know what will!
Dave McGillivray and I at the pasta dinner
The Bad
  • Post-race food and drinks consisted of: water, coffee, potatoes, scrambled eggs, bagels, bananas which is great for some but I crave pizza and either Powerade or Gatorade post-race
  • Change in temperature during the race from the 40's to the 60's caused me to make a wardrobe stop
Yummy pasta dinner on Friday-note the pile of chocolate chip cookies! Pre-race fuel-no judging!

The Ugly
  • Congestion along the race course since it was an out and back and some people were rude and ran 3-wide (now I sound like a NASCAR commentator!)
  • The last few miles-I was struggling but still had enough to sprint to the finish and beat the girl in front of me
This may be one of my favorite race shots Allan has taken yet
Overall this is a course I would recommend and one that I will be doing again especially with a price tag of $40. It is relatively flat so I think if I hadn't been testing out a different race strategy a huge PR would have been possible. If you like hot food post-race then the food is perfect and family and friends could eat too so that was nice. The pasta dinner the night before was just as enjoyable for me as it was for Allan. He really liked Dave's talk and I'm sure we will be ordering his book and sharing it between the two of us.

Pasta dinner and post-race meal were in the Stadium Club
In case you want to know a little more about the different race strategy I tried out let me explain. I can run a 10-minute mile but put me in a race and I am running 11 or 12-minute miles. I don't push myself as hard as I probably should so this race I decided to push myself to run 10-minute miles for as many miles as I could (which was 3) and then walk and then push myself to run a faster pace and then repeat. Honestly a huge PR was possible at the halfway point but then I had to stop and take off my headband and jacket which meant I had to take off my fuel belt and re-pin my race bib. I probably lost a couple of minutes doing this but I learned my lesson about wearing less and being a little chilly at first rather than having to do all of this later.

Post-race with my friends Tony and Nicole who housed us on Friday night
After the wardrobe stop I was walking more but still running at a faster pace than I normally do. A PR was still possible until the last mile which was brutal. It was the least crowded it had been so I had no one that I was running close to and the sun was out so I was hot. I walked more than I should have but I didn't know exactly how far we had to run inside the stadium and I refused to walk inside since you were on the Jumbotron once you reached the field. I could have pushed harder but I'll know better for next time. As I continue training I know I am going to have to push myself to run harder so when race day comes and I want to be a little speed demon I will be ready. I am feeling great as far as recovery so let's hope that is how I feel on Sunday in Atlanta.


Long sleeve Tech tee and a pretty nice medal!
In case you missed our last post we hit 200 posts and celebrated our Blogaversary too and you know that means we have bought some goodies for you guys! Thank you so much for all of your sweet and thoughtful comments on that post and my number one fan post. Allan was shocked at how many of you left comments on that one-you really made his day!

    29 comments:

    1. I have the hardest time with the same thing-- I hate being cold so I have a tendency to overdress even though I almost always end up shedding layers. I do it when I go backpacking too-- early morning summit attempts and I will always WAY overdress only to shed my shell after 10 minutes of hiking. Sigh. Will I ever learn?!

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    2. congrats! i hate when there is course congestion...i whine about that too! haha. i bet this was a really cool race...i LOVE LP field :) glad you had such a good experience! and good choice going with the choc chip cookies!

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    3. I know what you mean about out and back courses. It seems they are always congested. The only thing that I like about them, is that at the turn-around, I can see everyone who is behind me (and know that I am not the last one). LOL!

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    4. what a great way to end the race in the stadium, i always have difficulty finding the right stuff to wear with our crazy temps.

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    5. Ugh the out and back. Makes me want to punch things!!!

      It sounds like it was still a good strategy for you...and it sounds like you'll get that awesome PR soon! :)

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    6. Way to run strong! So nice to push hard and pick off a runner ahead of you at the finish :) No judging on your pre-race fueling...cookies sound pretty awesome to me!

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    7. Congrats! I love that run to the finish pic. Awesome! I love that you had to run at the end because you were on the jumbotron. If that doesn't motivate, I don't know what will:)

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    8. Congrats on the half! Very cool picture indeed. We usually have the Bellin marathon that runs in through Lambeau Field but this year there is a ton of construction going on so they aren't finishing it there :(

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    9. Great race recap! I love the picture of you on the home stretch. Also, it's so cool how each race teaches us a little bit more about strategy and saving time (like shedding layers before the race). Those little things really add up time-wise. Good luck this weekend!

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    10. That sounds like a fun race! The finish must have been super cool! Great job, girl. Adjusting for temperature is never easy. Speaking of temperature, looks like it's going to be WARM on Sunday. Well, warm to this Northeast girl, anyway. ;)

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    11. Congratulations! You're rocking these halfs!

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    12. Nicely done!!! My boyfriend LOVES the Titans and would love that finish!!! Great work :)

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    13. congrats on a nice race! i ran this race last year and just wasn't TOO much of a fan of the course, but it's a widely loved race around these parts. :)

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    14. Course congestion sucks - I put it directly on the race directors. On the other hand, you overcame all the obstacles and got to the finish line. That's what counts.

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    15. Great job!! It looks like you had a lot of fun!

      Trying out a new race strategy can be daunting but at least you tried! As you get stronger and more confident you will be able to hold 10 minute miles the entire time!

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    16. What a finish...looks like a great run and experience for you!

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    17. I really dislike course congestion, it makes things so tough! But what an amazing finish, what a fabulous run and great experiance!!

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    18. great race and the pics turned out great! the jumbotron would have motivated me at the end too!

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    19. That's what I hate MOST about out and back course (all the congestion). GREAT job!

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    20. great race for you!! you should enjoy this weekend-the hills are tough but its a really pretty course with big crowd support. can’t wait to meet you!

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    21. Great race shots for sure. Congrats on beating the girl in front of you there at the end!

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    22. That sounds like a fantastic race! Nice job on those speedy miles! With this year you have, this is the time to test out and perfect those new race strategies.

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    23. Congrats on the half! Sorry they didn't have pizza after and I know what you mean about road congestion...drives me crazy!! You did awesome!!

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    24. wow thats a pretty good price for all you got! the kansas city marathon is suppose to be an up and coming marathon run and its stinks and cost like 75 dollars. the pre race dinner is an additional amount, the shirts are regular cotton....its just kind of crappy!

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    25. Good job with your race! $40 is a great price; like we have talked about before, price makes a huge difference! And it seems like they didn't skimp on the course, the gear or the food, even with the cheaper price!

      I have the same problem with clothing, but have learned it's better to be a little cold at first rather than hot later. Also, if I do wear a long sleeved shirt, I put my bib on my shorts and wear my headphones under all my shirts in case I need to take it off quickly! The tricks of the trade!

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    26. WAY TO GO ON YOUR RUN!!! It looks like it was fun and that is a great price for a race! That is a big deal with me whenever I run. Are they run/organized and how much are they!

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    27. Congrats!!!! You did an amazing job!!! I'm interested in looking up that book now....
      Changing clothes mid-race is such a bummer, the weather can be so tricky sometimes!!! You did awesome :)

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    28. Congrats on your race! How cool to see Dave McG speak. I love a good stadium finish, alas the only Tim I had one, i came in with a. Sprained ankle. Ouchie.

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