Saturday, July 2, 2011

Race Review: Badgerland Striders South Shore ½ Marathon

With the Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole ½ marathon coming up I have been looking at my most recent ½ marathons to aide in developing a race plan.  I have put in approximately 3 months of training since the Badgerland Striders South Shore ½ Marathon held along Milwaukee’s lakefront 9 Apr 2011.   This race marked the transition from my 4 month base period and rehabilitation of an ankle injury to the beginning of my ½ marathon training plan, which consists of intervals, tempo work, a long run and plenty of cross training every week.

South Shore 1/2 Marathon approximate course elevation acquired using a Garmin 410 Forerunner.

The weather for this event was overcast, in the mid 40s (°F) with little wind.  The course itself was out and back along the Oak Leaf trail and featured many shallow rolling hills.  Ascent and Descent were approximately 800 feet each.  The Badgerland Striders did an excellent job of putting on the event.  Water stations were well stocked and spaced, the course was well marked, restrooms were plentiful, day of packet pick up and registration went quickly, and at $15 day of the value was excellent.

Male participation was more even across all age groups than female participation which was dominant from 25 - 34.
Finish times are organized in 10 minute increments.  The top 10% of men finished in less than 1:29:30.  The top 10% of women finished in less than 1:45:07.

From the results 926 runners completed the course, 499 men and 427 women.  My personal watch had me completing the course in 1:36:38 from the official start line to the finish.  The race was timed old school from the gun for all runners, thus individual start and stop times based on crossing the start were not available.  Judging from the number of people I passed in the first half mile I suspect I started too far back in the crowd, lesson learned.

South Shore 1/2 Marathon speed and heart rate.  Speed drops indicate water stops.

I spent a lot of my base training indoors on a treadmill and in Sevilla España for work.  Temperatures in the 40°F to 50°F range were new to me after being spoiled with 60-70°F training.  Elevation changes were new too; even though I did hill training it was unheard of for a long run.  My breathing was labored and my heart raced along 5-10% higher than usual to compensate for the cold.  Perceived effort became much more important during the race than pace and heart rate information given the weather considerations and the elevation changes.  It was a good lesson to learn and accept the realities early in the race.  Lap times by mile:

1 mile:  7:05
2 mile:  7:03
3 mile:  7:23
4 mile:  7:19
5 mile:  7:23
6 mile:  7:21
7 mile:  7:24
8 mile:  7:33
9 mile:  7:24
10 mile:  7:35
11 mile:  7:21
12 mile:  7:42
13 mile:  7:15

Reviewing my times reveals the second ½ was close to 1 minute 20 seconds slower than the first ½.  Ideally these times would be matched or the second half faster than the first.  All said this is not a large gap and I was pleased with the 37 second spread between the fastest and slowest miles.  These are all good benchmarks to surpass in the future. 

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