Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Shiner Beer Run Half Marathon Race Report!

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity. --Albert Einstein.  Running is also very relative.  What is fast for me, is someone else’s singing YMCA at the top of their lungs while running pace.  So, you’ll forgive me when I complain about how “slow” my half marathon was....

Time: 1:30:19
Distance: 12.95 miles – Everyone had the course as short, annoying.
Pace: 6:59/mile per garmin, 6:54 per race results
Place: 14 / 796, 4/33 age group

Shiner, TX is a sleepy town of 2,000 or so people that is home to a fairly large brewery of the same name.  Shiner!  They brew a delicious fake bock and enough specialties and seasonal beers to make you take your shirt off and dance on the table singing “it’s raining men” – or so I’m told....by other people who aren’t me.  So, when a few friends who live in Texas mentioned that the brewery was combining two of my favorite things (booty shorts and reruns of Charles in Charge beer and running),  in spite of the hilly course I was all in.

As is usually the case with sleepy towns, Shiner is was far away from....everything.  So, I stayed two hours away in Austin and hung out with a few friends – Steph, Lesley, and Tricia.  It was essentially like an episode of real housewives of Austin, complete with too much drinking and leopard print bikinis.... not really sure what the girls where up to while I was doing all of that.....  Anyway, we had a bit too much great wine and some just as amazing food.  Just like it would say in the church bulletin: Good times and fellowship were had by all.
I was sitting on Santa’s lap kneeling down so you could see his face honest!!!
The sad thing? This was BEFORE wine
Ride ‘em cowboy

THIS is my kind of girl/guy ratio

Ok, this might have been AFTER wine.  Maybe

After a day’s recovery and a solid 5 miler, Sunday morning found me driving 2 hours in POURING rain.  Lightning, thunder, the works.  In fact, I actually tweeted: “I’m so glad I’m driving to a half marathon in the pouring rain....said no one ever”.  I had hoped that the rain would mean that it would cool off a bit and maybe provide a light breeze.  Negative on both counts.  The temps were around 70 and since it was still raining when I first got there, I’m going to assume that the humidity was around a billion percent.

The swag bag was actually really good for a small/mid sized race.  We received a rubber pint glass, a dog tag style bottle opener, a Brooks technical tee, and a sexy hat. (Pictures later) Oh so very sexy.

Sexy and I know it
I need some fly fishing books under my arms or something

But, in spite of the humidity, since I haven’t raced in forever I knew that I had to at least TRY to go after it, so that is what I did.  I ran a quick half mile warm up and lined up at the starting line.

Miles 1-3
The race started with a mix of 5K and half marathon runners, so I really tried to focus in on not going out too fast.  Fortunately, the real fast 10 or so 5K guys bolted out front and left the 10 or so of us half marathoners to plod away.  Unfortunately, in spite of not trying to go out too fast, the first mile or two WERE too fast. Probably 10 or so seconds a mile too fast.  Which, doesn’t seem like a lot, but there were a number of uphills during that time so the effort was even faster.  I was told I was running in 6th place around the 2.5 mile mark.  That “feels” about right, and since I was on pace for a  1:25 at that time, I suppose based on the official results it is.

Miles 4-6
By mile 4, I knew that today wasn't going to be my day.  I was pushing MUCH harder than I should have been for holding just barely goal pace which 1/3 of the way through ANY race is never a good sign. It didn't help that there was a pretty healthy uphill during this period (miles 5-6) that totally sucked the life out of me.  We’d jump 100 ft up and then drop 50 feet – repeat more times that I would like to count.  To add insult to injury, just as I was cresting one hill someone had written on the road  "top of the hill!" - which would have been nice if there wasn't another right after it.

Miles 7-9
Right around the half way point, I packed it in and took a min long breather. (hence the drop in pace during miles 6 and 7.)  The humidity was bad enough that I was soaked and the hills had totally sucked the life out of me.  Of course, as I sit here trying to rationalize a walk break half way through a race, I know that there really isn't a GOOD excuse. I just packed it in.

As promised by the pre-race announcer, there was a dirt road section at mile 7 or 8 for a mile or so that at the same time provided some much needed diversion but also diverted my focus just enough that I couldn't capitalize on the slight downhill.  I didn't lose too much footing because the massive rain had compacted the dirt just enough to provide good enough footing inbetween the golfball sized rocks that littered the course.

One thing that the pre-race announcer didn't mention was all of the extension cords across the road.  I'll bet there were 50 throughout the 13 miles of the race.  I'm convinced that one house in shiner has power and the rest are just plugged in via orange cord.

Miles 10-12.95 (since the stupid race was short)
Oh, I'm going to have a DOOOOZY of a race pic.  WHY WHY WHY do race photographers feel the need to sit at the top of a hill near the end of the race?  Don't they know that while that may provide for the smallest crowds and the best picture, no one wants a picture of them grimacing like death!?

Anyway, these miles sucked. I had totally given up all hope for a good race and was essentially just getting round the course.  Frustrating, but I suppose it happens.  Note the 2 min walk break during mile 11 and the 30 second off pace mile during mile 12.  Yay!

Overall, I’m very disappointed with a 1:30. Even though I walked a full 4 min during the race, it is probably 4-6 min slower than I am capable of running.  Granted, the conditions were NOT ideal, and I didn’t race like I should have, (out a bit too fast, didn’t just pull back on the pace vs walking, re eval my goal as a result of the humidity) but I am not sure that I want to use those as excuses.

The good news is that since it WAS a beer run, there were not one but FOUR free beers waiting for you at the finish.  Also, the race medal doubles as a bottle opener, which should be nice when I celebrate a massive PR at my next half marathon - the NewYearsDouble!

Free beer after a race is almost always worth waiting for


Andrew Opala said...

I'm signed up for a 1/2 in May, and I fear the Unicorn. I fear it! Fear.

Atha said...

See! Humidity is no joke! Still a great race though. Never take a finish line for granted right?!

Becka said...

Humidity is the worst. That looks like an awesome medal though!

Al's CL Reviews said...

I still regret that I didn't get a beer when I ran the Smuttynose Half in 2011. But it was just too freaking wet and cold, and D was hurt. Oh well.

Nice report, even if you feel it wasn't your race day.

stephrunson said...

Humidity sucks and hills suck, when you put those two together it's pretty much a recipe for a crappy race. But hey, at least there was plenty of beer! By the time I got to the photographer, he'd moved to the bottom of the hill.

I overheard that all the cables on the ground were for measuring seismic activity. Not sure how accurate that is though.

Pam said...

Humidity sucks so hard.

Chris said...

Sorry you weren't happy with your race. Hopefully NYE is better!

And if you want 4 free beers, check out Yuengling Shamrock Half/Full Marathon on March 17 in Virginia Beach. Awesome post-race and 4 beers at the end...on the beach!

Liz Hall said...

Congrats on your finish. Love the metal. :)

Jeff Irvin said...

So signing up for this next year! That area has some good rollers - not a PR type of course but it has Shiner beer so well worth it

Just clicked on the website and looked at the results- such a small world. A teammate of mine form Brooks, Gary, finished right after you and a Tri Buddy from Houston, Josh, finished right in front front of you.

Sue's Ramblings said...

Hey, it's still a great time and you shouldnt beat yourself up A. In the meantime, have a wonderful Xmas.

Jamoosh said...

Humidity will suck the life out of you, which is why I pay more attention to it than the heat. I am blaming your posse of chicks for not adequately cautioning you and plying you with wine instead.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

while part of me is trying to even fathom holding that pace, I understand having expectations of yourself and not feeling they were met. So all i can say is at least you got some bootie love from Santa and a fun time with the ladies before you fell off a cliff. :)

Missy said...

Superman can't even hang in that crap.
So good job!
This was a great race recap by the way. Loved it!

Nitmos said...

You were disappointed in your race time and THEN sodomized by a Santa? What a weekend. Is your house okay or did the tooth fairy burn that down?

coach dion said...

It's been a long time since i ran a race for free beer, but I like that idea, I was just reading "Nelly on the run" and saw you had run a sub 5min mile... I wish, it's been to long for me, if I find another mile race and again will be aiming at a sub 5...

coach dion said...

It's been a long time since i ran a race for free beer, but I like that idea, I was just reading "Nelly on the run" and saw you had run a sub 5min mile... I wish, it's been to long for me, if I find another mile race and again will be aiming at a sub 5...