Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Race Recap: Wayland Wellness HM

4/7/12 - Race Day
WWHM outfit.

On my seemingly never ending quest to reach Sun status in Half Fanatics in the shortest amount of time possible, I'm entering into my third straight weekend of "racing." I put that in quotes because I use the term very liberally...what I do is more just "participating" rather than "racing" because I do know that I'll very rarely have a podium moment! lol! Anyway, today's race is in Plainview, TX about 2 hours from where I live.  This is going to be the very first half marathon ever in this town. They had the 10K and 5K last year, but we're the test subjects for the half. I did manage to drive the course on Tuesday since I had to come through town to get home from Wichita Falls and apparently the directions on the website were wrong because: 1) The directions didn't correspond to the  map provided in some places and 2) I got lost multiple times following the directions but realizing that I was off course after looking at the tiny course map on my phone. Thankfully the course is primarily flat with one long, low-ish overpass that we have to go over twice. The roads are in varying amount of upkeep with a short distances being on older brick streets or packed gravel roadway. I was a little perturbed on Tuesday when I noted all the potholes on two specific sections of the course, but thankfully by race day the majority of those were filled.

Teresa & I
(in my ever fashionable garbage bag)
waiting for the race to start. 
Because this race was "close" to home (anything within about 3-4 hours can be considered local...that's how far out in the boonies we are) I accepted a ride from my running friend Teresa. We met at the local mall at 5:10am in order to be in Plainview at 8am Central Time (we lose an hour moving into Texas). We arrived at just before 8am and picked up our packets. Then we went in search of a restroom...of which there were none as all the public buildings were locked up. Thankfully the port-a-pots arrived while we were looking and we had to resort to those to maintain comfort.

And we're off!
The race started mostly on time and with fairly good organization. I found the course to be well marked in all but one turn where it seemed that the painted arrow had either been washed away or left over from last year's event. The challenges of deep intersections due to poor drainage in the flatland were mostly similar to what I experience at my training runs at home. The overpass was long and at a fairly low slope so it wasn't too much of a problem. Like I said earlier potholes had been mostly filled, but yet I am not a fan of running on gravel roads/trails (weak ankles from repeated childhood sprains as well as my pelvic issues). The weather was much cooler than my previous week's races...overcast, a steady wind in the 10-15mph range with gusts probably over 20mph at times. The absolute worst time was coming back after the turnaround...we ended up running into the highest winds head first. I didn't hit the wall this time until around mile 10...about a mile later than normal. Again I wasn't the fastest, but I was determined to finish by running the lap around the stadium where the finish line was located. Upon finishing it was a bit bothering to realize that they were going to hand out all the awards first before handing out the finisher's medals. So as we, Teresa had finished much earlier than I had, waited and Teresa collected her age division first place we tried to keep as warm as possible. We also talked to a young couple who had missed turns somewhere on the course and ended up finishing too early and tried to make up the miles that they lost. Apparently there were several people who had somehow  missed turns causing some consternation among some of the participants. Finally the finisher's medals were handed out and we headed to a local restaurant, The Roaring 50's Sandwich Shop, where we had a little protein to begin our recovery via our sandwiches (BBQ Beef for me) and real hand dipped shakes. After lunch we headed back for an uneventful trip home and arrived around 2pm MT if I remember correctly. This is what I need...a few more close to home, short races. If only there were more of them!

What I didn't like about this race: That I couldn't really evaluate my use of Hammer Endurocaps to help prevent cramping from electrolyte loss due to excessive sweating (yeah...I complain when it's too hot or too cold!). I'd prefer not to have to deal with gravel at all. If the volunteers are going to be handing out food at the stations, please have them wear disposable gloves. Wind...but then we do live in the flat plains/desert. Only an insert medal...but at least it was a spinner.

What I liked about this race: Mostly flat, weather was cool and mostly comfortable.

Would I do this race again? Maybe. But it's not one of the "must repeat" races.

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