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Martinsville Half’s less than a week away. Oh yea, I ran a 5K too.

So looking at some friends blogs, I realized just how painfully close the Martinsville half really is. I’m not sure I’m ready. I know I wont be as fast as I wish I was. Ahh wait. I’m ahead of myself here.

This past Saturday I ran the DDA Shamrock 5k. A basically flat, uneventful race. Of course it was fast, being flat and all. I ran a 21:46, finished 15th overall and 3rd in my age group. I have recently decided that my age group is extremely tough to place in. I was lucky this weekend, but normally it seems that it takes a sub-20 to make the cut.   I of course ran with team Goodyear men, and we had a heck of a showing. I was last on the “competitive” team, bringing in 5 of the first 15 people to finish.

I also thought to bring a camera, which is highly unusual. I always say I am, and then I forget.  But here we are. Can you pick the top 5 runners out of the crowd? (Hint: you’d be surprised if you’re judging a book by its cover)
I also am not sure if I’ve ever pictured myself on the blog…if not, that’s me in the red shoes.

So that was Saturday’s excitement, but Sunday was the real challenge of the weekend.  I knew the Martinsville half was coming up, and my long run mileage wasn’t satisfactory to me. I made up my mind that I needed to run a full half marathon distance before the race.  I say my long run mileage isn’t up to snuff: I really dont think any of my mileage is quite enough. I’ve only logged 102 miles this year. Before the last half, I was getting in 120 miles a month. But that’s a whole different story.

The Martinsville Course is going to be more mentally tough than physically for me, I believe. When I ran it Sunday,  I finished in 2:05:19…that’s nearly 10 minutes slower than my slowest half time ever. Its taxing on me. Can I maintain sub-9 miles for 13.1? Can I come close to that 1:45:00 I ran last year?  It’s going to be a mental game.

As for race strategy; I think I’m going to run this one with my heart and not my head. That means start out near the front, blister the first few miles, bonk, then pick it up and run it on in to the finish.  Yea. That’s my solid strategy. I’m going at it this way because I have no idea what I may be capable of. The 5k Saturday time showed me I’ve got more in me than I figured I did, I was expecting a high 23 finish time. Beating that by two minutes, what can I do over 13 miles?

So the course itself, on paper, seems extremely confusing winding through town. After I finally drove it then ran it, however, it’s honestly an easy course to figure out. Loop around the block starting at the YMCA, then down the street and loop back to (this is the tricky one if you’re not familiar with it) a random side street to catch the “Dick & Willie Passage”.   Here’s where the fun starts for this race.

It’s a newly constructed trail that is on the old railroad path in Martinsville VA.  Being brand new, everything is still very nice, well marked, etc. The trail is about 4.5 miles end to end, and for the half course you go out and back to cover the whole thing both ways.

As a side note for those who aren’t running a race down there, take you some water. I messed up on that one. 4.5 miles of trail, 9 miles the way I ran it…no water fountain to be found. Just a small nuisance on a training run, I’m sure that the race director will have water down there for Saturday’s race.

So I head out one way on the dick & willie, make it all the way to a blocked off end, turn around, trot back 4.5 miles to a parking lot, and trot back. Trot may not be quite the right word. Slog may be more accurate. Being an old railroad trail, the grade is slight and it drags on forever. I’m talking about a 3 mile grade.  Make it back to where you enter the trail, and from there it’s a short, fast section in the streets of Martinsville to the finish.

I’ll have a better course report/race review after Saturday.

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “Martinsville Half’s less than a week away. Oh yea, I ran a 5K too.

  1. I ran in the Baltimore Shamrock 5k last Sunday, and that too was all downhill and quite uneventful. It was my first 5k, finishing 28:38 (beating my goal of 29). When I’m running alone on any regular day, I have a lot of trouble staying in the game mentally. It seems when my mind begins to wonder, so does my body and then my rhythm is lost!

    Good luck with your race!

    Posted by the thinker | March 22, 2011, 1:02 pm
    • @the thinker–Congrats on beating your goal time! That first 5k is one you’ll remember for a long, long time.
      As for the mental game- try music. It’s what I use to stick with it. For me it has to be something upbeat and fast… So I listen to a lot of stuff I normally wouldn’t, ie-techno, rap, hard rock are my favorite genre’s to run with. It helps because sometimes you’ll just get lost in the music and not think about the runnig, & before you know it you’re running to the beat flying because of it

      Posted by Road Runner Patrick | March 22, 2011, 7:25 pm
    • That long grade is a big surprise if you’ve never run the D&W before. I’ve made the mistake of going too hard on that incline and then hating life the rest of the way.

      There are bathrooms along the way where you can get water, but of course it means leaving the greenway for a few minutes. There’s one in the middle parking lot by the wooden bridge thing and one in the little parking lot out toward the dead end in the woods.

      Supposedly there will be water stops every 2 miles during the race, plus gels around mile 5. But it seems like every race I go to that claims they’ll have gels doesn’t deliver on that promise, so I bring my own. The notable exception being the Danville Half in November, where it was like a gel buffet. That was fantastic!

      Posted by Iris | March 22, 2011, 7:21 pm
  2. yea, I’m really glad I went down a week before, so I can at least expect that “small incline”. As far as going too hard, it’s on the back end of the race… I have a feeling I’m going to hate myself no matter how hard I take it so may as well go all out.

    bathrooms/water–hmm. maybe, but I sure missed them. maybe a small sign,
    “restrooms –>” or similar would have helped.

    Water every 2 miles will be nice if it’s true..I count on it every 3 or so.

    and as far as gel goes, I’m with you- leave nothing to chance. bring your own. besides 5 miles isn’t when I need it anyway. more like 4, and then again and 8 or 9

    Posted by RoadRunnerPatrick | March 23, 2011, 2:06 am

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