It was almost the forgotten race...
In my preview, I mentioned that I was probably looking past the Hospital Hill Half Marathon to the Ironman 70.3 Kansas this coming weekend. I guess it's easy to look past a half marathon when looking forward to a half ironman? Maybe there's no excuse.
The reality is, the HH Run is a 40 year old event and is a well ran race in Kansas City as I mentioned in my review yesterday.
It's 800 to 900 feet of climbing over 13.1 miles. It's nothing to look past.
I also mentioned I wasn't sure how I was going to "race" the event. I do have IM 70.3 KS a week after, so I didn't want to kill myself and spend the week in recovery mode for the next Sunday or injure myself trying for a PR.
I didn't really make a decision until the starting gun...
As I sat in the coral, I knew I was going to use the first 3 miles as "warm up", so I had that time to make a decision on how I wanted to utilize the 13.1 miles.
Into mile 2ish, I decided I would opt to make it a long high zone 2 run instead of trying tempo intervals. With the intervals, I would have had walking sections and ultimately would have meant more time on the course. With the z2 run, it gets me to the finish line quicker, hopefully reducing recovery while not causing major muscle fatigue that would need more than 24 or 48 hours of recovery.
Well, that was my thought process anyway.
Stay under 160 on flat to downhills and under 170 for hills. It meant a lot of slow methodical trotting on the uphills and using the downhills to my advantage to go quicker at 160 bpm. In the end, I averaged 161 bpm for the 13.1 miles. My gray area is in the 165 to 170 range, so I was satisfied that I avoided extreme fatigue to recover from, but it was a little higher than I really wanted.
Either they need to change the weekend of the race (that won't happen) or I need to just do the 10k in 2014 if I choose to run it again before IM 70.3 KS. Or, maybe switch to a different race than KS??? Now there's a thought that would require travel, money and logistics. Maybe not.
There was really no wall or moment of pain to overcome, until the last 3 miles...
Knowing that I didn't want a heap of muscle fatigue to recover from, within the last three miles is the longest climb and steepest descent into the finish line. It would be the deal breaker if I was going out too hard.
I did a great job of slowing the pace to accommodate the climb and not jack the HR up. Then, at the last mile approaching the downhill finish, I got greedy.
I sped up to pass all the people that passed me on the last hill since they used what they had to maintain their speed and I had reserves. I did reach 180 bpm... and probably should have went in conservative. There's a little muscle fatigue leftover from that hard sprint at the end, but we can just consider that intense interval training between us, right?
I am happy with the overall track of the HR graph. With a few exceptions, it's 4 to 5 bpm within my 160 bpm goal. My lap times per mile were off as much as 1 minute from mile to mile, but I'm not running by speed. I like how I was able to hold to my limit with 900 feet of elevation change, and accomplishing an average under 8 min/mile isn't half bad, either.
I ended up with a 1:45:17. That was a course PR by 42 seconds. That wasn't my goal. Don't get me wrong, I get self satisfaction beating course PR's, but I knew I had more leftover and could have done better had I allowed the HR to go higher than my self imposed limits.
It's playing that game that not every race is your A race, and some races are merely tools for a larger goal, or just for fun that you have to mingle in with your training if you really want to race them.
In the end...
... I sign up for the HH run since it's a great tradition and a well organized event. It's pretty much on the map for the local running scene. You can't go a day without seeing one of the "I conquered the hill" tech shirts from past races.
It's more fun than just running around home, and with early bird pricing, it's not a hard hit to the pocketbook.
Plus, you can't lose with a unique medal design every year and this year's sweet track jacket!