Crawlin Crab Half Marathon 2014 – Race Report – Revenge

Revenge is a dish best served cold…


Last year I went into the 2013 edition of the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon trying to establish some confidence for a sub four hour attempt at the Niagara Falls Marathon.  All of my training up to that point was on target.  I went into the 2013 half marathon wanting to prove that I had the speed required to run a sub four marathon.  Everything went well until the sun came out around mile 6 and it got hot.  At mile 9 I began to melt.  10 miles into the run the wheels came off.  Crossing the 11 mile marker I wonder if I really had it for 26.2 miles at my goal marathon pace.  I finished in 1 hour and 50 minutes.  The time on the clock was one thing, my broken spirit was another.

I recovered, and ran a strong 20 mile training run a week later.  Three weeks later I scored my first sub four marathon.

Truth be told even with the success at Niagara Falls, I’ve held a grudge with the Crawlin Carb Half for over a year!

Leading up to the 2014 edition of the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon, I ran the Air Force Marathon 13 days earlier.  As the days to the race drew near I was truly undecided whether I was really going to push it at the half.  Race morning I was still reviewing and questioning my goals for the race, consequently I decided to line up in corral three with some friends (my bib time had me in corral 1).  Standing there in the starting field, I finally decided to run with my friends and see how the day unfolded.  The day was perfect, bright skies, crisp temperatures and calm winds.  The conditions this year was much different than the unforgiving heat of the year before.

cchalk2014a(With a little help from my friends)

Mile 1 8:32 / Mile 2 8:19 / Mile 3 8:09 / Mile 4 8:10 / Mile 5 8:05  At the gun, the race crowd took off at a fast clip.  I kept my attention on my GPS watch as I wanted to avoid running out to fast to soon before settling into a nice rhythm.  The start at the Crawlin Crab rolls out for approx. half a mile then climbs over an overpass then the majority of the race is flat until crossing back over the overpass returning to the finish line. Although I had yet to commit to a fast race or a PR attempt, I knew if I wanted to make a run at a goal time I had to set the table properly.  At the end of five miles…my GPS confirmed, that not only did I set the table properly I may have even pulled out the good china.

Mile 6 7:57 / Mile 7 7:51 / Mile 8 7:54 / Mile 9 7:41  The game was on.  With a solid start under my belt, it was around the 10k mark that I felt something good could happen today.  My leg turnover was light and easy.  So easy in fact that at some point I was a bit worried that I may not be able to keep it up.  Putting that fear behind me, I decide to keep up my goal pace until I crossed the finish line or bust into flames.

cchalf2014b(Can you pass the potatoes…time to eat)

Mile 10  7:34 / Mile 11 7:20/Mile 12 / 7:28  Crossing the 10 mile mark, a quick glance at my GPS and some rough math confirmed that today was the day.  I had not only run a pace which put me into a position to have a fast time, it also left me with a lot of kick still in my lungs and legs.  Today could be special and I was not going to let the good china go to waste.  The RACE was at hand and it was time to serve the meal.  Last year at this point in the race a fast start and rising temperatures drove me into the ground and melted my will to fight/run hard.  Today, I was determined to not lose this PR!

Mile 13 / 7:28  The entree was served and consumed…and now it was time for the desert.  The three course meal that was the opening 12 miles where behind me and I still had a lot of pop left in my legs.  The end of the race course had us returning to the convention center area and back over the highway overpass.  Where in the past I’ve struggled to put the hammer down in this area, today I gave it everything I had.  In that last mile plus, I was passing people left and right.  At this point in the day it was nice to taste the ice cream that was “racing” and not just hanging on to finish.  The final right hand turn and the sights/sound of the finishing area came within range and I kicked it into high gear.

(Raw Video footage of the last 2 miles)

FINISH 13.1  Crossing the finish line, it felt so “significant” to finally have revenge on a course that last year left me humbled and lacking confidence.  The 2014 edition left me feeling secure that my training was paying off and confident that if I followed my race plan, fast times were in my future.

cchalf2014d(#boom PR baby)

I went home happy and with a new half marathon PR in 1 hour 43 minutes and 32 seconds, and that’s better than a hot fudge sundae!

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