Race Report: Kaiser Half

I was a little apprehensive about posting my race goal the other day. It seemed a little presumptuous. As I remarked to a friend: “If this race goes badly, I probably wont be doing any more previews for the time being.”

We started under a blue sky with low-angled sun. I wore a short-sleeved shirt, shorts and gloves. No hat. Like the Lottery TV ads used to say: “Aint ya glad ya live in California?”. There was some congestion at the start, but not too bad. After a little ducking and weaving, I reached the first mile in 7:40. That’s 10 seconds behind target, but at least I didn’t go out too fast. I was able to recover that time and more in the second mile, which was slightly downhill along the Panhandle. We turned and went back up the gradient, so by mile 3, I was just 1 second ahead. I sped up a bit when back in the park although I was a little concerned about the stress I was feeling this early in the race. But then I reminded myself that in previous halves I had paced too slowly in the early stages. Today was going to be different. The gloves came off – literally – and we commenced the downhill. Miles 5 and 6 were my fastest, 7:10 and 7:11. It was not the 7:00 I had been hoping for, but the gradient was uneven, and some of it was too steep for good speed. Yeah I know, excuses excuses…. But I was now 45 seconds up.

Towards the end of the downhill the ocean came into view and we turned south onto the Great Highway. I was wishing I had worn my sunglasses now, especially since this leg would last more than 2 miles. Ugh! I squinted at the back of the runner in front. It felt like it was slightly downhill, but when I checked the ocean horizon I could see the road was level. I went a bit fast in consequence of this illusion, putting in a 7:22 mile, then slowed to 7:37 for the next mile to recover. I felt better then, with improved vision after the turnaround, and stayed at target pace until the final uphill, which slowed me to 7:45 pace. The map had misled me, and the finish was right there on the hill. My kick was somewhat feeble, but I think I passed two runners in the last 100 yards.

So: 1:37:48 for a 4:19 PR.
My average pace was 7:28, Age Grade 70.2% (The first time I’ve broken 70%, Yay!)

A satisfactory morning!


11 Responses to “Race Report: Kaiser Half”

  1. 1 Flo February 1, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    WOOHOO JIM!!! That’s fant-f-ing-tastic!!! Seriously, I’m thrilled for you. And as for that 70%, many little bowing emoticons for you. That’s the way to grow old gracefully…by kicking major ass. Congrats!!

  2. 2 jime2 February 1, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Thanks Flo, (insert blushing emoticon here). I hope you’re all recovered, BTW.

  3. 3 Loraine February 1, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Hi Jim, that was awesome – woo hoo! Congratulations!

  4. 4 jime2 February 1, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Uh oh, Loraine, my head’s starting to swell – but wait, here’s a humbling thing: This race was the RRCA western division championship, so there were some real runners here. The guy that won my division, Michael Ward, is a year older than me and beat me by a whopping 14 minutes. I was a mere 21st in division. šŸ™‚

  5. 5 Christi February 2, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Congratulations Jim!!! I am thoroughly impressed by your speediness!!!!!

  6. 6 Loraine February 2, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Real runners … no kidding! I looked at the results table – the winner did a sub 5min/mile pace.

  7. 7 jime2 February 2, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Yeah. Crosby Freeman ran a 1:04:08. We saw him zip by in the other direction on the out-and-back section, and we applauded. I heard this exchange just behind me:
    “Wow, there’s nobody chasing him.”
    “I guess it’s up to us then!”

  8. 8 threlkeld February 2, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Great job, Jim! Nice big PR and it sounds like you paced yourself very well, which is half the battle in any race. Congratulations! May this be the first of many falling finish times this year. What’s next?

  9. 9 jime2 February 2, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Thanks, Julie, and also Christi. It was a better pacing job than I usually do, so now I have to train like heck to get more improvement! The next goal race is the Big Sur marathon, but I’ll be doing some other stuff. I ran 1:00:20 in the Emerald Across the Bay 12K last year, so I just HAVE to do that again šŸ™‚

  10. 10 spaulukonis February 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Brilliant! It still amazes me that runners can be so close in predicting times on such long races…I spend too much time looks at relative errors in stat books. šŸ™‚

    Shoo-ee that’s a fast 12K with a lotta hills. Can’t wait to see what you do in 2009!

  11. 11 Jim E February 2, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Actually, I’m amazed too. This is the first time I’ve been anything like that close. šŸ™‚

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Race PRs

5K20:43 (LMJS 6/28/09
12K54:36 (Across Bay 3/21/10)
15K1:09:51 (LMJS 19/27/09)
Half1:31:28 (Kaiser 2012
Marathon 3;13:14 (CIM '11)


February 2009
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