Wineglass Half Marathon Race Recap 10/01/17

One dream; 10 crazy friends

I guess you could call 2017 the friendly half marathon year, as in I knew someone in every single half marathon I ran this year. And the number of friends running increased with every half! I do not foresee a repeat in 2018, though.

bwineglass

Mr. Judy had been complaining for quite some time that we live in NY and yet I hadn’t “done” NY yet. Now I can cross that off the list. Hold onto your hats cause it’s a long one!

This race came very close to a DNS, though. My Dad was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday with what turned out to be a partial bowel obstruction. They weren’t sure if he was going to need surgery. So there I was, trying to finish up packing, not even sure I was going.  Thankfully he didn’t need surgery, and in fact they released him from the hospital on Friday, the day I left.

I went through something very similar in 2012 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor literally the day before I left for RnR Montreal. That time he did need surgery, but turned out they wouldn’t operate for another 6 weeks. My Dad is tough (he’s 91, was 86 back then).

Packet Pickup
Packet pickup was relatively organized, although it was in with the expo so super crowded. I’d read that the expo was small and not memorable, and I was pleasantly surprised to see while it was small, there were a fair number of vendors — although the only thing I bought was my standard: a new pair of sunglasses.

The swag bag was nothing to write home about, but you do get a small stemless wineglass — I actually like that since I don’t drink, and I use it for my tart cherry juice at night. You also get a small bottle of chamgagne. Now Wineglass happens to be in the middle of the NY finger lakes wine region, so why it isn’t local wine I don’t know, but I don’t drink anyway so it didn’t matter to me.

The quarter zips are to die for. I’d read that the shirts in the past ran way small, but this fit perfectly. A beautiful soft material and thumbholes for the win! They’re too nice to run in!

There’s a lot of carbs in that bagel!

So funny story: it also happened to be Yom Kippur. Now, I consider myself to be somewhat religious but more spiritual and I was pretty sure that God would forgive me for sharing this weekend with my friends. We never fast the full 24 hours anyway, and the plan was just to break it even earlier, so basically just skipping breakfast.

 

I brought my bagel and lox with me because we’d be going out to lunch after the expo. So I walked around with a huge bagel and lox in my pocket! But that’s not really the funny part.

As I’m finishing up the expo I came across the Wegman’s booth, and without even thinking about it popped the samples right in because you know how much I love to try stuff! Oopsie.

And then . . . I hadn’t told Coach Rachel about the mini fast. I knew she wouldn’t be pleased by that. But I mentioned it on an IG post (follow me here) and was busted, completely forgetting that she follows me, of course!

It was this foggy the entire race

The weather & dressing
This was not my coldest half marathon, but it’s in the top three. Race day dawned foggy (it would never lift during the race) and in the 30s. Tee, tank, tee, tank . . . I went with the tee and that was the perfect choice for me.

 

Not my race outfit but the Bolero was great

I also had a throwaway sweatshirt, my Skirtsports Bolero, and some throwaway sweatpants I’d bought for $6 at Walmarts the night before. Petite, no less! What I didn’t have and I totally regretted? Throaway gloves. The race started at 35 and only went up to 45 — thankfully no wind — but the fog never lifted. My hands were freezing those first three miles! And of course I’d shared my race checklist which included throwaway gloves, but I really didn’t think my hands would get that cold.

 

Trying to leap for the photographer; just made me look crazy


My Race Plan
Rachel @ Runningonhappy asked me if I wanted a race plan, or if I wanted to run by feel. As if. This is the race we’ve been targeting all year long as my goal race — but since I had already technically PR’d every half (if you count my slowest half, aka my first trail half, which you can read about here), I also was okay if that didn’t happen. Of course I still wanted to PR, but the speedwork didn’t necessarily lead me to believe in myself, and then there was all the stress that last week. To say I was tired, stressed, and not feeling well would  have been an understatement.

 

I ran this race “naked”. Yes, I wore clothes and yes, I wore my Garmin and it worked. But I purposely did not have it show elapsed time. It was a calculated risk. I find I run better by pace than by elapsed time, but without Rachel’s plan and keeping an eye on my paces, I could easily have missed my goal — which was simply to get below 2:30.

I’m going to put in my actual lap times with the race plan times below (so it will be 11:30 AP, which stands for average pace/11:20 RP – which stands for race plan). It’s actually kind of funny that I always want a race plan, because I seem incapable of following one!

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 11:24 AP/11:37 RP. I have started out a couple of my halfs too slow — I know, no runner says that, right? Well, this one does. So I made sure to keep my eye on my pace.
  2. Mile 2: 11:27 AP/11:27 RP. This was a crowded course and I really never found my own running space. Still, close enough to the plan. There was a slight hill in this mile.
  3. Mile 3: 11:01 AP/11:27 RP. I took my bolero off this mile but apparently it didn’t effect my pace. Was I running too fast here?
  4. Mile 4: 11:17 AP/11:17 RP.
  5. Mile 5: 11:01 AP/11:17 RP. Oddly enough you cross train tracks twice in this mile — so small hills. Although it doesn’t really show up on the elevation chart, I remember them!
  6. Mile 6: 11:22 AP/11:17 RP. The elevation shows a long, slight hill here — in my mind, I remember that at mile 9, but apparently not.
  7. Mile 7: 11:07 AP/11:17 RP. Seriously, I just ping ponged the whole race. Fast, slow, fast, slow. I always get sort of annoyed when I slow down for no reason, which helps me to run faster. What I’d like to run is consistent!
  8. Mile 8: 11:35 AP/11:17 RP. I boarded the struggle bus this mile. I just felt like I ran out of gas. I mean, it usually gets to me around this time but it just seemed worse.
  9. Mile 9: 11:02 AP/11:17 RP. Small, rolling hills with some flats interspersed until the end of the race.
  10. Mile 10: 11:22 AP/11:17 RP. Ping pong.
  11. Mile 11: 11:17 AP/11:07 RP. Ping pong.
  12. Mile 12: 11:39 AP/10:57 RP. Ping pong. I knew the plan called for me to go under an 11 mm — I also knew around mile 9 that that was never going to happen. Did I pysch myself out?
  13. Mile 13: 11:17 AP/10:47 RP. Ping pong. Passed the bank clock that said it was only 45F . . .
  14. Last .19: 10:39 AP/All out sprint RP. Well, I did have enough gas left to sprint a little, but I’m usually faster at the end. I really didn’t know if it was a PR or not at that point.

2:28:50 — Official Time
11:18 Average Pace

Everyone enjoyed dinner & Dave

 

Was the race well run?
We have some varying opinions on that. The start was really a mess, and I don’t think anyone argues that. Instead of coming in from the back and working your way forward, you come from the start line and try to work your way backwards. Which didn’t work so well. I ended up with the 2:20 pacer, knowing that wasn’t even close to my projected finish time, because I simply couldn’t muscle my way back to the appropriate place without having to walk into the wet corn fields. I’m not sure how this can be fixed, but it needs to be.

If you get the chance, go hear him

The buses were great, the prerace dinner was great. Parking the morning of was difficult for out-of-towners like us and I still felt that there could have been volunteers helping more with that – there were volunteers at the parking garage we ended up at, which had plenty of room, but we had to drive around passing lot after lot that was already full and were getting a bit anxious.

Did run into my USAFit Albany friends 

I also found the finisher’s chute confusing. I was looking for the place to check your finish time — I knew they had one, but I couldn’t find it, and asked two separate volunteers and neither knew where it was (although I did finally find it). I also never saw, although I heard, the PR bell. Maybe it’s just me . . . except I know it wasn’t as I was walking up and down with running buddy J trying to find the finish times.

The course itself is relatively flat and fast — although a lot of turns in the beginning and the end, and a few little uphills. It was hard for us to tell if it was really scenic or not; it was just too foggy.

Terrible lighting!

And both running buddy J and I felt crowded the entire race. Darlene did not (read her recap here). Obviously there were more runners in the middle of the pack than in the front.

Positives:

  1. Awesome pre-race dinner.
  2. Buses to the start very organized.
  3. Plenty of portapotties.
  4. A warm school to hang out in.
  5. A mostly flat course.
  6. Photos aren’t free, but they were up in just a couple of days.
  7. I’m not a bling-whore, but it is a really nice medal.
  8. Sharing this weekend with 9 runner friends.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. Not enough information/direction for parking (just a small map in the race program)
  2. Completely disorganized start.
  3. I felt very crowded the entire race.
  4. Poor runner etiquette (too many across, not bothering to see who’s behind you when stopping) — I guess it’s just a given these days.
  5. Completely disorganized finisher’s chute.
You can see how crowded it was! At the finish!

What I learned
Aside from I should definitely have throwaway gloves if it’s in the 30s, I’m not sure I learned a whole lot from this race. It’s better with friends, of course, but that’s a given.

Back in the day I probably would have worn capris for those temperatures, but I knew from both the Mud & Chocolate Half and my Green Mountain Half (read about that here) that I’d be good in a skirt with compression socks — it’s almost like wearing capris! But that heat blanket afterwards was totally awesome.

Do I have a faster half marathon in me? I know I didn’t this day. I didn’t puke or pass out, of course, but I really feel I left it all out on the course. I also know that cold can slow you down just like heat can — although I would take the cold over heat any day.

And 6 halfs (AZ, FL, LA, WA, UT, & NY) in 12 consecutive monts, Oct 2016-Oct 2017 will wear you down. Not that I regret any of them. But it’s definitely time for some rest. Or at least shorter races!

Tor-box

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

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34 thoughts on “Wineglass Half Marathon Race Recap 10/01/17

  1. What a great recap! I’ve heard such great things about this race and I’m glad I’m hearing some “real” things, too! Sorry it didn’t really go “as planned” but sheesh girl… that’s a lot of halfs in one year!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know plenty of people who run more halfs, but that was plenty for me. It’s the most I’ve ever run in 12 consecutive months.

      There was a lot of good about Wineglass, and maybe if the weather had been better I’d have felt more positive overall about the race.

      But the start really was bad. It’s only the 7th year they’ve done the half, and I think it’s just gotten too large for that small country road.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Isn’t the full running at the same course? Maybe that led to the congestion. Still a bummer though to have it crowded the entire way. Too bad such a well-known race is so disorganized. Nevertheless congrats on the PR!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s much like UT, the full actually does start a half hour later, but they also start 13.1 miles back. So they weren’t “lapping” me. In fact, I saw the female marathoner winner come in after I’d been finished for a while.

      They haven’t been doing the half as long as the full, and I think it’s just gotten too popular. Maybe they need to put the portapotties where the start is now and have the start in that parking lot — that could work.

      The entire race wasn’t disorganized, but others did find the PR bell & place to check finish times without as much problems (but I still think the volunteers ought to be better informed OR know who to ask).

      I forgot to mention that Bart Yasso was the announcer, and I got to speak with him briefly at the dinner and have him sign my visor (Dave signed it a few years back). Totally forgot to ask for a selfie, but he’s super nice!

      Like

  3. Congratulations on your PR!! You had a great race! I haven’t had a really cold race since RNR DC in March, and yes, it can definitely slow you down! It looks like you had a great time with all your running friends. Too bad the course was too crowded! Enjoy your rest!

    Like

    1. Well, if it’s details you want . . . 🙂

      Plenty of people do so much more, but the last couple of years have also been very stressful on the personal front. Running helps with the stress, but you (or at least I) do also get worn down after a while.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was definitely a great year of running! I expect to have a lot more solo races next year. That is the downside of chasing the states — not everyone can afford to travel like that — including us sometimes!

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  4. As I’ve said before, congrats on running a great race and snagging a PR…again!

    I think crowded is based on perception. I had many runners around me at the finish line and throughout and didn’t consider it crowded.

    Maybe because you are no longer BOTP, you seeing more runners around you.

    And yes, the bell was right past the finish line and the results just past the bag check. There were signs pointing to results but I agree not all the volunteers knew all the details.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whenever I had to reach into a pocket for someone I was elbowing someone. The entire race. And that isn’t something I’m used to. You weren’t where I was — trust me, it was crowded. I think the race has just become too popular.

      As to not being BOTP, totally depends on the race. In this race, yes, I was solidly in the middle. But in a smaller race I’m still often BOTP (or back of MOTP).

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  5. Great job getting under 2:30! I’ll need to dig out my gloves soon. I had to get my winter headband out because my ears have been windburned a couple times. My hands are always cold so I know it’s coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You did great! I struggle running when it is too cool. I find the fingerless gloves work well for me in colder weather. 6 halfs in 1 year! Wow. I still haven’t run one, but I am planning to do one next year. I just need to find one that has a longer finish time so as a slow runner I can complete it in time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been running halfs since 2012 (really the end of 2011). What’s you get used to it, most of the time, it doesn’t seem like that much work. Sort of. Until the end!

      There are lots of races that have generous time limits. And I always look for them!

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    1. If you can’t tell, I really like the bolero!

      I won’t lie — I have a couple of pairs of arm warmers, have made them out of socks, yet I always find them kind of a pain. Plus since the bolero goes across your shoulders, it’s actually a bit warmer.

      Now, it doesn’t sit right on my shoulders, but of course I’m very petite and have a relatively small frame.

      Supposedly it stashes in a skirt pocket, but mine are usually occupied already. So I’ll admit I wore a sparkle skirt at the race, which does have larger pockets, and it fit in there nicely.

      Like

  7. That’s true, I totally did bust you… 😉

    You have done an amazing job with your races this year, and I’m so happy you chose me as your coach. You’re a strong runner even when your self-doubt kicks in, and I definitely believe you’re capable of continuing to snag PRs. Congrats again!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Rachel. I’m very glad I picked you too! I doubt I would have achieved everything I did this year without you to guide me.

      While I haven’t even begun to schedule next year, some of the races I’m considering could be really tough & very unlikely for me to PR — but they’ll sure be pretty. But nothing at all is scheduled.

      Good thing I don’t really suffer from post race blues! Chasing my states is the overall goal & it keeps me motivated.

      Like

    1. I have a few arm sleeves but I’ve just never been in love with them. Everyone is different — that’s what makes the world go round.

      The cold hands weren’t fun, but they did eventually warm up (or were so cold I no longer noticed them)!

      Like

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