Pete Tanguay

Memphis Half Marathon 2012

by on Dec.02, 2012, under Races

Summary:  What an awesome day.  What a great weekend.  I am so thankful for so many people in my life.  Once again, I ran for my NF Hero, Mavia Evenson.

Now, on to the race report.  I didn’t really train specifically for this event.  I was trained up for this event and was focused, but my last few months were focused on the Chicago marathon and the NYC marathon that didn’t happen.  Then we went on a cruise over Thanksgiving where I did 3 treadmill workouts and some time spinning on the bike and weight training and drank a lot of beer ( :) ).  The week before the marathon I did a run and some speed work but that was it.

I quit drinking coffee and alcohol for the week prior to the event and drank a lot of water.  I had my first cup of coffee the morning of the race and felt the caffeine perk me up.  My goal was to run sub 1:40, the same goal I had in January when I ran the Houston Half and did a 1:43.  This was an aggressive goal, but why set goals you know you can reach?  Reach high.  I felt I could do it, but I knew it would be a stretch.  It was possible.  The day before the race, Tim texted me and said he was going to come and pace me.  At first I thought, ‘Awesome’.  Then I realized there was no slacking as I had my favorite pacer there with me.  It made me focus all week to be ready.

I was as ready at the start of the race as I have ever been.  No injuries.  Felt good.  Well rested.  Nutrition was spot on.  I had Tim to pace me and I gave him a gatorade bottle of Amino Vital mix with a chocolate Clif Gel with caffiene in it and he was to carry it and give me drinks from it every mile or when I wanted.  No aid stations to deal with.  Temps were in the high 40’s and the weather was good – a little windy and slightly humid but not a factor.

Off we went in Coral 2 with the 3:10 and 3:15 marathon pacers and hung with them for the first mile or so.  I felt great.  1:39:?? was going to happen today.  I remembered the course and thought I knew the uphill and downhill segments.  I’ve run this course 3 times in the marathon and 3 in the half.

First 5k was great.  Felt good.  On pace.  The plan was to get to the park on pace at mile 8 and then pick it up slightly through the park which I remembered as flat, then pick it up out of the park (mile 10) and start the 3 miles downhill (according to the website).  As we entered the park, I thought we were on pace.  The park was not flat.  It was gradual up, then down and then uphill going out.  I did not want to waste energy going up the hills and kept the same level of effort.  If I had known I was a bit off pace I might have pushed harder.  I am not sure what the result on the race would have been.  Coming out of the park I tried to pick it up and did a bit but the 3 miles of net down hill was really an up and down section.  Tim was pushing me hard but going up the hills I just didn’t have it.  I worked and focused but didn’t feel I could afford to give it my all yet and just gave it my best. We finished hard but it wasn’t enough to do a 1:39:??.  Ended up with a 1:42:23 (even though my garmin said 1:42:01 as it may have stopped when I walked for a few seconds at mile 8 to take a drink).

I learned a lot from this race.  First I learned that I need to have  a couple mile splits to check where I am in a race so I don’t think I am on pace when I am not.  I should have had a 3 mile, 6 mile, 9 mile, 12 mile split written on my arm so I would have known that I was slipping rather than thinking I was on pace.  Not sure if it would have mattered. Second, I learned to try and run slightly faster than your average goal pace.  My goal pace was 7:38/mile.  In the future I will try and run a 7:30 or 7:33 pace to achieve this goal.

After the race I was happy with my result but not satisfied.  I had set a goal, even though ambitious, and felt I could get it.  I didn’t.  I kept thinking, “where did I go wrong?”.  I will take the lessons learned from this event and when I train for future half marathons I will apply them.  On a positive note, this is my second fastest half marathon ever and my fastest in 3 years.  I have run 2 half marathons this year and one was a 1:43 (also tried to get under 1:40 at this one) and a 1:45.  Looking at the race results I found that I finished fourth in my age group and since the 1st finisher in my age group got an over 50 age group award, I officially finished third in my age group out of 108 runners.  This is very satisfying.  The personalized plaque I will get will mean more than the medal.  This fires me up to keep working and get my time down under 1:40.

Beyond the race and the finish time, I am amazed at the friends I have made running.  The NF Endurance team was there in full force and I am proud to be a part of them.  The Conway Running Club was there in full force and I am proud to be a part of them.  Many Little Rock Runners were there and I am happy to be friends with them.  The race started with Ellen, a patient at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, singing the national anthem.  She brought tears to my eyes.  The person who introduced her said after she sang, as people were applauding, that he was especially proud of her as she was his daughter.

Running through the St. Jude campus, giving high fives to all of the kids was so moving, as it always is.  If this doesn’t make your heart move, you need to get an EKG to see if it is still working.  This was a great race to finish out the year.

Here are my Garmin splits.  Happy to have all but 2 miles sub 8!  I just did not realize that miles 4-9 were so far off pace and did not anticipate the hills in the park in mile 10 or in the last 3 miles.  What if …. Oh, just stop it!

Here are the results of my age group:

There were 2181 males of all ages in the event and I finished 145th which is the top 7% of all males in the race and I have to feel good about that.

I ran 11.5 miles today as a recovery run.  I am so happy to be injury free and look forward to 2013 racing.

The fundraising support from FACEBOOK is encouraging!!!

2 comments for this entry:
  1. Jennifer Welter

    You are an inspiration to us all! Great job! Great race!

  2. Scott Ormond

    Excellent synopsis of the race Pete. Keep running and congrats. scottyO

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