Race Report: Space Coast Half Marathon 2015

Once again, the Race Report Space Coast Half Marathon is being written after a frustrating day that saw me go from high expectations to a pretty frustrated point in the matter of a few hours. This has been a reboot year, from start to finish, and this was the last race for me in 2015 (unless something pops up quickly). No more races until January when I attempt another half marathon at Disney. I am hoping for a better outcome.

Let me start by saying this; I love this race. The course is easy, relatively flat, and fast (by other’s standards). The full marathon starts AFTER the half starts, so when they link up it makes you feel like you are not alone on the course, which is a problem for people of my speed. It also starts early enough (6 AM) that by 10 AM you are done and heading back to the hotel (or home), and you beat most of the Florida heat that usually hits you by 11 or 12. The race is very well run, with buses running from over 15 hotels starting at 4:15 AM so trying to find parking, etc. is taken out of the equation.

The race started so smoothly. I felt really good in the morning and when we started to line up I put myself with the 4:00 hour pace group, with the plan on doing a 30/1:00 run/walk split and trying to keep them behind me. This worked for most of the race. I also used an app called “Racejoy” which alerted me when Jennifer crossed timing mats (as well as mine) so I had a good idea where she was in relation to me. It also gave me good data after the race was over to see where the wheels came off. It sends a message at 5K, 10K, 15K, and finish, as most apps do, but it also gives a project finish time based on current pace, which gives me a good idea on how I was doing. So I am using it here. 🙂

Mile 0-5K

I felt really good. My run walk pace was working, and unlike Savannah, the was no foot pain at all. I settled in, ran for 30 seconds using a slow pace (I thought) and walked at a comfortable pace (I thought). The sun was still down for most of this portion so heat was no factor, and drinking a little every ten minutes also worked. At the end of the 5K I was projected to finish in 3:42:37. I finished Savannah in 4:12:00, so I was well under what I had expected.

5K to 10K

Still felt pretty good, which surprised me because this was where I started having trouble in Savannah. I started getting some pain in the feet near the 10K mark but seemed like I was holding pace well, and did not feel strained or fatigued at all. My projection at the 10K mark was 3:42:42, so was basically still holding the 5K pace pretty well. I knew I could hold it for the whole time, but started feeling like I could get under 4 hours, even with a slow down I knew was inevitable. The sun was out but the heat wasn’t bad, due mostly to the breeze coming off the Indian River.

10K to 15K

I knew I was slowing down at this point, and the pain was starting to rear its ugly head. Even with that, though, I never felt I was in that much trouble. This is the frustrating part of these races for me. In my head, and aerobically, I feel fine. My body gives out on me, and I was starting to get the idea it was coming, but still held out hope. The 15K projection was 3:48:36, so I had lost 6 minutes in 3.1 miles, an obvious slow down, but still had 12 minutes to play with. I was hopeful ….

15K to Finish

…. until this section

I have no idea what happened, but is felt like within a half mile my feet went from annoyingly painful to all out “Oh My God I Need To Sit Down” painful. I could not run anymore. Jennifer caught me at mile 12.4 and tried to get me going, and I did try, but I could not do it for more than 10-15 seconds. I was reduced to walking. At mile 12.8 the 4 hour pace group caught me, so I knew I was not going to get that mark either. My frustration grew, but even the anger in my head could not help me run or walk any faster than I was at that moment. I limped across the finish at 4:06:13. I had lost in the last 4 miles 18 minutes of time. That comes from walking at a pace of 23 minutes or so. The one silver ling? It was 7 minutes faster than Savannah, but the pain was pretty bad this time. Worst that I have felt in ages.

I limped over to Jennifer who was waiting for me after the medal pickup, and went to grab a slice of pizza.

Yes pizza. I was that far gone mentally that I really couldn’t care less about eating pizza. I also grabbed a coke. A real coke. That was my mental state at this point.

I admit that eating the pizza and drinking the coke, and sitting down, did make me feel better after a few minutes. I was hobbled, so walking over, then climbing onto the bus, was not easy, but I did it.

I spent most of Sunday night, and Monday for that matter, irritated and pissed off. I know that this pain is due to health issues, but I also know full well that if I weighed 200 pounds and not 275 pounds that the pain would be much less, if there at all.

A regrouping is needed, and a call went in to my coach about it.

1 month and 7 days until Disney’s Half Marathon.

It WILL be a sub 4 …

6 thoughts on “Race Report: Space Coast Half Marathon 2015

  • December 1, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    John you test every method and train as hard as you can. how about you just stop running. Just stop. let your body heal and heal some more. You KNOW a recovery pace walk everyday would be every bit as helpful to guys like us as a run of ANY distance.maybe better? take 30 days…change it up…lift…walk… nice little swim now and then. have you ever given your body a chance to rest for an extended period since your endocrine challenges? Maybe we are the ones that gain weight from endurnace? a half at 4 hrs may be a trot for the masses but it is a mega endurance event for us. I dont know my friend. I hate it for you when I hear the disappointment in your posts. You are an inspiration to so many of us John not for your finish times or your weight, but because you ARE going to figure this out! AND we all want that for you. but getting the same results from the same routine is disappointment you don’t deserve. So f’it. Eat great, rest and recover and see what happens. I am not coach or trainer but what would a month or rest hurt?

    • December 1, 2015 at 11:39 pm

      You sound like Meghan :-). It is actually the plan. I do have the Disney race I am committed to in January, but other than that I have nothing until June 2016. I may throw in a 5K now and again, but no long distance. Focus on weight (both losing and lifting).

  • December 1, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Time to give Jeff Galloway a call? A RWR approach to this race would almost certainly resulted in a more positive outcome.
    Van recently posted…Indoors Training 2015/16My Profile

    • December 1, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      That’s what I do. I have psoriatic arthritis in feet, back, and hands. The pounding whether walking or running eventually catches me.

      • December 2, 2015 at 5:25 am

        Ah.. understood. Are you considering any sort of blood panel testing? I’m sure there is a way to figure out how to get things headed in the right direction. I think working out the health/weight thing and getting that under control must come before any training/racing aspirations.

        • December 2, 2015 at 6:02 am

          Oh yeah. Agree. Being poked and prodded constantly. Recently found sleep apnea too so started using CPAP machine. Feel like a hypochondriac lately.

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