Sunday, September 11, 2011

DMZ Half Marathon/1 Year in Korea

4 September 2011-

Well this weekend marked 3 days over 1 year in Korea. I actually raced this race last year, but it was on the 12th of September. With it being 6 weeks out from Kona I was looking for a half IM but there were none in Korea. So I talked it over with my coach and he thought a half marathon would be a good race. I was looking to PR for the half marathon, since I knew the course and it was flat and super fast.

I headed up to Seoul the day prior to hang out with some guys from the cycling team and attend a BBQ put on my our team owner. It was a great time to hang out and get out of Osan and away from all the military people. We hung out at the Hamilton hotel and enjoyed some pool side eye candy. It was nice to just relax talk cycling and enjoy a few beers prior to the race. After the pool we met up with Norah and Elmer and grabbed some dinner. They were kind enough to put me up for the night so that I could catch the bus up in Seoul instead of all the way down at Osan. Made the trip up to the race a bit shorter.

I had very little sleep as I stayed up late into the night BS'ing with Elmer and Norah as I hadn't seen them in awhile. Always good to catch up with fellow athletes and teammates. Luckily the 2 hour bus ride left for plenty of time to sleep. The weather was great, a little overcast and cool in the morning. The wind was blowing but was hoping it would die off.

The race started the wind stayed the clouds parted and off we went. There was a head wind/cross wind for probably the first 11K of the 21K. I made the mistake of starting the race an my Garmin was not synced up with the satelittes, so for the first 1/2 mile I had no GPS. It also threw off my mile splits for the whole race, but at least I was getting splits and was able to monitor my pace after the first half mile.

I was a little worried as a big group went out hard and I lost ground on them through the first half of the race. My pace was not where I wanted it to be, but the head wind was pretty strong so I knew that was the cause. I just focused on keeping a steady pace and once I caught the tailwind I was going to drop the pace down and hopefully make up some ground on the group that went out hard. My coach has been having me progressively run harder in some of my workouts and that is how he wanted me to race. It is hard to hold back but I am slowly learning how to let it rip the last portions of races and my legs are really learning how to go into the hurt locker.

With 12K to go Elmer came up from behind on a bike and asked how I was doing. I told him I felt good and asked if he could go up the road to find out where I was placing wise. They paid out top 10 so I was gunning to get into the money and top 10. He informed me I was in 15th at the time, so I just kept at it and slowly kept picking guys off. With a mile to go I had 2 guys in my sights and I kept pushing harder and harder trying to catch them. With 200 meters to go I had a guy with in striking distance, an older guy to say the least. I am normally pretty solid when it comes down to out kicking someone. I really let the legs go and just could not catch this guy, he literally ran away from me and I was giving it all I had. This is the hardest that I have ever ran at the end of a race and I felt like I was red lined and could of passed out at any moment. It was a crazy but amazing feeling to know that you can really push your body to the limits and I think I was on the verge of that limit.

All in all it was a great race. I missed PR'ing by 27 seconds, but the conditions were a little worse this year. I managed to take 12th place, which was 1 place better than last year. There is one thing that a lot of people don't understand, there are a lot of things in racing that you can't control. You can't control who shows up and you can't control the weather. Those 2 things can have a huge impact on every race and where you place. The one thing that YOU can control is the effort that you give prior to the race and at the race. If you give it 100% and you take dead last then you gave it your best, if you give it 100% and you win the race then you still gave it your best. Just go out there, give it 100% and whatever the outcome is that is what it is.

Time: 1:19:21
Place: 12th/1157

Thanks again for all of the support! I can't thank all of my family, friends and supporters. Also a big thanks to Elmer and Norah for giving me a place to stay the night before the race.

The Seoul Flyers Running Group! A fast group none the less!

The closing stretch!

A little post race recovery trying to get those white legs a little sun.


Unknown said...

Great job brad. Keep up the hard work and you will go far! Just remember one key thing in Ironmans..."dont trust a fart!"

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