Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cascade 1/2 Marathon - Flat and Fast with a Chance of Snow

Flat and fast, that's the starting description for the Cascade Half Marathon held Jan. 15th.  Then nature adds some extra fun just to make it all a bit more challenging.

In 2011, it was rain and high winds (...and for Gimpy running past the turn around and a shoe lace coming untied about a mile to go in the 10K race resulted in a 51:02 (8:12/mile).

I still can imagine that shoe lace flopping around in the wind, hoping I didn't step on it and fall flat on my face.

Near Turner, OR
This year I bumped up to the half and there was near freezing temperatures, a light snow, and some slushy / icy road patches which made for some occasional poor traction and slippery sections.  And of course, even with double tied knots, my shoe lace came untied.

Heading over to the race I thought, uh-oh, looks like slip and slide running.  Fortunately, the temperature stayed above freezing and only light snow fell during part of the run.  While traction wasn't the best for the run I was still thankful the wind in the last two miles wasn't as high as the previous year.  However, it still slowed me in the last couple of miles, much like last year.

This year the Rosling trio, Mike, Tonya, and Kristin, showed up and kicked some major Cascade butt.  Way to go!!!

Ultimately, I Gotta thank Eric "Daddy Long Legs" Jensen for the time challenges at the Cascade Half Marathon.  While I regret not getting my 1:46:15 for the Block 15 invite, I did get my PR, so I'm still pretty stoked with the training plan Coach Rosling's got me on.  Thank you sir, much appreciated.

I'm still not sure if I will make it to Block 15 in Corvallis, but I still gotta give three huge thumbs up to Mike, Kristin, and Tonya Rosling for some great running at the Cascade 1/2 Marathon.  Major motivations all the way around.

I went into the race with a couple of goals:
  1. Finish in 1:46:15 or better (After party at Block 15)
  2. Don't let Kristin "Smilin" Rosling pass me in the last mile
  3. Finish with a PR
  4. Finish with a smile

Goal 1, not so good, just short of half the miles met the 8:10/mile pace I needed.
Goal 2, Kristin started out smilin' and fast.  My come from behind strategy work to the extent I started from behind and stayed there for the duration of the race.  Hmmm! New strategy in order.  I may need to revert to the time handicap for both Mike and Kristin.  I'm beginning to suspect some kind of running super gene in this family.
Goal 3, Happily I did get a PR.  I've ran six (6) Half Marathons since 2007. 

04/29/2007:  1:49:18 (Eugene Half)
05/03/2009:  2:05:38 (Eugene Half)
10/10/2010:  2:13:06 (Portland Half)
09/10/2011:  2:15:30 (Heart Health Trail Half)
09/18/2011:  1:54:00 (Champoeg Half) - Beat by Smilin' Kristin
11/05/2011:  1:59:22 (Silver Falls Half) - Beat by Smilin' Kristin
01/15/2012:  1:48:57 (Cascade Half)    - Beat by Smilin' Kristin - [Urghhh 3 for 3]

Goal 4, always finish with a smile

I was hoping for 8:00'-8:10'/mile for most of the run.  So how did Gimpy do:

Mile #  Time 
1          7:52 Yippee!!
2          7:55 Yippee!!
3          8:12 Close
4          8:27 (8:07) shoe lace tying - Urggh lost some momentum- triple knots next time
5          8:17 Not so good
6          8:12 Better, got a gel down - but no water to wash it down
7          8:08 Better still after turn around and into light wind
8          8:29 Holy smokes what happened here, was this the slushy section or did I slow down for water.
9          8:21 Not good enough, was trying to reel the Smilin' lady in, BUT!!!
10        8:14 Better
11        8:24 Crudite: Wind and legs against me
12        8:29 Cattle crap: Wind and legs against me
13        8:32 Rattlesnake spittle: Wind and legs against me
13.1     7:08 Push hard, nice!! Why couldn't I do this earlier.
Final Time: 1:48:57

In general, I'm pretty happy with the results and the training to date.   Might just head on over to Block 15 for a beer with Eric and the gang to salute the Rosling's.

Best part, at least I didn't run past the turn around and I also noticed I just missed catching Bret Henry. (1:48:15).  Bret's beat me big time at Mount Hood 50M and a number of other races.  He's also finished Waldo 100K, another race goal I've got my sights on this year.

Perhaps these are good signs for the future.

Either way let's go Gimpy, Time to run!!!


  1. The Block is yours my man... Nice run! Look back at my last post before the race... When the weather forcast came in, I said that if anyone PRs in that crap, then the block is on me. You're in! Nice work and nice write up...

  2. Great race, Roger! I really appreciate the motivation from all of you. I never thought I could run a half under 1:40 and now I know that I can :) Smiling!

  3. You're an amazing runner, thanks for the friendly competition, even if I never caught you. :-)