This past Sunday was the 2013 running of the ODDyssey Half Marathon. I first ran this last year (in only the second year of the event) and was impressed with the organization, course, overall vibe, and perhaps most importantly free pint glass (filled with delicious Sly Fox beer) at the finish.
The timing of this race is interesting for me. It’s too late to be a proper “Spring Half”, and not late enough to be part of a build for a Fall Marathon. This year however it fell at a good time: my injury had finally cleared up and I had about a month of consistent (if limited) running. This would be a really good yardstick to let me know what my starting point was before proper training starts in a little over a month.
Last year when I ran this race it was with the intention of pacing my friend Mike to his goal time (unfortunately it was crazy hot/humid and he missed it). This year he and his wife were going to be there again (but just running it for fun), and as coincidence would have it the girlfriend had signed up, too. She and I ran Broad Street together this year and had a great time, but decided to run this one at our own paces.
As is often the case, 5am came far to quickly. I got up and tested (123), then had a protein bar for breakfast with a full bolus. The drive down was uneventful and before we knew it we were waiting at the starting area. One of the cool things about this race is that it encourages people to dress up and not take it too seriously (there are even optional “challenges” along the course like a bean bag toss and a dunk tank). Looking around at the start was kind of crazy: there was a bride and groom in actual gown and tuxedo (to add to it the bride was obviously very pregnant and he pushed her around the course in a wheelchair), there was Thing 1 and Thing 2, Borat (complete with sling bathing suit), and much, much more. I of course wore my typical Insulindependence singlet, but maybe one of these days I’ll run something in costume…
Anyway eventually the race began and I glanced at my Dexcom to see a 180 with an arrow straight across. Just about perfect. As I knew my fitness was not great, I started toward the back with the hopes that it would prevent me from going out too fast. Mission accomplished… only perhaps a bit too well. I spent much of the first three miles passing people en masse, which in retrospect probably made me expend even more energy zigging, zagging, and accelerating. Lesson learned. After mile 3 the course opened up a bit and I was able to fall into a bit of a groove only to find out that the course had been changed from last year. Where last year the only uphill section was toward the very end, this year there was a significant effort from about 4.75 to 5.75 that made the previously mentioned groove decidedly un-groovy. It was also around this time that I took another gander at my Dexcom to find a 195.
I should mention at this point what regular readers (Hi Mom!) already know – I don’t reduce my basal rate at the start of a race. I find that if I do I don’t drop quickly enough to be able to take on enough carbs to perform. So here I was almost at the halfway point and my blood sugar had actually gone up! I’m used to this in a hard 5k, but a half? I decided to wait until mile 7 and decide on a course of action after that. Looking back this was a Bad Idea. Halfway came and went, then 7, then 8, and no changes in my blood sugar. So of course I did the smart thing and took on fuel anyway with a small bolus, right? Wrong. I ate nothing. By mile 9 I could feel the lack of nutrition starting to take hold and by 12 I was really starting to genuinely consider just stopping. I actually was reduced to a walk briefly on the final climb, but still had enough in the tank to finish relatively strong.
So the results:
- First Half -00:55:32
- Second Half -00:54:29
- Total – 01:50:01
- Starting BG – 180
- Finishing BG – 208
I’m really happy with the splits, and all things considered I’m quite happy with the total time (though 2 seconds faster would have been nice). I think with cooler weather and the ability to fuel properly I could easily grab a couple more minutes which leads me to believe that if I can stay healthy a decent time at Philly isn’t out of reach.
Oh and the wonky blood sugar? After fighting with it for most of the rest of the day I changed out the cartridge and infusion set. Good as new!