Monday, April 28, 2014

Glass City Race Recap

     My third Half Marathon is officially in the books, and all I can say is: OH YEA, OH YEA, OH YEA (while doing a little dance hahaha)!  Needless to say things went really well and for me to say that I crushed my PR would be an understatement.  Officially I finished in 1:57:43 at a 8:59 avg. mile pace.  My previous PR was 2:13:43 at a 10:12 avg. mile pace, which means I knocked an even 16 minutes off my my record.
      Saturday I headed to the University of Toledo's Savage Hall Basketball Arena for packet pickup and the expo.  The expo was laid out just like last year and featured pretty much the same amount and vendors from last year, which unfortunately again was the weakest part of the whole event.
     The layout to pick up your packet was quite nice, they had it laid out by bib numbers and had so many lines that there was virtually no wait, which was nice.  I checked out the vendor offerings and picked up 3 new headbands from Bondibands (check them out here), I fell in love with them after getting one at Ragnar in San Diego.  Once I was done I headed home for a high carb dinner with Mandy and prep all my gear for the morning.
     I got up at 4:10am, hopped in the shower and got dressed.  I woke Mandy up and while she was getting ready I drank a bottle of water and ate a little cereal to get a little something in the stomach.  We left the house around 5:10am and made really good time, which you should when no one else is on the road, and arrived a little before 6:00.  The temp was hovering around 40 with a light breeze so we made our way into the the basketball arena to use the restrooms and stay warm while I stretched.
     With 15 minutes till the start we made our way down to the corrals where we met up with my friend April who was also trying for a sub 2 hour finish.  We planned on running together because we were going to run at the same pace and also to push each other as we needed it.
     Once the gun went off it took what felt like 2-3 minutes before we hit the timing mats, but we were finally on our way.  April and I lost each other right at the start, mostly because the the narrow street and the amount of runners I felt like I was in a can of sardines.  I was weaving in and out of the runners, running on the grass, anything I could do to get my pace up and going.  Once we got off campus I climbed a long slow rise hill on a major road, which allowed the runners to spread out a little.  Somewhere between .5 and 1 mile I reacquired April and we settled in on a 8:45ish pace.
     The first few miles we weaved our way through some very nice neighborhoods with quite a lot of people lining the streets holding signs, ringing cowbells and cheering on all the runners.  It was so nice to see all the support along the course.  One sign that I saw a couple of times that made me laugh was a cartoon pile of poop with a smiley face on it, and the sign just said the word don't above it.  We came to mile 5 where the first exchange of the marathon relay was and I saw this big orange sign with my name on it.  When I read it, it made me laugh and I knew instantly it was for me!  Katie had some words of encouragement sent from another one of my Ragnar SoCal teammates Thomas!

Here is a picture of me with the sign later that day!

     After that April and I seemed to keep a pretty steady pace for the most part, the course is pretty flat with small rolling type hills that weren't to bad to deal with.  We crossed another major road and headed into one of the area metro parks.  This was a little tough, mostly because we were on the narrow paths so occasionally I was on the grass passing people.  I think it was around mile 8 where the marathon and the half split from each other.  A mile and a half on the boring bike trail before we headed back into some neighborhoods and more hillsNow compared to southern California these were nothing but one was pretty steep and I really didn't need that!  Right on cue some of my more motivating music had hit my ears and I was able to power through the hills.  A little Battery immediately followed up by Whiplash from Metallica was timed so perfectly, I couldn’t have planned it any better myself.  When we hit mile 12 I asked Siri to text Mandy so she would know I was almost done. 
     We finished exactly the way we started, back on campus running over the creek right through the starting corral area.  When we hit the end of the corrals we made a hard right turn, right where my wife was standing cheering me on, but of course, I turned my finishing song on and had it cranked up and didn’t hear or acknowledge her.  Sorry Honey!  Once around the corner there is a sweeping uphill left turn entering the football stadium, otherwise known as the Glass Bowl.  Once I crossed the finish line grabbed a water and my finisher’s medal and felt such a wave of accomplishment come over me at what I had done, a sub 2 half marathon after just over a year of running.

I did a little comparison from last year's 5K and this this year

     We headed to the post race party to get my glass finisher’s mug, we are known as the Glass City, and a little food. We sat down enjoyed a little pizza and snacks and listen to the band playing which featured a good friend of mine, who I was in a band with for quite a few years. 
     Mandy and I headed home to shower and get ready for a post race party with my friend Katie’s family.  We enjoyed some of the best fried perch I have had in a long time along with some other great dishes.  We had a wonderful time, but after a couple hours we were getting tired from being up so long and wanted to head home to relax on the couch with a movie and each other.  I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the day.

Here are a few more pictures from the day, including a couple that were on Facebook, shot by a local photographer with a quadcopter hovering overhead. 


  1. Wow! Dean the Machine! Great job on your new PR. I know you worked hard for it. Congratulations!

  2. Great recap. Way to hit it hard! ;) Congrats on your sub two, that's awesome!

  3. So proud of you my friend! YOU are a ROCKSTAR!