Sunday, April 8, 2018

Centerpoint Half (WW # 140)



Wendy and I host this linkup for
the sole purpose of supporting active women.
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Centerpoint Half Marathon
Prattville, AL
April 7, 2018
Half Marathon # 55




This half marathon holds a special place in my running journey.  It was the first "regular" half marathon I ran. You see, when I started on this crazy half marathon quest in 2010 I felt like my races needed to be huge extravaganzas.  Racecations.  I mean, how on earth could I run 13+ miles without fireworks, hot air balloons, costumed characters, DJs or bands?  Begrudgingly, I eventually signed up for this small town race -- knowing I'd hate it.  But I didn't!  The light bulb went off.  I realized I didn't need pomp and circumstance.   And my wallet thanked me.  I've run it most years since.

The weather was not looking good this year.  Strong thunderstorms were scheduled to move through overnight and on race morning.  Thankfully, we caught a break in the rain (although it started again after I finished)  But that meant one thing...humidity.  Memories of Mercedes played through my head.  Say it isn't so.

How's this for a race course?

I started out by feel, just checking my watch when it vibrated at each split.   The humidity was going to affect me eventually so maybe I could bank some time early on.  There are 62 turns in the race.  Sixty.Two!  The organizers do a wonderful job marking the turns and having each manned with a volunteer or two (that's a lot of volunteers!).   It keeps things interesting for sure. The route is strictly through neighborhoods.  With the popping spring green trees and the flowers in bloom, it was very pretty.  The streets were not closed but the traffic was quiet.   It is not a flat course, but most of the hills are small.


Just rolling on down the road...

At the halfway point, I calculated perhaps I could get a 2:05 finish time, even if I slowed a bit.  I stayed strong until mile 11 where I let my time creep up through the end.  I couldn't maintain my earlier paces. My official finish time was 2:06:32 and 9:40 pace.  Hey -- I think I'll call that my Humidity PR.  I was very grateful for no cramping this time.  So, a good day with no complaints.

Me, Kaye, and Tamika

This race is hosted by a church and there are always delicious homemade treats served afterwards.  I indulged.  I also admit to a huge post-race Starbucks on my way home.  It was good to see my friend Valerie and ladies from the weekend running group (which sadly I haven't been to in a while!).  Tamika and Kaye from the group placed 1st and 3rd in their 40-49 group.  I placed 2nd in my 50-59 group.  I've never been able to place at this race.  Finally I do...with my worst time.  Why is that always the case?


And that's a wrap!

Do you prefer extravaganzas or quieter races?

Do you like straight courses or those with a lot of turns?






41 comments:

  1. Awesome job! This race sounds fun, and so scenic! Yes...I have had races where I AG placed with a less-than-ideal finish time...and it almost didn't feel like a victory LOL key word: ALMOST ;-)

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  2. I've learned to really enjoy smaller races! While alot of turns can make the course more interesting, it can also slow you down a lot. I was pretty surprised I got 2nd female at my last 5k which was one of my slowest times ever. You just never know who else will be racing that day!

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  3. I like both big and small races, but since Mr. Judy doesn't like crowds, I've done a lot of small races. And I definitely don't appreciate lots of turns.

    Congrats on your award even if it wasn't your best time.

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  4. I think quieter races can be a refreshing change. They require so much less logistical planning with parking and finding your cheering crew after! Way to get 2nd! Even if it wasn’t a PR, you certainly ran well for a humid day - placing in your AG just shows how tough the humidity was to handle for everyone! Way to push through 💪

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  5. Congrats on your 2nd place age award! There are great benefits of smaller races. I like when I get to sleep in my own bed the night before a race and knowing that the commute to the race is short.

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  6. I like the big and small races alike, but the small ways can be SO much easier logistically...last fall, I ran the NYC marathon and then a tiny one in Arkansas and the Arkansas one was just so EASY. Loved it.

    Great race and congrats on your AG win!

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  7. That's a lot of turns - good thing they were well-marked! LOL on needing fireworks to race. Homemade baked goods are the best. Congrats on the AG placing!

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  8. I love smaller races. I always enjoy them a lot more than the big ones. I've run Disney and Rock 'n Roll, but races like Skidaway and Kiawah that smaller and are on scenic coastal islands in the South have by far been my favorites. Also, there's a fun one in Charlotte, too (the Corporate Cup). Congrats on your age group win!

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  9. Geez! I was looking at the map and thinking wth? I'm glad you did so well, considering the conditions! This sounds like a good luck race for you.

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  10. Congrats! I do like bigger races, just so my slow self doesn't feel out of place. I need to get better at doing non-race vacations, but destination races are still a good excuse.

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  11. Congratulations on such a good run, even if it wasn't a PR! And congrats on an age-group award!! That's awesome!!

    I like the bigger races but honestly, I don't like all the people. I think I prefer smaller races with less of a to-do. And straight or turns? Hmm...it's not anything I've ever thought about before. I guess I'd probably like turns because it just makes it more interesting! :)

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  12. wow that does look like a tough course for a half! I like a mix of bigger more fanfare races and smaller hometown ones too. Congrats on a great race!

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  13. My favorite races are ones that don't have pomp. They're just small, 100 or so entrants. COngrats on a humidity PR - I love that idea haha!

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  14. Congrats on a great race and your AG award! You've been killing all of your races lately! :)

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  15. Congrats, Holly, on another great half and age group place! I had a blast at my trail race yesterday and there were only 76 runners. I hadn't run a race that small in quite some time and forgot how fun they can be. Since it was a trail race and either 25 or 50K, everyone was very laid back and relaxed. I made a lot of friends and talked a lot during the race. 325 miles from home, I met a lady who lives a mile from me! We ran the last three miles together and had a great time! I'm hoping she'll join our running group.

    Thanks for the linkup!

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  16. Congratulations on your second place AG award for your half yesterday! My first half marathon was a small race in Orange Beach. I’ve run races with big crowds and small and I enjoy the smaller races. I feel like I have more room to run. Plenty of space. I ran the Rise and Shine Half in Hattiesburg yesterday and enjoyed it for that very reason. I was so impressed by the crowd support by the volunteers and at the water stops! And yours had 62 turns?? Wow! Great job to you and Battleship 12k registration is tomorrow! I hope to see you there again!

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  17. Congratulations, Holly! You did fantastic. Humidity can be so unpredictable, but I think you handled it well. It took me a while to realize I don't have to have pomp and circumstance either. I think I've decided I like a balance between the quiet races and the extravaganzas!

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  18. Congrats on your 2nd place AG! While I love all of the energy and excitement around a big race, I don't care for the big crowds. Small races are great too, but sometimes are lacking in local support. So I guess it's safe to say I would like a race right in the middle of the two.

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  19. That's a heck of a course! I think it would be fun to run a twisting, turning course! The only thing I can't stand while running are multi loop courses. It always makes me want to stop if I have to pass my car/the finish line multiple times before finishing the race.

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  20. Holy moly that's a lot of turns! I don't think I'd like that. It almost sounds like it's an obstacle course run. Wow! Over time I've realized I like the small, low key races. I don't need medals and swag at all.

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  21. I love the idea of humidity PRs - I've had a few races that would fit into that category. Congrats on the AG placement!

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  22. WOW what a great race for you - congrats on the AG award! I prefer races with turns so that I don't get bored AND I like big races with a decent crowd and entertainment along the course. Again, it helps with my boredom ;)

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  23. I just ran a local small half marathon and I loved it. Just big enough to never feel alone, but not crowded and the food we got at the end was amazing. But unlike you, I was dealing with winter still, sigh.

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  24. Wow, that is a lot of turns! I prefer races with less turns but congrats on 2nd in AG no matter what the time, you did it! :)

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  25. Congrats Holly! How nice to run strong in the humidity and score an AG award. I never thought about my preference for race size. I guess I run some of each. That course is ridiculous!

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  26. Congrats on your great race! I prefer small races too. The logistics are just so much easier, and don't even get me started about the price.

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  27. I'm not a fan of zig zaggy courses unless I'm just running them for fun, but even then it gets annoying, especially with 62!!! Congrats on the AG award, go figure right?! Homemade post run treats are the best!!!

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  28. Other than that last steep incline, that elevation map looks like a runner's dream. Congrats on running a strong race, and earning that AG award!

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  29. Wow... those are a lot of turns! I like both large and small races, sometimes the smaller races have the nicest touches.

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  30. I'm amazed that this was your 55th half marathon - what an accomplishment! Congrats on your placement! I often run races over and over again.

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  31. Wow, a humidity pr is impressive! I fall apart in heat and humidity. But the course looks fun- small rolling hills tend to feel better on my legs than flat.

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  32. Congratulations on another great finish and the AG award! I felt the exact same way placing in my most recent 10k with my worst 10k time EVER ...but the award was pretty cool. Guess it's always about who shows up on which day. However, your finish time was super fast so you deserved that one my friend!

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  33. Congratulations on your race and on placing! Placing is all about who shows up and not time, but it is neat to get two medals finally. Plus your time was definitely impacted by the humidity; April is such a tricky month down south. Sometimes it feels like summer, and sometimes it feels like winter. Love that this race has homemade baked goods too... that's the BEST!

    I hope you're having a good recovery and great week!

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  34. Meanwhile, on my blog, I'm writing about the great racecation LOL!

    I love small races and pomp and circumstance. I love traveling, so it's great to have some really cool and extravagant races as part of the destination. But I can really go either way.

    Sounds like an amazing event that is near and dear to your heart. At the end of the day, those are the best kinds.

    I think I like courses with lots of turns. It keeps me off balance as to how far I've come and how far I need to go, which is better for my headspace.

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  35. Congrats - I think a humidity PR should definitely be a thing! Quieter races for me...some crowd support is nice, but I don't want a huge race.

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  36. I can not believe you are on #55 already :) It seems like a blink ago you were celebrating #50! Congratulations!! That is fantastic time especially on a warm humid day. You rock Holly!!

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  37. You did so great considering the conditions! Congrats on the finish!

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  38. Great job in tough conditions - and you placed in your AG, yay! That is a huge win in my book

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  39. Racing in the humidity is so hard! Congratulations on half marathon #55 and an AG place to boot! Sometimes it's nice to run the amaller, simpler races!

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  40. I love the idea of having a Humidity PR - since we all struggle with it. Great job dealing with the humid conditions. That's a great finish time!

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  41. That course looks crazy, but kinda fun! I like the smaller races because they're fun and much easier on the ole pocketbook. :) Congrats on your AG award and your humidity PR!!

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