Missoula Half Marathon Race Report

After the perspective a few days will give to any endeavor, I’m ready to give my Missoula 13.1 Race Report.

After a wonderful 5k experience the morning before, I was a little worried how my legs were going to be holding up come Sunday morning. I was a little sore, and did feel the effects of the 5k about halfway through the race, but I still finished strong.

I awoke at 3am after preparing everything I’d need for race day the night before. Hopped on my bike and, ringing my bell furiously all the way to scare of bears and deer, headed for downtown Missoula to pick up the shuttle to the race start on Blue Mountain. I arrived as early as I could handle, with about 45 minutes to sit around and wait for the race start. I practiced my race pace a bit. Used the port-a-potties numerous times (I always freak out that I’ll have to go in the middle of the race and end up waiting in some port-a-potty line while minutes tick by and my pace goes down the tubes).

Finally it was time to go. The race organizers forgot the “READY, SET, GO!” and the cannon went BOOM and we went off. The first 5 miles or so are pretty much all downhill, with very slight inclines between the downhill portions. Thanks to the downhill, up until mile 9 I was (AMAZINGLY) set to finish in almost exactly 2 hours. That would have been about a 9:53 mile pace, and I was going faster then that. Then, the prior day’s 5k started to wear on me. I could feel my left hamstring making the old familiar “I’m unhappy” twinges. But I dug deep and decided to focus on my pace and cadence and stick to my plan–walk all the aid stations. My pace slowed a bit, but I finished exactly as I had planned. I was shooting for somewhere between 2:10 and 2:20, and I finished in 2:12:28 with a 10:07 race pace. And because I laid back a little bit at the end, I finished the race with plenty left in the gas tank.

I usually sprint the last half mile to mile, full out at a 5:15 or less mile pace. But for some reason, maybe because I didn’t realize it was about to be over, I didn’t get my sprint into gear until the last quarter mile. It’s okay though, no regrets, a great race, a great time had, and I feel super strong from it.

After a couple of days recovery I’m back into training and getting ready for the next race and the road to marathon success. Next up is the Idaho Falls Half Marathon in two weeks, where I’m hoping to PR and sub 2 hour thanks to a super fast course (straight downhill for 6 miles then perfectly flat for the rest…are you kidding?!). Then I’ll continue increasing my mileage as I prep for the Two Bear Marathon. I am considering, and it will depend on other vacation plans, doing the Pocatella Marathon a few weeks before the Two Bear as a training run. Two Bear is going to be so brutal, Pocatella might be a good prep for all that elevation gain… but we shall see.

That’s all for now. My stats weren’t anything to report about, I was basically at the beginning of the middle of the pack, at the end of the first 1/3 of all the finishers. I’m happy with that.

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  1. I’m doing the Idaho Falls Half Marathon too! I’m looking forward to it, especially the downhill portion. I’m also doing the Madison Half Marathon the next day, so I too will experience starting a race on tired legs. Hope they go well.

    Good luck!

    • Dan, that’s great! We should plan to meet up at the start and say hello.

      • That’d be great! Given that it’s going to be a small race I’m sure it’ll be easy to meet up at the start and get some tips from a local. Fire me an email as the date approaches and we’ll make it happen (herrsolera@gmail.com).

      • Why did you choose the Idaho Falls Half? Just right time, right place?

      • I wanted to save myself the money of having to fly out west twice, so I looked for double-ups in the region. Not the best or most inspiring reason, but there it is šŸ™‚

  2. Good luck!

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