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    Sunday, December 14, 2008

    Race Report - Blue and Gray Half-Marathon, Fredricksburg, VA

    Following last Wednesday I coasted into the weekend with a weights session and short three mile interval workout on Thursday. Friday and Saturday were days off from training to rest before this morning's half-marathon.

    Woke up at 5:00am to head to Fredricksburg for the race. Polished off two bowls of cereal, two cups of coffee, and a squeeze bottle of water. Thankfully I had gotten to bed relatively early the night prior so I was well rested.

    Arrived at packet pick-up by 0630 - temps were in the high 20s, low 30s and the wind was kicking like a ninja.

    Race went off at 730am. I took the first mile and half to warm up nice and slow and hit my stride. Although it was cold I was warm enough in tights, two long sleeve tee-shirts, light gloves, and stocking hat.

    The course wound out of the parking lot and headed north towards the Rappahannock River that runs through downtown Fredricksburg. We went down a long hill - 1.5 miles long to be exact past a hospital. I knew it would not be fun on the way back to the finish after 11 miles of running.

    The race then went beside a canal on a raised path then through some very pretty neighborhoods as the we wound to the half-way turn around point on the Mary Washington University campus ballfields. After running the half-way point and heading back the way we ran out the course ran fast. I developed a bit of a cramp from taking two gatorades at back to back aid stations and had to slow for about a mile to work it out.

    Once i crossed the 10 mile marker I slowed up some to pace before the huge climb back up out of the river valley. When I hit the bottom of the hill I ran hard up the hill and climbed it painfully but relatively quickly - passing at least a dozen folks who hit it at full stride.

    I ended up finishing in 1:38:40 - 7:28 miles and placed 8th overall in my age group.

    Overall this was a fitting end to my fall-season and the year in general. Open water swimming, a couple of half-marathons, an ultra, and a trail run series. Perfect because I was able to do several with friends. Add to that my overall fifth place finish in the Backyard Burn Trail Run Series and my solid run today and I am pleased.

    I am now going to stand down the next two weeks - one workout per day and relatively low intensity. I need a bit of a break. In the next few days I will post my reflections of this past year, my tenative training plans for the coming year, and my race schedule.

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