Friday, July 6, 2012

2012 Gangneung Gyungpo Marathon (Half)

2012 Gangneung Gyungpo Marathon

       What a fun weekend! This was my first overnight trip with my running club in Seoul. We chartered a bus and headed out early Saturday morning for the East Coast of Korea to participate in the half marathon, 10K and 5K.

View from our hotel room

       Arriving at the beach on Saturday afternoon, we were greeted by a cool, but beautiful landscape. The water was typical Pacific iciness, but that didn’t slow down the water enthusiasts. In smaller groups, we swam, ran, hit the restaurants, and relaxed before retiring for the evening.

Ice bath after a nice 3 mile run

       Sunday morning dawned cool and over cast, perfect for running! Several of us shunned our hats and even sunscreen, a mistake that would catch up with us later. Although it looked and even felt cool with the breeze, it was much warmer than it appeared and when the sun finally broke through the clouds, it warmed up sharply! The tail wind we didn’t notice on the way out was very apparent on the return trip, slowing even the best runners to a pace below what they had hoped for.

I swear this wasn't planned

       When I registered for this race, I had hoped for a PR. Then we decided to spend the early part of the week at Disneyland. 8 hour days on your feet does not make for a good taper, let alone getting up early and spending the day before on a bus and sleeping on a rock hard bed (Korean mattresses are little better than sleeping on the floor.) Over eating on the road didn’t help either, so by Sunday morning, I was definitely not feeling fast.

       The course was beautiful though. With lots of friends along the way, waves crashing, and lovely scenery, a PR wasn’t necessary to have a good time. On the second half, we were running into a stiff breeze and I was beginning to feel my too fast start. At one point, I felt like I was working at a 5K effort, but not going anywhere. My Garmin confirmed my pace was a full minute per mile slower than I wanted to be moving. Ugh, it was a struggle to maintain my pace and keep moving.

I love the reactions when people realize I'm running without shoes

       I was very glad to see the finish line and my husband, camera in hand, snapping away. My finish time, 2:06:49 was actually a PR for the year at least, 6 whole seconds faster than the Seoul Open back in March. This was my 5th half marathon in as many months, so I was happy to have improved.

I'm back there somewhere

Get back on the bus!!!

       After the race was another splash in the ocean followed by quick showers before checking out the hotel, grabbing lunch, and getting back on the bus with 40+ exhausted, but exhilarated and slightly inebriated, runners for the ride back to Seoul. It was a great time which I hope to repeat at least once more before we have to leave Asia.

Restocking the bus

Lessons Learned:

1) Never underestimate time on your feet, especially if you aren’t used to it. Days spend walking and standing in line will wear you out as much as high mileage runs.

2) Clouds are not sunscreen (I know this, but apparently have to relearn it every so often.)

3) Weather changes, it may be cool and lovely at the race start, but that doesn’t mean the sun won’t come out with a vengeance half way through the race.

4) A bad run with friends is still better than a good run alone!

1 comment:

Jan said...

Glad I'm not the only one who has to "re-learn" that clouds aren't sunscreen every so often.

Love your blog and your outfit is great!!