Love the Half - Half Marathon (official time 1:54:55)
Frunners- Robin, Tim, Jeremy and Kate
I went back and forth on what to do with this race. When registered for it early summer, I didn't know that there would be a 16 mile training run scheduled for me to pace the day before (and an extra two for me, making my scheduled endurance training 18 miles). I first decided to use it as sort of a time trial and run at my marathon pace all the way through. Problem was I really don't know what my marathon pace is. I trained with the 3:50 group last spring and my marathon pace was 8:46 min/mile, but I wasn't sure if I was still at that fitness level. Then I figured it may be best just to cruise through it and use it as a recovery run. Hmm... but I have had 10-11 mile trail runs the day after long endurance runs and trail runs can be more difficult. But I could get hurt.
Dailymilers Jeremy and V.K.
Every reason I came up with to not race this, I came up with two more reasons to race it. The weather at start was 61° with 85% humidity. It felt really good out, AND today was my birthday and had I finally reached the next age group 45-49. It was a small race. When I arrived, I noticed that there were not very many people. I thought to myself, I may just be able to finally place in a race and the course is pretty close to flat. Let's see how this goes. I arrived at about 7:20 am and on my way to the port-o-potty I run into my dailymile friends, the Fermo Brothers- Jeremy and William, V.K., whom at this moment I just realized I don't know her real first name and Tim Taggert, whom really these folks have become much more than dailymile friends. We took a few pics and then the national anthem was sung. Oh wow, the whole time I thought the race started at 8am and it really starts at 7:30. Good thing I got there when I did. Ended up skipping my port-o-potty visit hoping I wouldn't end up paying for it and found my place toward the start line. The race started and I'm running trying to adjust my music - yes I still run with music, suck down energy gel and get in some more hydration. About 30 seconds into the run I discover I didn't start my Garmin. By the time I did start it, I notice I'm running at a 7:00 pace. Slow down. I catch up to the 2:00 pacers, Paul Agruso and Rick Johnson and ran with them for about half of a mile then started to pull away because my body just would not allow me to run at "only" a 9:09 min pace.
Goodies courtesy of Love the Half
I tried a new energy gel, I've been experimenting with different ones, this one I used was a little inconsistent, seems like I had 'bursts' of energy along the route instead of a steady flow. Not sure if it was the gels or if it was me. Sometimes I would look down and I'm doing about an 8:00 min pace effortlessly and then other times close to a 9:00 min pace. Once the sun came up, it warmed up a little. It was harder for me to run in the sunlit areas just from the slight temperature increase. Toward the end around mile 11.5 or 12 my legs started to tire. Somewhere around mile 10 I had looked back and saw Jeremy and gave him a shoutout. My overall average pace was at about 8:29 min mile at that point, I knew I would have to average about an 8:00 mile over the remainder of the race to break my P.R. of 1:50:09 which was doable, but I wasn't going to strain myself. So I dropped back to see how Jeremy was doing. He was on the verge of catching up with the frontrunner of the Clydesdale division. Let's go catch him. We weren't able to catch him but hopefully I helped pace Jeremy to finish with a better time than he would have if I wasn't there. We chatted for a couple miles, then I let him go as I walked through the last water stand. Jeremy ended up getting second in the Clydesdale division. Way to go. I ended up just missing placing in my age group, got 4th place and 46th overall. Afterward, I caught up with all of the folks I greeted before the race. Gotta love small races. Legs still feel great, will do some stretching and foam rolling to make sure they stay feeling that way. Now time for some football :)