Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chilly Half Marathon 1:23:22, 8th place

The only other time I've run a half marathon was in the Bassman Half over three years ago, and it was a 1:5x:xx that was a terrible experience. For this one, I decided to use my fall tri training as base and just throw in some extra long runs in the few weeks following my last tri. I made it up to about 12 miles once or twice, with maybe 4 miles at a tempo pace, so I wouldn't say I was fully prepared. The day before the race I drove up to Boston to meet Mike Abbene of NECTC fame because I was staying at his apartment. It's a little funny because he tends to prefer longer tris, so I give him a hard time for having no speed, while he tells me I'm too afraid to race for more than an hour, so I was on his turf of the longer distance stuff.
Warm up consisted of running around trying to find a bathroom, stretching, experimenting with different clothing configurations until I settled on one in the mid-40s temperatures of the Massachusetts morning.
Start of the race I tried really hard not to go out too hard like I usually do in running races (my first open 10k I ran a 2:12 opening 800m, ended up not breaking 40 min) and I think it paid off.
The middle of the course between about miles 5.5 to 8 were pretty hilly, and this happened to be just as I was leaving my 6.2 mile comfort zone, but then we got to run down Heartbreak Hill and after that, it was pretty flat. I hit the 9 mile mark in 57:xx and remembered Mike challenging me to break his 1:21:03 PR, so I tried to take things up a notch, but that didn't last long and I started to doubt whether I'd even make 1:25. I started getting sick about mile 12 but I just tried to take it in with some dignity to hold onto 8th place, too.
Taking in a little bit of agua
this is how NOT to run

So, I'm glad I did this, but I don't know if I'll be doing a half marathon and/or 70.3 tri in the near future. Having done pretty well for minimal training, I can see what it will take to do really well (repeating this time in a tri), and that kind of training is not something I think I would enjoy at this point.
For the data-geeks like me, here's the Timex file:
I'm not sure why the distance is so far off on the file. My watch read 12.95 originally, and this is supposedly a USATF certified course. My watch auto-lapped every mile, too.

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