Today started well. No rain and I felt good. I got to the start and then I warmed up and stretched after going to the bathroom twice. The first problem started when I got in line to check my bag. It was a total clusterfuck. The lines were everywhere. The volunteers were doing all that they could but the system was screwed up. I handed my bag in with 10 until start. I had to pee so I got in line but I ran out of time. I was going to pee behind some construction equipment but it was on National Park grounds and I felt bad. The real reason why I didn't was that I was wearing the colors of my new training team and if I got into trouble I didn't want to disgrace the team so I said whatever and ran to the line.
I got across the mat 10 seconds after the start. I caught up to Jesse and settled into mid 5:30s pace. I couldn't believe how easy it felt and I noticed I was picking up the pace so I settled down a bit. It was all good until about mile 6 or 7 when we climbed the Rock Creek Parkway hill. It was a monster. Jesse and I dropped a 6:20 and he took off after that but I couldn't maintain.
It felt all wrong. Since I'm used to 10Ks and 5Ks I kept trying to push the pace and felt as though I wasn't going fast enough but I also didn't want to dig myself into a hole (which I did anyway). I lost my pack and did half of the race by myself. I tried to put in a few surges but my legs were not having it. Again I was too afraid to hammer (good thing). We kept going up hill and the downhills were short. The course was really rough. In fact, I've learned that the Boston course has nothing on this half course. Anyway I held on the best I could running by myself.
I went through 10 in a new PR of 56:27 so I wasn't too bad but I wanted to be with Jesse in the 1:13 pace range. I just couldn't do it. There are no miracles in distance running. Since I knew his mileage was was about 20 mpw more than mine I should accept it but I feel as though I didn't execute the race correctly since I overestimated my fitness and went too quickly. I have to realize half and full marathoning are completely different ball games compared to 5 and 10 ks.
All in all it wasn't an outstanding race for me but it wasn't a bad race for me. I also haven't been targeting half marathon fitness. I feel like I should have incorporated a tad slower but longer (8-12) mile tempo runs. The problem is is that I don't have the time. I'll try to get a solid long tempo in after my file 21 mile long run two weeks from this Sunday.
Since the race was hilly, it is a good indicator of my goals for Boston. I plugged my time into McMillan and it came out with 2:37. 6:00 flat pace. Easy and perfect as a goal for me at Boston. If I can run that, I will be much happier with my performance there than I was with my performance today.
P.S. This is only the second half I've ever run. the first was two years ago. A 9 minute PR isn't too bad.
You will notice that I slowed down in no-mans land. NO GOING OUT TOO FAST for me in Boston. Lesson learned.
For shits and giggles: Me two years ago at my first half. a 9 minute PR today!