Tuesday, March 20, 2012

National Half Marathon Race Report

"We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!" 
- Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) from "Ghostbusters"

"We came...."
For some reason, I had a score to settle with the half marathon distance, mostly because I have been stuck with a 5 min time window with it for exactly two years. Ever since my 1:45:19 at the NYC Half in March 2010, the only half marathons ran since then were in Half Ironman races and the runs were mostly in the 1:47-1:50 range (besides a few).

"We saw...."
So other than the blizzard that turned the Manhattan Half back in January from a PR attempt to a 16.5 mile fun run in the snow followed by bagels and the MOST amazing shower ever, THIS was my first opportunity in two years to finally put some damage into this ancient PR.

"We kicked its ass!"
I ANNIHILATED that poor poor 1:45:19. Turned it into a....



Hello almost 13 min PR!

My race strategy was this: Run by feel, and use my mile splits to gauge how I was doing. I basically was shooting for a 7 min/mile pace so anything faster than that was gravy and anything slower meant I had to pick it up, but mostly I went off of perceived effort. And this worked perfectly! I ran a VERY consistent race. Here are the nitty gritty details: Pace + (HR)

Mile 01: 6:56 (169)
Mile 02: 6:53 (174)
Mile 03: 6:55 (175)
Mile 04: 6:55 (176)
Mile 05: 7:13 (176)
Mile 06: 7:10 (177)
Mile 07: 7:27 (178)
Mile 08: 7:03 (175)
Mile 09: 6:56 (174)
Mile 10: 6:52 (171)
Mile 11: 7:02 (173)
Mile 12: 7:18 (175)
Mile 13: 7:00 (173)

The course was not flat, and you can see this from miles 5-8 when my pace dropped a tad while my HR rose slightly. I basically "kept it under control" during the climbs, yet tried not to sprint the massive downhills from mile 8 to 11-ish.

Mile 12 SUCKED so bad! That was by far the most painful mile of the entire race. And yet I rallied for the final mile. That last mile was the actually the most enjoyable of them all, surprisingly. Wasn't a huge fan of the uphill finish, but was glad to finish the race before it started to really really hot and sunny out.

This PR was a long time coming. It just shows how a year of Ironman training really bumps you up a few notches and then with only really 3 months of actual hard run training, I have faaaarrrr exceeded anything I thought I was capable of only two years ago. Not even three years ago could I break 2 hours! Just shows that hard work pays off. Not much else to it, besides a love of pain ;)

Gonna put this (stand alone) distance down for awhile again. Will be doing two more this season, but as part of half ironman races again. Its now all about the bike and how that fitness will show how well I can run off the bike. My goals for those two runs will be to get as close as possible to this new PR.

Congrats and high fives to everyone who attempted, finished, and PR-ed their half and full marathons this past weekend at National. Was great seeing everyone before during or after the race! There were a lot of you out there!



  1. Congrats on the HUGE PR in the SunTrust Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield Rock and Roll USA Nation’s Capital Half Marathon (STCFBCBSR'n'RUSANCHM for short).

  2. Wow that's a big PR!!! You are now officially Mr. Speedy!

  3. GREAT FREAKING JOB! :) Nice work running by "feel" since your HR was damn steady haha, looks like it felt horrible the whole time ;)

    Are you seriously punching her in the stomach in that picture?!?! Gosh, I thought you were all friends??? haha

  4. Congrats on a bad ass PR! I loved seeing you fly by at the start! I thought to myself "hmmm remember when Jon used to say I was faster than him at running? Pretttty sure those days are over." You maintained excellent pacing on those hills, I am seriously impressed. Dude, 2012 is going to be the year of PR after PR for you.

  5. That Connecticut Avenue hill is a monster - great work powering over it and congrats on the new PR.

  6. Thanks for the attempted shout out :) Way to seriously rock your race. It was one of the top performances of the day! Also, my mom will be excited that the shower in their apartment made the blog, again.

  7. Congrats on the PR!!! You killed it out there.

    Nice tan lines! haha

  8. Katie's RAWR face totally trumps yours. Just saying.

    WAY TO FREAKING GO OUT THERE! That's a MAJA PR!!!!! Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Wow dude - that is awesome!!! hoping to replicate some of your PR-ness in a few weeks in April when me & JPow take on CP! Rock on.

  10. 13 minute PR?!?! You do realize that's basically a FULL minute faster per mile, right?? You are SO speedy now - that is amazing!! Congrats!! p.s. LOVE the Ghostbusters quote

  11. Hells yes! Now don't go expecting 13 minute PR's everywhere, they are few and far between. :)

  12. WOW, just freakin' Wow! Congrats Jon! You are a great inspiration.

  13. Congratulations! Sorry I didn't get to see you at all this weekend. Also, it looks like you are punching Beth in the stomach in that picture.

  14. Awesome. Seems like a consensus that mile 12 sucked majorly. Congrats.

  15. the fact that you quoted ghostbusters puts you on a new page in the friend book.

  16. Great race buddy! Congrats on the bigtime PR!

  17. Congrats on the huge PR! I'm sorry that I missed you out on the course, but I'm going to say it was because you were going too fast. Totally not my fault.

  18. Holy crap! Way to go!! That is just fantastic to blow it out of the water by so much. Love the finish photo there. Nice tan lines for sure.

  19. That is an awesome new PR! Congrats!

  20. Nice! awesome effort congrats on the PR you crushed that thing!

  21. Nice work! Do you already have a short-sleeve tan line?!

  22. Nice work!!! Complete destruction of your PR! On a flatter course, I bet you could get even faster, somewhere around 1:30 or something like that!

  23. You're a stud! Way to go on a HUGE race! That's a ridiculous time to knock off the ole PR. Sweet! You've obviously been out biking or running with those sweet tan lines. Nice!

  24. Ahh-mazing! Speedy speedy. Congrats on one heckuva PR!

  25. OMG - Beth's comment has me in tears.

    That is a huge PR buddy. Way to embrace that 1:45 and then smash it to smithereens......hot damn!

    BTW - that is some gun show going on there.

  26. WOOHOO! Congrats on totally kicking ass! Yay for a new PR!! That is so awesome!


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