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