|Someone needs to fix this defective bell.|
Normally, this would be an ideal time to travel since the week of the race doesn't include too many miles. However, when you mix fewer miles with increased food intake, you get to come home with a little more
So here's my recap of race week:
Monday - Race pace for 13 miles (over training)
Tuesday - Awake for 23 hours getting to Philly
Wednesday - Miss run, over eat
Thursday - Over eat
Friday - Arrive back home from Philly 2 -3 lbs heavier
Saturday - Spend most of the day outside working or getting sun
Sunday - Race Day
Now it's time to overcome all that and race my first half marathon in almost 2 years. I honestly wasn't feeling very fit come race morning, and my final couple taper runs felt hard. I was just hoping to get lucky and run about the same time that I did on Monday when I felt good and logged just under a 1:38:00 for 13 miles, before all that nonsense I put myself through the previous 6 days.
The race conditions were near ideal: mostly flat, 50º weather, little bit of a breeze (in Kansas terms). My plan was to stay near a 7:30 pace and try to hold it as long as I could. After 3 or 4 miles into the race, the initial adrenaline had worn off, and I was still questioning if the race would turn out as I wanted it to.
I think the turning point came around mile 7. I was maintaining a pretty steady pace, but it was starting to feel more effortless, or like I was finally loosening up. My mile 7 split clocked in at a 7:22. By this point in the race, the runners were starting to get spread out, and little did I know I was really starting to negative split the rest of the way.
I think there were only 2 runners who passed me from here, meaning they were running the second half faster too. One of those runners was a girl. I was getting chicked. Not a big deal to get passed, she was running her pace, I was running mine. She slowly pulled away from me while staying in sight over the next couple miles. She was looking strong, but keeping track of her gave me something to focus on. All the while I'm thinking to myself, now I can blog about getting chicked, and I started composing a race report in my head. I thought it kinda funny to be thinking about what to write on my blog as I'm trying to excel in a half marathon. Then around mile 10 something happened. Not to me, but to the chick doing the chicking. She stopped to stretch her leg. Must be cramping. She was far enough ahead that I didn't catch up to her by the time she was running again, but for the first time, I felt I could catch her. To my surprise, she continued to run strong. If I get to the point where my legs are cramping, then I'm probably to the point where I'm about to walk (or not run strong). Hats off to her. If I was running a steady pace, I still might not have caught her, but this was turning out to be my day and my pace was now up to about 7:15 and I passed her at mile 11 being sure to say good job to her as I did.
Also at mile 11, I glanced at my heart rate which was looking good, and I was starting to taste the finish, so I decided it was time to drop the hammer, which in my case is more like a plastic toy hammer and bring on the speed.
In looking back at the splits from my Garmin, I'm really proud of my last 2 miles. I had hoped to run a sub 7:30 average pace, and in my ideal scenario, maybe some 7:15 splits, but I was ecstatic when I downloaded my race data and discovered mile 12 was a 7:04 while mile 13 was 6:55! My official race time was 1:36:02 and I PR'd by over 6 minutes. Not to mention, my best case scenario was to finish in the 1:37 - 1:38 time frame.
There were a lot of runners that day setting personal bests, and that caused a lot of excitement at the finish line during the post race festivities. I got to see and talk to a lot of runner friends who showed up, some who didn't even participate in the race. Also, this event was about the first chance for everyone who is not 2Slow4Boston (aka those who ran in the 2011 Boston Marathon) to make an appearance back on the local scene, and you could tell who they all were cause they had their nice new Boston Marathon jackets on. I'd bet it could have been 95º out, and they would still be representing with their jackets. I would be, they looked cool.
Here are my splits:
About the only thing I can think of that went wrong for my race is it took me 20 seconds after I finished to stop my watch.
|2Slow4Boston's Wichita Half Marathon Stats|
|Average Heart Rate||182|
|Max Heart Rate||202|