Race Report: Phil Doganiero 3 Bridge Half Marathon, Clearwater, FL
Result: 2nd in age group, 10th overall male, 11th overall.
Race: I figured no one knew about the $25,000 being given away for the top 5 places at this race so I'd run it even though I am out of shape and might accidentally fall into some free money, but unfortunately it was clear I was not going to place in the money spots by the first mile. I was kind of right- only 328 runners showed up, but unfortunately a couple of semi-pros found out about it :)
I did not get passed by anyone after the first 100 meters- but I did not really put myself in a position to be passed either. I was overtly conservative thinking sub 6:00/miles would be a breeze- and why push myself if there was no money involved? Instead I just wanted to build my confidence... I was wrong. Running the 6/mile pace became impossible. Then 6:20 was a struggle, then 6:40... then miles 9 and 10 were both over 7:10/mile. At mile 11, the 2nd overall female and another male caught up to me and we talked for a bit, but the competitor in me did not want to be beaten, so I sped up and put about 10 seconds on them for the finish. I regret that a bit (leaving them behind), but hey it is a race and it's not like I caught up to them and chatted them up then passed them, it was the other way around.
In the end, this race was a bit humiliating. I tried really hard and still ran a time that is one of the worst of my running career. I've run 27 half marathons and only 3 were slower than 1:20. I had not run this bad since 2013 when I was averaging 30 miles a week and thought long runs were anything over 5 miles.
I was tired, unmotivated, and did not enjoy being back in a race. The worst part was the race started the exact opposite- I was engaged, relaxed, and ready to have fun with whatever happened. It might be best to throw this one out the window.
In hindsight (and with certain bias), I really should have just kept up the mileage the last two weeks and not bothered "tapering" for this. Considering I ran a trail marathon six days ago, I guess you cannot really call it tapering, but still- a big waste of two weeks.
Training-wise, I need to lose weight- both fat and muscle. I need to add more speed (longer than 3 miles). Lastly, I need to run with faster people who are willing to push with me.