Holiday Halfathon Race Report
Conditions- The conditions were decent. Temp was in the middle 60s, with only a 5-8 mph headwind the majority of the way (which is better than it normally is.) The course is a certified point-to-point, so the headwind can be an issue. 3 bridges, but pancake flat otherwise with a couple of 90 degree turns, but easily manageable.
Race Prep- Could have been better. Not running when I was in Ireland for 8 days two weeks ago seems, in retrospect, an unfortunate detractor from my fitness. Diet has been pretty crappy overall. Weight is in the upper 140s, about 7 pounds too many.
Goals- “A” 1:13:30-50s “B” Sub 1:15, “C” top 5.
The field- Really, it was just me versus myself today. I wasn’t really in a “racing” mood today, as I was truly shooting to PR and be in the 1:13s for the first time ever. Turned out only Anthony and Sean were up for going that quick. Anthony turned out to be a huge help once he settled into the pace I wanted- 5:38-5:39. I was very thankful for that.
The race- For the first 7 miles, Anthony and I traded second and third or hung side-by-side at 5:39 pace talking about 15-20 seconds behind Sean who, as expected, went out fast. Sean hung on however a lot longer than we both thought he would. I kind of wished he would just stay with us, as it makes it more fun and relaxing. We caught him at mile 6-7 and he humorously asked us, “Where have you guys been?” when we evened with him and passed him. I think Anthony and I both knew it was a good idea to definitively pass Sean at this point or else our pace would have dropped to “race pace.” Ideally Sean would hold with us, but we wanted to keep clicking off the miles at 5:38-5:39 per mile. I really wanted to PR, so I was in no mood to play racing games.
Everything was going smooth until mile 11 began. That was the end for me. My breathing dropped to a 2:1 scheme and then even a 1:1 ratio. It was also really unfortunate to have NO mile marker for this mile. I had entered the stage where I was beginning to just hang on, but I think I had enough to recover if I began to slip. I didn’t realize mile 11 had ended until 11.3 or so and that there was no marker, and at that point it was too late. My pace had dipped so much I had lost about 23 seconds. I tried the best I could to recover, but I had resigned myself at that point to not being able to reach my main goal. I was cooked.
Mile 12 and 13 were a blur of… annoyance. 13.1 was also uncomfortable, as I saw 1:14:4x on the display and couldn’t even leg it out under 1:14:59. Bummer.
Place Runner Gun Time Pace
1 Anthony 1:14:11.9 5:40/M
2 Me 1:15:02.1 5:44/M
3 Sean 1:17:59.9 5:57/M
4 Lee 1:18:07.4 5:58/M
5 Chris 1:19:34.5 6:04/M
6 Mike 1:20:01.1 6:06/M
Overall, I'm proud I regularly run with 4 of the other top 5 guys. That was cool to see us all finish near the top! On a personal note, I’m a little dejected at my effort. I have the fitness to run 1:13 but, there were times during the race where I just didn’t feel like running fast. I didn’t like that feeling when I let it partially take over at mile 11-12. I especially am not proud of losing 50 seconds in the span of 2.5 miles to another racer who also was losing time.
Takeaways- I need more mileage. I need consistent weeks (no Ireland breaks!). My fat needs to come down. I need a speed-work partner. Running all my speed work solo has produced zero PRs in the past year. Zero. Anyone have any other thoughts on breaking out of this funk?
Splits- 5:49, 5:38, 5:36, 5:52, 5:34, 5:47, 5:53, 5:30, 5:38, 5:43, ~5:44, ~5:51, 5:57, Finish ~0:31