Just catching up on stuff. Happy thanksgiving to all!
Pre Race: I had a free entry into the Baltimore Half Marathon due to an injury deferment last year, so I decided last minute to ramp up and run. I managed to complete 4 long runs (7, 8.5, 10, 11.5) six days apart before a 2-week taper. The distances were hard each time, as I have not run over 6.2 since last season. I went into the race with slow times and was just planning on making a fun day of it.
Race Morning: I went in late planning to arrive 5-10 min before the gun allowing for a short warm up. I ate my usual hardboiled eggs and yams for breakfast and took a gel a few minutes before the race. The POP lines were long and I opted no to go, having left the house only 1 hour before. By mile 3, I had regretted my decision.
I wanted to take off with the 11:00 mile pace group and have a leisurely run, but there were no pace groups. So I just decided to follow the pack and settled behind a young gal who set a moderately hard pace for me. By the mile 3, I had a surprisingly good time. I was running sub 10 min/miles, barely. The merge with the marathoners went well as it was not too crowded. However, the crowds for the POP were long every mile. The course, as usual, is full of supporting and loudly cheering Baltimoreans. The water stops were apply supplied and staffed.
I knew that the back half had more downhill sections and therefore would be faster, so I thought if I could hang on for 3 more miles, I might be able to go under 10 min/mile pace. Mile 6 I had to stop and look at packaging for gels to get one without caffeine, so I was behind. I wore sport bifocals for the first time and that went well. Mile 8 was really hard.
I put in a 9:03 mile 11, which is amazingly fast for me. When I realized my goose was cooked and I was about done, my Garmin said 11.8. I hung on with sheer mental effort. It took Ironman kind of effort, but I really wanted a single digit (9.XX min/mile pace). When I crossed the finish line, my Garmin read 9:54 min/mile, for 13.23 miles. The official time was 2:11:11, at 10:01 pace. I was peeved. The course was long. I would of ran 11 seconds faster if I had known, maybe.
I had just run my second fastest time on a day when I was just out for some fun. Lesson learned: always race hard with what you bring to the starting line; you never know when you will have a good day. I made the top 1/3 of my AG, which was nice. It was another great end to a season.
1- 10:10, 2-10:05, 3-9:36, 4-9:59
5- 9:55 6-10:21 7-10:07, 8-10:21,
9-10:04, 10- 9:53, 11: 9:05. 12-9:53,
13 9:17 .23- 9:07