Warmup: 2.66 mi, 0.5 at threshold pace, 20:07, 7:34/mi, HR 146. Half-Marathon: 13.1 mi, 1:23:48, 6:24/mi, HR 165. Cooldown: 4.34 mi, 34:10, 7:53/mi, HR 139.
Perfect weather for the race, ~50F, overcast/foggy, no wind, absolutely perfect. Course was relatively flat...the grades so subtle in virtually all areas that they weren't noticable. Felt a bit of tiredness in the legs during the warmup but that's happened before so no mind. The 1/2 mile threshold portion felt a bit hard but been there before to so no worries. Goals for the race were to "hang it out there a bit more", keep all my miles at 6:30/mi and under and try for a sub-1:25 time. Reach goal was for under 1:24. Lesson learned from last year, line up in the front since my top-15 finish last year should be better this year, and plenty of folks rabbit the first 1/4 mile.
Splits (from garmin):
- 6:23 - Fast start. Backed off the 2nd 1/2 mile. Slight downhill.
- 6:21 - More slight downhill.
- 6:30 - Flattened out with a couple of turns. Still getting into the groove start of slight uphill. No one manning the water-point and didn't want to take time to stoop for a cup.
- 6:26 - More slight uphill for a while.
- 6:26 - Pushing through more slight uphill. In 9th place by now. Got passed by 1 runner. Finally got a water stop here, preceeded by a GU.
- 6:18 - Some slight downhill. Working the tangents better than most anyone ahead.
- 6:24 - Lonely long stretch to the turnaround.
- 6:29 - Back up the slight incline for the next couple of miles. Believe I'm in 7th place here. Caught the next runner at the end of this mile and but he doesn't let me go.
- 6:25 - Still on the uphill with the trailer.
- 6:17 - Trying my hardest to shake my trailer but it just isn't happening. Got a bit of downhill.
- 6:15 - Pushing hard to see if I can sneak under 1:24. Trading places with my trailer. At this point, started working with him to push ourselves to get below 1:24.
- 6:13 - Ouch.
- 6:15 - Legs suddenly zapped and pace feels like it drops dramatically. Must be the slight incline that no longer feels so slight. Believe it or not, actually caught another runner here. Desperately trying not to let my pacer pull away but he does get about 10 seconds on me.
- 1:06 (0.2 mi, 5:38/mi pace) - Push to the end, only to see 1:24:xx on the clock. Wha??? Clock is so hosed.
So the Garmin splits are a bit off but they pretty much tell the pacing story. At the mile 10 marker, I had exactly 19 minutes of running time left to get 1:24:00, so I knew a sub-1:24 was possible but going to be close and it would hurt. The guy I traded places with for a while and I really pushed one another through this stretch (when I passed him initially, he was having a bad stretch on the slight uphill but got stronger and really pulled me towards the end). I've run exactly 1 sub-19 minute 5K in my life (okay, so only 3 real 5Ks, but still) but I really wanted it bad and really just pushed the last 3 miles, telling myself over and over it's just a 5K race so run your 5K pace. Well, it wasn't my real 5K pace but it got the job done.
The clock snafu at the end was a bit upsetting, but (thankfully) the course makes a 90 degree right-hand turn about 100 yards from the finish so I didn't see the clock until I was already deep in my kick (what little kick I had left). After crossing, I consulted with my watch and the other finishers and determined that it was 1 minute fast...dunno how that happened but at least the chip times and official results got it right. A 7:19 PR over last year on this course, another half-marathon PR over the one I set 2 weeks ago, AND finally a new overall PR using the McMillan Running Calculator equivalent projections, something I haven't had since March. Quite happy with the race, although it definitely took more out of me than the one 2 weeks ago (guess I sandbagged a bit, although it didn't feel like it). Also pleased to be able to finish the final 3 miles so strong (although I felt weak), take 6th overall, and 1st in my AG (although the overall winner was also in my AG, but hey). Finally, really happy my wife came along for this race....it's been a while since our schedules aligned for her to attend a race and despite a brief unscheduled nap, she managed to make the finish line in time for me to come across.
Despite applying liberal body-glide to my left foot, I still got the hot-spot on the outside bottom (ball) under/near the 5th metatarsal, so I guess it's not all just friction. The NB903s are definitely out as marathon shoes but I'll still race 1/2s and under in them and hopefully over time my feet will adapt.
Finally, my HR throughout was low for racing a half. Typically, I'll average 168-172. This one I averaged 165 and only briefly got above 170. Very strange and I can only hypothesize that it was the weather conditions.
Cooldown lap around the airfield. Really slow and easy.
NB 903 - 94.51 miles.