AM: 17 miles. 2 up, half marathon, 2 down.
Well, I got that knocked off my to-do list. I haven't done a running race since October 2018. I had some phenomenal training in 2019 and got sick a few weeks before Glass City and didn't make it to the line and then sick after Iceman leading into a 50k trail race (an awful respiratory illness that took months to get over). COVID hit not long after that and I was still recovering into 2020. Mental health was pretty brutal for a while, we bought a house, had the boys and I took a lot of time off. Spent a good deal of time riding bikes, especially in 2022 when I devoted almost all of my time to cycling with 1-2 runs a week. Broke my elbow in August 2022 and moved back to a running focus in October. It's been a good bit of ups and down since then, but here I am.
Signed up for these low key race around August I think. I knew it wouldn't be fast, but I was getting excited about it, especially after getting through my bike race last week. I had none of the nerves and irritability I did and usually do. SO I was thankful for that.
Race was uneventful and I generally felt pretty decent. I expect to run around 1:30-1:33, but figured I could get back under 90' and use that as momentum to rebuild. I haven't run a lot of miles under 7' in the last three years since we have been in the house. In fact, I am pretty sure I can count them on one hand. Workouts have been okay, but I haven't done a workout or long run in 5 weeks. Based on my last workout, I figured 7:00-7:05 would be a good starting pace, hoping to cut down throughout the race.
Warmed up 2 miles and did some very light strides. Went out in the 6:40 range (the 90' pacer was way out ahead and I know better than to rely on them as they are often terrible). Slowed just a little as things settled in. I was a little nervous, but the first few miles also felt quite easy, more like marathon effort. When I checked after my HR was in the mid to upper 160s, so not too difficult at all, so I stuck with it and tried to run with the some small groups of young people. Clipped along and felt generally pretty good. Mostly flat course with some gentle ups and downs, until the last mile or so, which is a bit windy and grindy. Tried to pick it up but I don't have a lot of leg speed right now. Managed a half-hearted kick at just under 6' pace, coming in under 1:28.
2 mile cool down.
Pretty satisfied with the effort. Need to relearn how to race. Not sure where I am going from here. More consistent mileage in the 50-70 mile range and get back into midweek workouts and long run workouts. Maybe a spring half and try to bring my half marathon time back down into the low-1:20 range and move into some shorter stuff to work on my 5k-10k speed before taking a crack at running something under 1:20 next fall and keep going before I get old. I am convinced I can still run PRs (I'll be 39 in January), but man, it is hard getting out of shape. I am back rolling now though. Feels really good.
Splits: 6:53, 6:46, 6:40, 6:38, 6:38, 6:39, 6:42, 6:37, 6:36, 6:46, 6:44, 6:33, 6:40, 5:57 for the partial