It’s been 2 years since I ran my last half marathon so I was extremely excited as our local race approached. It would be my fourth half.
I had not trained as rigorously as I needed to as this race approached. Yet, I had done a respectable 11 mile run two weeks ago and a 12.27 mile run three weeks ago. I felt nervous but ready to conquer today’s course.
We all gathered at the Start Line at 6:45 AM. I spoke with a few friends and wished them well as I gathered with the folks around the 2:30 pace runner. I suspected that I would finish closer to 2:15 but I wanted to intentionally start out slow, settle into the race and save my energy for the whole course. (I’ve never finished a half without walking. I wanted to change that on this run.) After someone sang a beautiful rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner,” we waited for the race to begin.
The weather was nice for the race. It was sunny and 50* when the race started. It climbed to 64* by the time I finished.
I think it was a horn that blew and we took off. The race had started!
As I look back over my initial paces, I can see that I started
faster than I needed to. (Unfortunately, I tracked my mileage on my phone and never took a look at it during the race.) Mile 1 was 9’48”, mile 2 was 9’34” and mile 3 was 9’18.” I find this hard to believe because I was intentionally trying to keep it slow. I certainly didn’t think that I was getting faster so soon in the race.
Mile 3 was the fastest mile of the race. Mile 4 was 9’29” followed by mile splits that progressively got slower and slower until mile 10. I had to begin walking for very short periods at about the 3.5 mile mark (I also noticed that my HR hit its peak at that point – 191bpm!). So, the simple explanation for the excess walking I did in the race appears to be due to the fact I exerted more energy than I should have at the outset. I started too quickly.
|My peak HR was around mile 3.5 – 191bpm!|
The only other story as I struggled to reach the finish line was that I got some much needed water at the mile 10 mark a block away from my house. But, because one (or two) hydration stations weren’t manned, we didn’t get any more water for 2.37 miles. As the temps were heating up and we were approaching the end of the race, that was the absolute worst time to not get water. I’m sure that the race organizers will not let that happen again. Year after year, I’m impressed with how good of a job that they do.
I crossed the finish line absolutely exhausted. I gladly accepted a Finisher’s medal, a cold water bottle and a banana. I found a grassy spot and dropped to the ground to consume water and carbs. I had finished, I was exhausted, but was so proud of the accomplishment.