Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Finally Beat My Old Half Marathon PB - Johnny Miles

My old half PB was set in September 2006 - 2:14:27. I've run a couple halfs since then, and a full, but haven't raced a half... I've been working on 10k races and beating the mental barrier that I had with being uncomfortable. I wasn't sure exactly what I should aim for in a half, so I figured I'd aim for somewhere between 2:05-2:10. I figured 2:10 was pretty doable, but would really like closer to 2:05. However, I didn't want to go out too hard and then blow the chance to PB at all.

Anyway. Here are the splits:

1- 5:58
2- 5:45
3- 5:56
4- 5:50
5- 5:46 (29:15 5k)
6- 6:13 - gel/walk
7- 5:58
8- 6:00
9- 6:00
10- 5:58 (59:24 10k, 2nd 5k in 30:09)
11- 6:16 - gel/walk
12- 6:12
13- 5:56
14- 6:39 - major side stitch, had to walk
15- 5:59 (1:30:26 15k, 3rd 5k in 31:02)
16- 6:18
17- 6:45 - gel/walk (mental break when I realized I'd easily PB)
18- 5:50
19- 6:20
20- 6:15 (2:01:54 20k, 4th 5k in 31:28)
21- 5:34
21.1k in 2:07:57

The first 10k was pretty congested as the 10k, half and full all ran it together, but it was pretty enjoyable. I like this race a lot and really enjoyed the first 10k. I just went whatever pace felt good and occasionally looked at my pace. I figured I'd just run, sort of aim for 6:00 pace, and see if I could hold on. My old injury (hip) started to twinge from about 1k on, especially on any inclines. Luckily, this course was really flat.

My 5k splits show how I was feeling. After the 10k-ers turned off to the finish line, the congestion was pretty much gone. It was nice to have some room again. (This course is 10k loops.) I was starting to notice just how salty I was, and was getting pretty hot. So, sometimes I'd take a quick little walk break. The iPod was a treat. I am used to racing without music and I really enjoyed having it to distract me.

I looked at my garmin at 17k and knew I was on pace for a PB, and though it was hurting, I could hang on to that PB for another half hour of running. Seems I let myself take a nice long walk here, judging by the splits. The last 500m of this race is across a bridge and then into the finish chute. Track work really helped as I knew I could speed up and hold it for basically one 400m repeat. I passed a woman, then she passed me back and I thought "Oh no you don't...." and I sped up. She didn't pass me again, and looking at my finish line pics, she wasn't far behind me! I passed quite a few people in the last 100m as I just gave it everything that I had left.

I'm pleased with my time. This really is one of my favorite races. I might have had a better time had I not taken a few extra walks, but who knows. It's obvious I was tiring as the time went on, but my 21st kilometer was the fastest of them all. Maybe there is a 2:05 in there for the fall. But for now, I'm pretty happy with cutting off six and a half minutes from my old PB. And I had a great day with some good friends.

The race photos are up now, and mine are here. Not bad, considering I usually look like I'm either dying or on some serious drugs in other race photos!