Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'm no Rocket Surgeon* - My 2011First Half Half Marathon Race Report

Somewhere around the 8 mile mark in today's race I wondered "What was I thinking?" I had decided pre-race that a 1:50 or faster race was doable, and in fact a PR was well within my reach, however 2/3 of the way through the race reality was viciously kicking in.

For your edification, you may not want to aim for a PR half marathon when:
- you did your first full marathon a month ago
- you miscommunicated with your coach, who didn't realize you had the race on your schedule, but still followed your plan and didn't taper or adjust your workouts the week prior in any way
-your longest run in the past three weeks was nowhere near a half marathon time or distance.

Seems somewhat obvious in retrospect, probably not really anything I needed to learn the hard way.

One thing I was experimenting with was running without a fuel belt or water bottle, relying entirely on the on course aid stations. There were four aid stations, one we passed twice, so not a lot of chances to drink on course.

I definitely had issues with fueling, my mile splits got progressively slower up to 6 miles. I had a gel and downed it with water from an aid station then suddenly was able to run my target pace for a mile. After that my pace dropped precipitously, I'm not sure How much of a difference having my own water would have made but the sugar rush and then crash from quickly downing a gel didn't help me much.

My mile splits are telling (I was aiming for 8:23/mile)
1 - 7:57
2 - 8:52
3 - 8:35
4 - 8:50
5 - 8:37
6 - 8:39 (ate a gel)
7 - 9:02
8 - 8:27 (gel kicked in!)
9 - 8:52 (and the gel is gone)
10 - 8:41
11 - 8:56
12 - 9:20
13 - 10:25 (seriously!)

Final time - 1:56:21

* One of the best phrases I found on the interwebs in 2010. I'm also fond of "all intensive purposes."

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