Another day, another milestone along the path during the year of the marathon. And while I had failed more than one training session in the preceding week, I wasn’t feeling all too bad, physically at least. I woke up to that feeling you get, the one when you know you should just roll back over and write-off the day.
This race really did confirm the difference the weather makes. It was dull, overcast day, with a fair bit of wind chill; enough to make me regret my lack of arm warmers within a minute of leaving the apartment. Overall throughout the race, it was a comfortable temperature. Not too warm, and the wind wasn’t too cold.
The Baby Bottle
Having learnt my lesson on a recent LSR, this marked my first event with carrying a bottle. As stupid as it sounds, it made more of a difference than I expected. My LSRs are all about doing the distance and surviving. The rules are just to cover the distance, no matter what the speed.
Racing is different, although try as I do, and despite what my splits look like, I really am unable to pace myself. I start the run and try to find a rhythm. In every race so far, this has been faster than just about every training run I’ve done. At times I look at my watch and see the pace, it is nearly impossible to speed up or slow down. Usually I can get small increments, but definitely not a full on pace change.
This hit home more so in this race as I wasn’t physically tired during it, at least until the back hill for miles 11 and 12. I remember running along the road outside the park, not feeling tired, but just feeling bored and wondering why I was continuing. Except that I’d have to stop and still walk the same distance, it almost felt like I could have stopped there. Physically it did hit me a little during the uphill section on miles 11/12, and I did slow down more than usual, but once we levelled out I was back up to the 4:40 splits. I even crossed the line not far out of breath, with water still in the bottle, and not all that thirsty.
Rinse and Repeat
My official time was 01:44:57, Pos 1448, Chip Time 01:40:41, Chip Position 1317. My GPS records confirm I even beat my 10 Mile time, and by a sizeable margin too. I do have to put it down to the bottle/weather, and not training. A category position of 569 has me a bit down position wise, and its further off my 10km position which had me in the top 20%.
Given this was my first and last half marathon, I’m happy its over. The big day is almost here and at this point I’m pretty sure I’ll be able for it physically. Mentally is another story and will definitely be the determining factor on the day.