Sunday, April 02, 2006

Half As Easy - Fool

April arrived slightly faster than I was expecting. The 1/2 marathon was here before I knew it. I'd actually forgotten about it the day prior to the race until someone mentioned it to me. "Oh yea, I'm running that tomorrow. Almost forgot!"

Weather was about 45 F and overcast. I had BEATING a 2 hour 8 minute time locked in my mind. Oatmeal in me. Wearing just shorts...well shorts, shoes & sox, shirt (long sleeve and short sleeve under), gloves, ski cap, my shades, my Garmin watch AND my trusty Treo phone to take pictures in the back pocket of my shorts. A lot folks were wearing long sweat pants or tights.

I needed a 9 minute 45 per mile pace to beat my 2:08 Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 marathon from last year.

I ran with some friends at the start, they set an 8 min/mi pace and then sped up. At the 3 mile mark (10.1 miles remaining) only 24 mins had passed. Still an 8 min/mi pace. I knew this was a bit too fast...or a lot to fast if 9:45 was really the goal. I decided to listen to my breathing and run whatever pace my breathing needed.

The race was an out and back so FAST runners started flying by heading back about 5 miles into the race. The turn around was at 7 miles. People were STILL passing me, but finally I could see I wasn't in last place. ha! There were lots of people still running to the turn around. My watch said I'd run the first 7 miles in about 1 hour. I did the calculations in my head. "Hmmm...I could break 2 hours!" I felt great.

As the miles went by I knew I was running a good race at a good pace for me. With 3 miles to go I told myself to pick up the pace a little. I started passing people. Finally with the finish insight, I turned it up one more notch to finish in 1 hour 52 minutes and 41 seconds! A 8:26 min/mi. I beat my old PR for the 1/2 marathon by 15 minutes. Guess I'm in a little better shape than last year!

It was MUCH easier than the last 1/2 marathon! ...and even though it's April Fools, THIS whole story is true!