STRIDER'S WRC HALF MARATHON
I had a great time at the race this morning. My first goal was to win the race. I didn't really want to set a time goal, as I usually run poorly when I do that. But I figured anything under 1:07.30 would be really good for this course. My PR on this course is 1:07.53 back in 2013, and I had a really good racing year in 2013.
I met Denver, Ken, and Matt at Rainbow Gardens and carpooled up with those guys. We met Ben up there and also ran into Moss. The pre-race logistics were kind of a mess. We arrived to the start line at 7:00 with a 7:30 start time. The lines for the restroom were already ridiculously long too. So time for a warmup and potty run was quite limited. They sent all the buses up at the same time and then only unloaded one at a time, so we wasted valuable time sitting on the bus to unload, which was very frustrating to me.
So, I only managed 1.5 miles of warmup. It was cold at the start, about 28F. I wore singlet, half tights, gloves, arm sleeves, and an ear warmer. The compeition upfront was Anthony Costales, Ken, Ben, and me. They started the race on time.
Anthony and I ran side by side for the first half mile or so. Then he picked it up to a pace that I wasn't interested in running quite yet. Every time I've started this race off quickly, I've really blown up. So, I stuck with my plan for a bit more conservative start. So he had about 7-8 seconds on me by mile 3. Miles 1 & 3 are good downhill, while 2 is rolling with no net drop. I clocked 5:02, 5:10, 5:02.
The sun was starting to hit us, which was quite welcomed. Now I was feeling warmed up and ready to start rolling. I was making some ground on Anthony and thought I could catch him by mile 5. Turns out I was making up more ground than I realized and passed him in mile 4. I threw in a faster half mile on the pass to try and discourage him from latching on. It didn't seem like I got much of a gap at first, but by mile 5 I couldn't hear footsteps or see his long shadow anymore. Miles 4-5 were 4:52, 4:57.
Now I just wanted to get in groove and rhythm. I did just that. The course here is still downhill, but it's not as steep and it's really just a nice, barely noticeable downhill grade. This continues until mile 8.5. There you turn onto a parkway, which is a rhythm killer. It's constantly going up and down. From 8.5 to the end it's rolling hills with no net drop. My sister passed me in her car at mile 8 and said I had a "huge lead", which was a surprise to me. Miles 6-9 were 5:00, 5:00, 5:01, 5:01.
All right, 9 down and the 4 toughest miles to go. I tried to keep the effort high, even though you can no longer get into a good rhythm. I stayed pretty strong until the end. Mile 13 I was pretty tired, but I had been doing the math and was certain I could get under 1:07, which is really an excellent time on this course (the course record was Paul's 1:07.2x in 2011). I finished up and was quite exhausted and thrilled. Miles 10-13 were 5:05, 5:16, 5:07, 5:14, and 4:55 pace for the leftover change.
Short cooldown after with Ken, Anthony, and Matt.