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Silver Strand Half Marathon

Sunday, November 13, 2011


That's not a popular emotion on SparkPeople.com, but too bad. It's how I feel. I expected to do better. Felt I had every reason to have those expectations. And through 9 miles, I was on track to meet those expectation.

I didn't set out with the objective of hitting 1:40:00. I knew from my training that that was unrealistic. But I thought 1:42:00 was perfectly doable. That's 7:47mile. I set my repeat timer to beep at each 7:47 interval, and after 6 miles, I was ahead by about a minute, and feeling good. I knew in my head that meant I was clicking along at 10 seconds per mile faster than my target. Maybe 1:40:00 was actually achievable?

For the next 3 miles, my pace slowed even though I felt like I was still running at the same pace. The clock was just not proving that to be true. And I could feel it in my legs, hips and butt. I was losing my zip.

By the time I reached mile 10 I was dying. It was warm now. My right quadricep felt like it was going to go at any minute. My heart rate was probably 95%. And I was getting passed now. I was dropping below 8:00/mile with 3 miles still to go.

Silver Strand's a flat course, except for a short rise just past mile 10. I refused to quit going up that hill, but once I crested, I was at my limit and I slowed to a walk. And I walked. Walked some more. I probably walked for 2 minutes. My PR goal was in serious jeopardy.

I broke into a trot again, and felt refreshed. I got back onto a sub-8 pace, but a the turnaround, I slowed for water...and walked again. Another 2 minutes before I could will myself back into a trot.

Same as before. Fresh again for a short while, and then all the lead in my legs and pain in the muscles said 'enough.' It also didn't help my motivation to know that a PR was impossible at that point. "Why put myself through the pain and aggravation?" Now, I just wanted to finish and not have my slowest HM time ever.

That was my last walk and I finished out the final mile and a half or so at around 8/mile, crossing in 1:47:55, just barely better than my first old man half marathon almost 2 years ago. I lost nearly 6 minutes over the final 3-4 miles.

I guess I should be satisfied that I gave the PR a shot. I could have relaxed and run a more even, less pressing pace and finished comfortably in around 1:44:00. Just trying to trim those 2 extra minutes, though, really put the tax on me, and I wound up paying it back double. Hey, that's just like the books say.

Even though it wasn't the result I wanted, it was a good lesson and let's me know just where I stand. A 7:30 to 7:40 pace is a good 10-15km pace for me. I'm not there yet for HM distance. And I have a lot of work to do on endurance. I've got my work cut out for me these next 12 weeks to try to establish a good mileage foundation before I start in on the sub-4 hour marathon training plan.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sounds like my marathon. Cruising along, then no gas in the tank.

    Everything is relative. Your "disappointing" half was still 5 minutes faster than my fastest half.
    3395 days ago
    I hear this. I hate races in which I end up trying to make up time because I inevitably go slower.

    You have your plan however and should be able to achieve your goals.
    3401 days ago
    I'm sorry you feel disappointed, but all the points CODEMAULER makes are absolutely true. You did see some improvement over your last HM time, too. Be proud you finished. That's more than a lot of people can say. You did amazing in my book! :-D
    3401 days ago
    1 - You finished!
    2 - You battled the pain demons!
    3 - You learned what works, what doesn't.
    4 - You finished!

    I'm not seeing a failure here. You may need to look a bit harder to see where you succeeded?

    3401 days ago
    Bummer dude! Would you have had better endurance if you'd stuck to your planned pace rather than faster? Especially since it's a flat course. 1:42 should be doable (for you, definitely not for me)!
    3401 days ago
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