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.