Boston's Run To Remember Half Marathon
Ran my second Half Marathon ever, inside of two weeks, 1:26:43 (6:37 average pace), 133rd out of 4135. Mile splits: 6:15, 6:36, 6:30, 6:42, 6:37, 6:32, 6:42, 6:46, 6:36, 6:41, 6:42, 6:46, 6:34. Legs are fine, digestion not so good, ate too late last night (around 8:00pm, for an 8:20am start.)
Hardest part of this race (most races) is getting up early. Up at 5:00am, still dark, memories of a 10 year old me in 1969, up early to go fishin' with my Grandpa and his buddy Rufus Fog, both long since dead. I loved the trunk of Grandpa's Chevy, filled with a manly array of tools, stuff. RIP. Time to run.
I like getting to the event early, get the number/chip, mill around, pee, drink, wait in line, pee, etc. Big race, thousands, not even nervous, too early, I'm learning not to fear the race, I'll rise to it, always do, no matter how tired/heavy I feel jogging about beforehand, somehow the racing me emerges when called upon.
Only minor crisis was the the little nose thingy on my glasses broke off literally 2 minutes before the start, a kind soul picked it up and handed it to me, but I dropped it again, no matter, just lopsided glasses for the race, perhaps I should get some goofy sports glasses or something for racing, I don't mind looking like Ichabod Crane.
Felt almost like a real runner - there were pace/place signs for 11:30 pace down to 7:30 pace; I know I'm good for a 6:50 pace, at least based on my last/first HM performance two weeks ago, so I'm pretty far up front, not too far behind the elites. Go. We're off, feeling good off the bat, sweet, cruising, blew by mile one in 6:15, a 5 mile pace for me not half marathon pace, crap, oh well, adrenaline flows, like getting the first mile out of the way quick, and it's fun running with dudes out of my league for a bit.
Settled in after that to an average 6:35-6:45 pace. Really not sure I'd be able to hold if for 13; 8 sure, 10 probably, but 13, dunno, let's try it, an experiment. Pleasantly surprised how I felt by 7, still relaxed. Chatting with co-runners, more than in any other race. Around 8 miles a guy offers me a hit of his Gu - uh, thanks, but no (he said he knows it's kinda gross but sometimes people get desperate - really? Thanks God, I'm not desparate.
So what's with these occasional guys passing me and breathing like hell, just one or two, not sure if I ever passed them back, but I was sure I would. Maybe they have a completely different aerobic/muscular profile then me. I'm breathing pretty easy, but the leg muscles are gradually getting more and more fatigued. Maybe these guys have incredibly strong non-fatigue-able legs but but need to huff and puff.
So I'd taken Gu at around 7, not really experienced with this, just figured it'd give me a lift; I know a tiny bit of candy/snickers before the start is a nice boost. First real negative thoughts around 8.5, but not too bad, slowed a bit, let a couple people go, don't let ego get in the way, let 'em go if you can't stay with 'em. And it turned out I caught a few later anyway. But either Gu or placebo helped me pick it up, cruising again. Then, about 11 miles, almost hit a wall, not really, too dramatic, but really getting tired, right around Boston Common on the way back, felt like I was done. Caught up with a female (fifth overall I found out), hung with her for a while, helped keep me going a bit.
Then the shortness of the remaining distance was my aphrodisiac, just 2 miles, then 1.5, I can take any pain for 1.5 miles, right? Started pushing, and picked it up with 1.1 to go, and some uphill to contend with, feeling almost springy, almost. Smoked the fifth female. Spotted M, Z and J near the finish, which was great, then they anounced my name - a nice touch, one other race I ran did that. 1:26:43, bettered last HM PR by well over 2 minutes. Yeah baby.
Great race overall, miles not flying by like at the Hyannis race, but I was working harder. Fun running through the streets of Boston with thousands of others, over Longfellow Bridge, right past my office building.