Saturday, May 1, 2010

Grand Island Half Marathon

I signed up for this as a final test before the Cleveland marathon. I was also trying for a PR, as I figured I am probably in better shape than last September (I certainly weigh less.) Thirdly, I was trying to pace this like my long runs as of late, with a focus on negative splits. The day, sadly, had other things in mind for me.

The course itself is very flat. It is a pretty straightforward out and back. However, today brought race time temperatures around 75, perhaps a bit warmer than desired. Winds were out of the SSW at 20mph. The first half of the course is more or less in a northerly direction, which means that the last half was directly into the wind, with some crosswinds at times. As a relatively new runner, especially at these longer distances, my race strategy isn't always solid. I was planning on the following: miles 1-3 @ 8:45, 4-10 @ 8:30, 11-13.1 >8:20. However, I didn't take into this planning the temperature or wind patterns and I think this was my downfall.

Here's how I did...

Miles 1-3 (8:45): 8:44, 8:43, 8:43-feeling generally good here, knee and hip causing no discomfort

Miles 4-7 (8:30): 8:28, 8:32, 8:30, 8:39-turned into the wind here. I hadn't really noticed how much wind there was with it at my back, but running right into it was an experience, I adjusted my goals for this to 8:40 and the under 8:30 for the last 3.

Miles 8-10 (8:40): 8:39, 8:40, 8:55 -began to fall apart here. I was trying to find any relief from the wind including trying to use other runners to shield me from the wind (now mostly a cross wind.) I was also feeling a bit gassed in the lungs, though legs surprisingly still strong, no significant pain.

Miles 11-13.1 (>8:30): 9:04, 10:16, 9:58, and .15 @1.17- just trying to survive at this point. I had clearly spent all of my energy and was just coasting and begging for this to be done.

So what went wrong? Mostly, I think I was just unprepared for conditions and didn't adjust my strategy accordingly. Also, I tend to set pretty tough goals for myself, perhaps too tough at some point. Regardless, I am pleased the way my legs responded. As I sit here, my knee is a bit sore, but nothing overwhelming. I finished, which is always good.


Mileage: 13.15
Time/Pace: 1:57:16/8:54
Avg HR: 171

Final note, Mark from Sub 5 Miler after Fifty wrote a nice comment, but I think I accidently deleted it...sorry, it was good advice as always, thanks!

1 comment:

  1. That's still a great half time. I think we learn something from every race we do. One of my races in England taught me that I have a deep hatred f running in strong winds. :) Good job and keep on trucking!