Few days late on this one but…
I went into this race feeling strong and confident I could do well. I totally bombed the last two half-marathons I ran (CHaD ’12, and CBHM ’13) so I was hoping this would be something of a redemption. My ultimate goal was to just get under 1:20. I knew it was a tough course, and my last two halves were both above that 1:20 mark which left me feeling like CBHM ’12 was a bit of a fluke.
This is another late in the day race with a gun time of 12:00. Breakfast was a little funny, but I had some rabbit heart, kidneys and liver by 9:00. Some water after, but not much. Race time came and I was feeling pretty good.
Last year I got lost on the pace because they run the 5k and half together and I thought the guys going all out must be 5k’ers. This year, I had my guy and stuck with him, knowing that while I might not be able to keep pace with him the whole time, he would be a good guy to run with. So I stuck with him for the first 5k or so, then faded back a bit. The splits felt pretty even, but the mile markers are off so it is hard to know for sure.
By mile four, it was pretty clear there were three guys in the front and they were going to push it the whole way (third place ended up being 1:14…). So top three went out and it was a matter of catching the two guys in front of me. By mile six I had caught one of the guys, but the next was a ways ahead. I wanted to give up on catching him, but managed to talk myself into staying awake.
Mentally, I think this was one of my stronger races. It would have been very easy to fall asleep mid-race running by myself, but instead, I talked myself up and managed to catch up with the fourth place runner by mile 12. We exchanged the lead a few times, and coming into the finish he managed to beat me by a second. I like to think I could have gone with him, but I am not so sure.
The time was only slightly disappointing as I could have sworn the clock said 1:15:50; unfortunately looking at results it was a 1:16:22. A pr on a tough course on a windy windy day, running mostly by myself. I will take it any day, but thinking I broke 1:16 and then finding out I did not was a bit of a bummer.
Overall, it was a good race, and everything kind of fell into place. Huaraches started to feel a little funny towards the end, but I think it was because I laced the one too loosely.
I did not really drink anything during the race. I did grab water at most of the water stops only to dump it on my head. I also grabbed glasses of powerade at three or four water stops. I did not actually drink the powerade, but did as my brother suggested and swished around a mouthful before spitting it out. I like this technique and think I will try it in the future.