Monday, May 11, 2009

Kirkland Half Marathon

I debated back and fourth about whether I wanted to pay $65 to run a distance I could run on my own and that wasn’t giving out finishers medals. I decided to go ahead and do it anyway since I love the challenge of doing better on a course than I have before.
This course I did 2 years ago and to this date is STILL my best half marathon time despite it NOT being the easiest or flattest. My personal best from two years ago is 1:33:47 and I have consistently run 1:35:00 +/- many times.
This race starts at sea level and rises in elevation 600 feet from miles 3-6, then comes back down to sea level in miles 7-9. So you do get to make back that time lost going up the hill, but coming back down at 6:45 pace really hurts your body for that last 4 miles after.
Things went pretty well, but not doing any speed work for over a year due to training my body to run just below 8:00 pace for 26.2 miles took its toll. I should have made up more time in the first two miles, but I just plain wasn’t in a groove yet. I did pretty well on the hill, running a 7:42 and 7:22 going up that hill. Wow, that’s pretty good actually, but maybe it wore me out. I had to stop to pee at mile 6, which actually was my slowest mile @ 7:49, even though it was FLAT. Peeing takes time off of a race, and every second counts.
Another reason I ran the race instead of doing speed work on my own on a flat trail was the competition makes me run faster. At mile 2 a female runner bolted in front of me that I perceived to be going out to fast for her body type. It’s just the male ego I’m sure, but when I put so much hard work into my running it’s hard to see someone that appears to be in less fit shape ahead of me. I sometimes also forget that she is also probably 10-15 years younger than me. Just being honest, I didn’t want her beating me. I thought maybe I’d catch her on the hill, which I almost did, but the peeing slowed my pursuit. Miles 11-12 I saw my gap closing and it helped me run faster. I was no longer monitoring my overall pace which had dropped to 7:21, but chasing her down and my normal overall kick dropped it to 7:15 by the time I hit the finish mat with 1:34:56, just one minute and nine second slower than two years ago. I ran a 6:48 final mile thanks to chasing her down and pushing when I saw my watch click to 1:33:00. My pace in the last .10 was 6:08.
I did pass her at mile 12.5, but for all I know her chip time could have been better. Didn’t matter, competition is why I enter races. I also passed 15 or so runners in the last few miles that went out to fast or had no kick. I finished 58th out of 1,104 runners. I was 7th out of the 100 males aged 40-44.
Here are my splits, you can compare them to the elevation chart below.
7:18, 7:05, 7:41, 7:22, 7:29, 7:49, 7:18, 6:42, 6:55, 7:08, 7:27, 7:25, 6:48, 0:30.
I should also mention it was Mothers Day, and it was nice to run on Mothers Day, for without my mom, I’d never have inherited all the drive and talent to run so well.

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