The weather wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, for the first half of the race it was really nice. It rained a little but the weather was above freezing so it was feeling pretty OK. Maybe I should get a refund since it was "frozen" at all.
I didn't really have a time goal for this thing at all--it's really early in my training cycle, I didn't really do any specific training for a half marathon, and I didn't taper at all. I figured I could probably run about a 1:30, but with all that I planned for somewhere under 1:35.
It was an out and back race that went south out of downtown St. Paul and west along the Mississippi. The run to the turnaround point was pretty nice. I was cruising along at about 7 minute miles feeling pretty fresh. The road was nice and wide which was nice in that it kept people (including myself) from getting boxed in.
I turned around right around 46 minutes feeling pretty good. I had passed my beautiful wife who was cheering for me at mile six. I threw her my gloves because my hands were hot. Yes, it was 34 degrees and my hands were hot. I don't get it either. When I passed her again I didn't have to throw her anything so I could just enjoy her cheers and the sign she made/recycled from another race. It said: Go Nate!
After the turnaround I could really feel the headwind. I was still keeping about the same pace but it was getting a lot tougher. I slowed down a little bit going up an incline and that pace was about where I stayed.
With about a mile left a group of four passed me. Had I been feeling really strong I would of tried to go with them but instead I just thought, there they go.
When the course turned from the river and back north into downtown there was a really steep hill. It didn't seem that steep running down it but going up it after running almost 13 miles it definitely felt more like Pikes Peek than a dinky Minnesotan hill. A couple of guys passed me right before the hill and I decided to fly by them up the hill.
I sprinted by them but unfortunately the start/finish was a little farther from that hill than I thought. My blistering finishing kick started at the bottom of the hill and ended about 30 meters short of the finish. I was able to hold on though and still finished with a decent amount of speed. Plus those guys I passed at the bottom of the hill didn't catch up and I picked off one more guy before the end so maybe my kick didn't melt quite as bad as I thought it did.
I finished at 1:33:01. Not too bad--McMillan's calculator says my equivalent performance in the marathon would be 3:16--the same time I ran for the Twin Cities Marathon. That means I still got some work to do but this early in the training cycle and without tapering I think I still got a good shot at breaking 3:10 in May.
Here's my workouts for the week:
Nice winter run
5.1 miles easy, 6 X 10 sec hill sprints
4.7 miles fartlek
4 miles easy
4.7 miles, 5 X 10 sec hill sprint
13.8 miles (warm-up & half marathon)
Recovery week with a goal of 28 miles.
Some shots from the 1/2 marathon:
Here I am around six miles--see the gloves in the left hand?
Sprinting (read: trying to muster any speed left in my legs) to the finish.
I thought I was going to puke here. Didn't.