Sunday, March 29, 2009

I am a PR MACHINE!!!

Just when I think I can't run any faster, I go out and do something like this. My time for the ING Half Marathon was 1:26:51 (6:38 min/mile), a new PR by 6 minutes and 7 minutes faster than last year on this course. When I got to the starting line and in the preceeding days I didn't feel like this would be a PR race, honestly in the days leading up to the race I wasn't 100% sure that I was going to run at all. My back has been really sore and stiff for the last week or so, and my legs just didn't have any "pop" in them at all. By the time we got over to Corral 1 it was almost time to go so no real warm up other than climbing fences and a light jog over to the start. The gun went off and I took off with a group and settled into a good (or so I thought) pace. Mile 1 is mostly down hill and we hit the marker at 5:58 min/mi, which is waaaaay to fast. Mile 2 had a few bumps and was run at a more sensible 6:26 min/mi, I felt settled and my HR was in a good place. Mile 3 had a long gradual climb into the Auburn/King Center area, this was a bit of a leg sapper and was run at a 6:35 min/mi. At 5 k -ish I was about 19:30 which is not far off of my PR, I knew that I was probably running to fast but I was happy to be banking time on the (relative) flat portion of the course because I knew the last 5k was super hilly. I don't remember a hill during Mile 4, but there must have been one since it was a 6:48 min/mi. This was the only mile above 6:40 until the last 5k of the race. I started to worry a bit here, things were starting to hurt and I was afraid that I had gone out too hard and was going to continue to fade the rest of the race, I mentally refocused for Mile 5 and ripped off a 6:26 min/mi. Mile 6 has that awful climb up Freedom Parkway at the end and so I dropped a little time here clocking a 6:36 min/mi, however I did hit 10k at 40:30 which is :45 seconds off of my PR. Again this worried me a bit and I was hoping not to fade the last half of the race. Turning right off of Freedom Parkway brought (another) leg sapping hill and so Mile 7 was a 6:40 min/mi. Here is where the Half and the Full split, after seeing my 10k split I got greedy and was thinking of a sub 1:25 being possible. I knew that I had to pick things up and the net downhill of the next mile obliged me with a Mile 8 split of 6:28 min/mi. The next mile was pretty much the last flat one of the entire race so I really concentrated on holding pace and was able to hit Mile 9 in 6:26 min/mi. The Mile 9 sign was right inside of Piedmont Park and there is a nasty little uphill (that coincidentally is a downhill for the Peachtree finish) and then a bit of a dip through Midtown before the left on Juniper. Juniper has to be the most horrid road on the entire course! It's a gradual leg sapping, uphill grind that just takes the wind out of your sails, Mile 10 was a disappointing 6:55 min/mi. Turning right off Juniper is yet another uphill across Peachtree and then a somewhat flat/downhill section into Ga Tech. I was really starting to feel it here and Mile 11 was 6:53 min/mi. That is the last real mile marker that was on the course (that I saw anyway). There was a One Mile To Go sign (that I think was mismarked) but that was it. The last 2.1 were run in 14:31 which if my math is correct averages out to 6:45-ish with 1 min for the last .1 mile. I was very, very pleased with this considering the primary goal was sub-1:30 and I honestly thought 1:28 was doable, never did I think that I could or would run this fast. Just goes to show that just when you think you are at your limit you can push through it and reach new heights.

Thanks for reading and Happy Training!

1 comment:

rhodespedal said...

I guess getting old doesn't suck as much as you think! ;) Awesome PR!