Sunday, August 28, 2005

Yeah Baby!!

I did it. Another half marathon under my belt. I finished with a net time of 1:55:44 - way better than expected. Probably a little too much better. But I was feeling good, so I pushed myself a little. Anyway, that's the short of it. If you're interested in all the details, read on...

Last night I couldn't sleep. I wasn't sure if it was from nervousness about the race, or just from my nap in the afternoon. Either way, I was lyingg there in bed at 1 in the morning, tired but unable to sleep. First I read, then I got on the computer, then I went back to reading. I don't remember exactly how I fell asleep, but it was around 2:30. Not that much before my alarm went off at 5:30.

This morning was kind of blah. In the mid 70's already so kind of warm for so early. It was also drizzling. On the bright side, the clouds were out in front of the sun. (Funny, that's the *bright* side...)

The park was packed. The race started on the east side, but ended on the west side. I wasn't the only one with the bright idea of parking on the west side and walking to the start. There were people with numbers pinned to their chests everywhere! It was really pretty cool.

At the starting line they announced that 8,000 people had signed up. Not bad for a 7am race! (Looking at the results page there were only 6,328 finishers. Maybe some didn't finish, and some didn't finish on time, but probably some didn't show up at all.) Anyway, the race got started pretty much on time. Although it took a few minutes to get to the starting mat, I was basically able to run from that point on.

At the first mile marker the time was 13:00. Of course I'd forgotten to look at the clock when I crossed the start, so I had no idea how long it had taken me. I felt like I was running at my usual 10 min mile pace, maybe even a little slower. By the second mile marker, the time read 22:00 - a 9 minute mile! No wonder I was starting to sweat so much. (I thought it was the heat.) I made a deliberate effort to slow down. I think the next 2 miles still came in as 9 minute miles. This wasn't working.

Prior to the race I had been saying that I wanted to just finish with a ten minute mile pace. But the truth is, I think I really wanted to get in under 2 hours - since I'd done it in the past. So at this point, this started to become feasible. But I still felt I was going too fast. The main thing was to finish.

So I think I ran the next few miles in 9:20 - 9:30. Then the pace started picking up again. I was back to 9 min miles, and even 8:50 miles. I was really feeling pretty good. I thought I could keep running past 13.1 miles.

At about 10 miles I started doing all these calculations in my head. With a little more speed, I could finish with under 2 hours on the clock. (Since I didn't really know when I started, this was a sure way to ensure a sub-2 hour performance.) I think I ran the last few miles at about 8:30-8:35. That was actually tough. I was really breathing heavy in the last two miles. (That's when I realized that my music had been off - probably for the last hour.) It was tough to make it to the end, let alone run further.

But I hung in there, and finished strong with a clock time of 1:59:21. It thrned out that this was a net time of 1:55:44, or an 8:50 mile. (!)

I think this was a little fast, but I felt good, and wanted to push myself a little. I'm still going to go back to the 10 minute mile for training - maybe just slightly faster.

The main thing will be how I feel in the next couple of days. On the way to the race, both of my lower shins were hurting. When I took a little warmup jog, I could feel them with each step. Once the run got started, however, I was feeling pretty good. A little strain, but no real pain.

Since the run I'm a little stiff. Some pain in my shins, but not worse than yesterday. At least, not yet.

So, I'm excited. I'm happy with today's race, and I'm still hopeful that I'll be able to continue on in my quest for the marathon.



Blogger Brooklyn said...

Congrats Danny; great race! Is this a PB? You're still a half-hour faster than me in a half-marathon... guess I'll have to train up to Danny standards.

Sunday, August 28, 2005  
Blogger Running Chick said...

Excellent race! Sounds like you ran the race just the way you were meant to...warmed up, found a good pace in the middle and then pushed at the end.


Sunday, August 28, 2005  
Blogger Danny said...

Thanks guys. (Is anybody else reading this blog?)

I didn't think it was a PB but I had to look up my old results. My two previous net times for the half are 1:55:18 and 1:52:29. So it's actually my worst. But it felt like my best effort. The weather was hotter, and I'm a little older and heavier than I was before. So all in all, I'm pretty damn happy.

Sunday, August 28, 2005  
Blogger partyrunner said...

excellent race! it sounds quite a bit like my first half marathon a few months ago. i finished much more quickly than my training pace. then i made mistake of pushing super hard the following week (half was 5 weeks to the date of my first full marathon) since i was so gosh darn excited. ended up hurting itb band and having to run marathon pace slower than training. CONGRATS AGAIN ON THE RACE! in my humble opinion, take it easy this week, lots of cross training!

Sunday, August 28, 2005  
Anonymous douglas said...

Sounds like things went very well for you at eth Half. If you can get through this one as well as you did, you are well on your way to the marathon. Manhattan is a tough course and in the humidity is typically a rough day. Nice job, and keep up the hard work- it pays off in the end.

Monday, August 29, 2005  
Anonymous Arnold Weatherbee said...

Maybe you can get sponsors for every mile, like we used to get in the old UJA "Watch-out-for-Weinberg!" Walkathon.

Monday, August 29, 2005  
Blogger Brad said...

Great job!! Keep your training pace the same. "They" say to run 1 minute slower when running long runs. How are you feeling? Don't forget to ice those shins!! :) Sounds like we are very similar runners, my 1/2 time was ~1:55!

Monday, August 29, 2005  
Anonymous ali said...

Congratulations on a great race! I have a hard time keeping to pace in a race, I get swept up in the excitment.

Monday, August 29, 2005  
Anonymous beverly said...

It's beginners like me who are inspired by runnners like you! Great race!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005  
Blogger Chelle said...

Good job! The air was really thick out there and you even went faster than you thought you would. Sounds like your training pace is just what it oughta be.

Yeah, my pic is up there on NYRRC, but only from the back.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005  

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