Half Marathon Race Report

on Sunday, July 29, 2007 at 11:41 AM

Drove out a little east this morning to do a half marathon. I clearly didn't think things through completely when I signed up for this. The race started at 7:30 and if a wanted to do my pre-race ritual of PB/jam and a bagel, I had to get up super early at 5am which I managed to do, but I was in a bit of a panic this morning. Tried to carbo load a bit last night eating some lasagna, but got back pretty late and didn't eat until 10:30 or so. Wasn't sure if the body was going to be able to process by morning.

I had emailed the race director last week looking for a course map and whether the course would be marked and he had indicated that he didn't have a course map yet and that there would be km markers. Not a great sign of confidence. Considering that this was a first time event and I wasn't sure how accurate the markers were going to be, I decided to run this with my Garmin.

Got to the race with no problems. Did a 2 mile warmup at a fairly comfortable pace. Since the training plan has a 15 mile run today with 12@ marathon pace, I opted to do the 2 extra miles before hand. As I discussed earlier this week, I'm thinking that my current marathon pace is around 7:25 min/mile so I decided I would try for that. The plan was to do a first mile at my long run pace and then finish the last 12 @ 7:25 pace.

As it turns out, my suspicions about the course markings were right as there were a couple that were way off and considering that it was an out and back course, it just meant that there twice as many problems.

Mile Split
Mile Split
1 0:07:25
8 0:07:20
2 0:07:25
9 0:07:05
3 0:07:27
10 0:07:38
4 0:07:17
11 0:07:40
5 0:07:24
12 0:07:41
6 0:07:15
13 0:07:24
7 0:07:18
13.1 1:36:43

These were my garmin splits as some of the manual splits from the course don't make sense. I'm not sure why mile 9 is so fast. I think it could have been a garmin error as I think that part was through a foresty part and don't think I was running that fast. Garmin had the whole course at 13.06 miles. Someone else I asked after said their garmin had reported 20.97 km which is about 13.03 miles. Was the course short? Maybe, but it's close enough that I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

I had planned on doing the first mile at long run pace, but as you can see that didn't work out great. I knew when I passed the 1km marker and it read 4:30 that I was going way too fast so I decided I would just do the whole damn race at marathon pace. I got through the first 3 miles pretty much on pace. Mile 4 was a bit fast cause there was a big downhill portion. Mile 5 was on pace and then miles 6 through 9 were a bit fast. I then started to fade a bit for miles 10 through 12 even though I was trying to maintain my cadence and breathing rhythm. I was able to do the last mile at the proper pace, but my HR was higher and I was clearly losing my form. Average pace for the whole run was 7:23 which is pretty much what I wanted it to be.

I didn't like my HR during this run. It was high, too high for marathon pace. To be honest, I don't think I could have extended this pace another 13.1 miles so maybe i'm not quite where I think I should be. It was a fairly warm day, starting at 21C and getting to 24C at the end so that may have something to do with it. I find with cooler weather that the HR will tend to drop.

The course was scenic in places, but not the greatest. There was one long stretch where we had bi-directional traffic on a sidewalk which is just crazy. It wasn't too bad for me at that point since the crowd had thinned out and most people going the other way were running in a single file, but it's definitely something that has to be looked at for the future. Not much room to maneuver.

On to the recovery week! I'm going to go stretch my muscles now cause they are really tight.


Sonia said...

Great Race! Even if the HR was a bit up, you hold on really well. Read your previous post about A.R.T. helping your knee, I'm really glad it worked out! Too bad you don't have much coverage with yur plan though.

yumke said...

I think your HR was high cause it was so humid out today and it really hasn't been recently.. i would also hope that by late september, you'll have ideal conditions.. though i remember a scotiabank date (maybe last year) that was ultra humid)..

Lucy said...

Congratulations on the race! It wasn't the most pleasant conditions out for running out today that's for sure. I'm really enjoying reading your blog fyi.

Quinto Sol said...

Humid conditions will definitely make you work harder. Good job on tough conditions.

L*I*S*A said...

Great job on the race. :)

Ryan said...

You didn't mention what your HR was? I have been having talks with others on this recently. You're HR is going to hit the same peaks during a half as a full. Don't sweat your feeling that you're not sure if you could go another 13.1 at this pace - you still have much work to do. Great job on the race - I couldn't tell if you felt pleased with the result?!?