13 January 2012

More Half Marathons Part 1

In July 2011 I ran my first half marathon! With not much in the way of training, I was able to finish in 2:05:31. I was happy with my time, but as the year progressed I decided I wanted to train a bit more and try to beat the 2 hour mark.

The Leavenworth Half in scenic Leavenworth, Washington, seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a PR (Personal Record in runner speak). The course was beautiful, flat, and I was able to convince some friends to run it with me!

We drove to Leavenworth on Friday afternoon, picked up the race packets, and stayed in a cheap motel in Wenatchee for the night. The morning of the race dawned perfectly: not too cold, a bit overcast, and no winds. I was excited!

Bring it on Leavenworth! I've got this!
This race utilized a timing chip, meaning your time doesn't start until you cross the line, so I wasn't really concerned about starting right up to the front. BIG MISTAKE! The beginning of the course took us through narrow horse paths and everyone got backed up on top of each other. It was a total cluster. I was running through sand to get around the slower runners, who were seemingly oblivious that running should be like a freeway, fast people on the left. I think I'll always be amazed by how clueless some people with regards to passing....but I digress.

Starting about mile 2-3 we were back on the road and people had spread out a bit. Continuing with my strategy of starting slow, I fell into a rhythm and then picked it up about mile 7. I don't have an accurate pace monitor (not yet anyway - but I want one of these) and so I'm guessing, but I think I started at well over a 10 minute mile pace (at the clustered start) and was doing about an 8:50 by mile 8.

Miles 5-8 took us right past the main Bavarian drag

The run was beautiful and I really was feeling good, so I picked it up again at mile 11. Only 2.1 more miles to go!

With the finish in sight I hit the gas and went all out! Before I knew it I was sprinting across the finish line in disbelief - my time registered at 1:51:47! WHAAA now? I really just took off over 15 minutes of time?!?!?!?

My elation was quickly thwarted when I was informed that the race had been 0.8 miles short. Someone screwed up and everyone's time was wrong. It was really disappointing.

Ginger and I with some festive racers. Many people dress in costume!
Ever so slightly dejected, we all celebrated our new ridiculous PRs nonetheless at the local brewhouse where we indulged in bacon burgers and Irish Death (my favourite beer). Doing some math, my time more or less would have been about 1:59 for the full 13.1 miles. But I was still disappointed that I didn't have a sub 2-hours officially on the books!

Seattle welcoming us home
I signed up for another race over Thanksgiving weekend to get my official time once and for all! How did I do? You'll have to read my next blog to find out!


Patrick said...

If it makes you feel better, Io set a new PR this year at the 10k at Dawg Dash which was also short and by a similar % vs. race distance. Anyway - good run! You should sign up for a full!

Kristen said...

I'm so inspired by your running! Did you/do you follow any formal training guide?

Kristina said...

Thanks Patrick! I'm thinking about it!

And Kristen, I don't do any official training, but there's lots of great stuff on the web. My advice is to find a group and start running with them. Most of my running knowledge has come from fellow runners.