The Silver Strand Half Marathon was my first ever half marathon that I ran last year. After running a few 5Ks and a 10K, I decided to give the half a try. I went the whole nine yards by creating a training program and followed each workout to the letter. However, come race day (mile 7-8 to be exact), I realized I had not built a big enough base and the distance got the best of me, although 1:38:20 isn’t too bad if you ask me. Since then, I’ve ran 4 more half marathons as well as my first full marathon, although the training for those races have been very limited. And because of that last point, I only goal I had for this race was to at least improve over last year, which I did: 1:36:50, 15/83 AG, 111/~5000 Overall.
I’ve ran races before with little sleep, usually because I go to bed too late and/or I have to get up earlier to avoid traffic. But this time I got way too little sleep, to the point where I almost felt like falling asleep for the first couple of miles of the race! It was definitely a weird feeling and something I am going to try and avoid in the future. I’m just glad I was able to complete the race without injury or blacking out like the first race I ran in high school.
After running my last half marathon last month, I decided to really try and hold back the first couple of miles to make sure I have energy for the later part of the race. It’s definitely a hard thing to do considering the race atmosphere and adrenaline pumping. But I’ve done this (usually not on purpose) on many training runs and I know it works. And even if I run the same time, starting off slow and gradually picking up the pace feels a whole lot better than starting off too fast and being tired for almost the entire race. I technically did that in this race (with the exception to 2 miles in the end), but I feel like I didn’t really have a choice in the pace, I was actually struggling to hit the slower splits..
On the miles where I did pick it up, it felt pretty good to be able to use the race strategy that got me my PR back in January. I was able to surge and run with the person in front of me, then surge again to the next runner. But toward the end of the race, the heat was getting pretty bad, the course started to get a little boring and I was running out of energy too. I got a 2nd wind around mile 12 and to be honest, I had never been so happy to see the #12, seriously!
I made a reminder to plan out a training program for my next (big) race, which happens to be my 2nd full marathon in January 2011. I’ll probably do a Turkey trot or other short distance race in between, but I really want/need to focus on training for that marathon. It’s impossible to assume that I’ll improve on my marathon time (3:48), even though I have been running/racing since my last marathon in June. I know that it’s going to be a tough race but I’m hoping history will benefit here. My PR for the 5K (18:58) and half marathon (1:28) were both at races in Carlsbad, CA. I didn’t want to run the same half marathon because I want to run in as many different races as possible. But that same race also has a full marathon, so I’m hoping I can PR on that race too.