Saturday marked another running of the Run For Green triumvirate. While this was my third year running it, I still have never run the 5k (although the other courses cover it, so it’s basically like I’ve run it). The 10k in 2011 was my PR race (although I still maintain it was short, only way I could have come so close to breaking 40), and the half in 2012 was great, albeit a death march. I was hoping for a better result this year, including planning out my opening mile paces and packing Gu for the return trip energy.
But as they say, the best laid schemes of mice and men, gang aft agley. Look it up.
This year turned in to another death march, and I think I’ve finally figured out my troubles with this half. Too much downhill in the beginning! You essentially run downhill for 6.8 miles, then turn around and run uphill for 6.3 miles. Yes, there are ups and downs in both of those sections, but the lowest point on the course is at the turnaround, and you finish 160′ higher than that low point.
I’m not using that as an excuse, plenty of people run great times on this course each year, and Lamperski’s sub 1:19 is an obvious example of that. But the race course always lures me into a start that isn’t sustainable, and I’m not smart enough to slow down and save my legs for the second half.
Additionally, I think my side-stitch at 7 was due to not running my own race. I spent a while encouraging everyone that I passed on the out-and-back, and developed the stitch after a half mile of that. It could certainly be unrelated, but darnit, I’m blaming everyone else!
Bottom line, I went out too fast. The 6:25 mile is okay with me, it really is difficult to run that opening at a slower pace, and I made an effort to let Brian and Alyson pull away, otherwise it would have been 6:19 or so. But after that, I should have found a way to drop back to 7:20’s or so, instead of keeping in the sub-7 range. I spent a little while chatting with a runner from Wilmington, Drew, and I forced myself to run his pace. My fear of not having anyone to run with later in the race resulted in my not having any gas to run with anyone later in the race.
Eventually I’ll figure out how to run a half marathon properly. Savannah is 7 weeks away, which is actually plenty of time to train (if we ignore how training takes a back seat to wedding prep in 5 weeks) and maybe I’ll have a better outing. My only saving grace is that my position throughout the race was relatively constant, I was 20th at best, finished as 28, passed by 3 guys in the last two miles, and had no gas to catch them. Let’s get back to passing others at the end of a race, mmkay?