Yesterday I completed my 4th half marathon. It was the 3rd time I ran it in Harrisburg. I had high hopes for a PR since the weather was predicted to be perfect race weather.
I started out my morning at 6am. I was fairly relaxed about the race because I knew that all that truly mattered at the end of the day was that I finished because the was going to count at my 16 mile training run. Since it was not my goal race and because I live close to the start I walked from my house to mile marker 12 of the race (I walked about 2 miles at this point). I ran the last 1.1 mile of the race as warm up and to raise the overall miles for the day.
I got to the starting line in plenty of time. I found a few of my TNT friends. It ended up that we got to the port-a-pots fairly late which meant I did NOT start when the gun did. I don't ever want that to happen again because as a result I unconsciously was trying to catch up the rest of the race.
I started out way too fast with 10 -11:30 minute miles for the first half of the race. This was not the plan because I intended to run the last half faster than the first half.
My 3 biggest hang ups were
1. Lack of water stops. They only had 3 of them and the first one did not happen until mile 5. This would have been fine if it was advertised that way, but it said 4 water stops. I allowed this to really impact me.
2. I did not practice my fueling as much as necessary.
3. Chafing. Need I say more?
Overall I'm glad I did this race. I learned some things that I wouldn't have learned otherwise.
One thing I am glad I did was having my name taped on my on my shirt. It made a huge difference.
Two things I would have done differently are simply bring water and us the bathroom sooner before the race.
I'm very pleased at how the first half went. I did go out to fast but in the end even though I walked a far amount I still was on target for goal pace of 12:30.
I wanted to mention that when I was walking around mile 11 (I could/should have been running) I met a guy who is about 75 running several half and I believe full marathons a year. I still say some of the most interesting stories come from the back of the pack.
There are many more things I could say about this but not enough tine to write it. If you want to know more just ask!