Sunday, October 20, 2013

Race report: Hershey Half Marathon: 10/20/13

I'm happy to report that I now have a new PR at the Hershey Half Marathon.  Officially my time is 2:15:09 which is a PR by 3 minutes and 31 seconds.  Not bad considering I used Jeff Galloway's Run/Walk/Run method :-).

Last time I ran this race was in 2011 and my time was 3:21:23... so this year's time cuts over an hour off my time.  Now that's awesome!  I will say that in 2011 my wife just had our baby girl and so I wasn't ready for the race, but I still cut over an hour off my course time.

Here's the update:
My new PR is 2:15:09 at the Hershey Half Marathon.  I did not get under 2 hours as predicted, but I did cut over 3 minutes of my previous best.  On a hilly course I will definitely take it.

The weather started out a little chilly, but otherwise the day was perfect.  I kept myself warm for the start and then ditched my outer layer.  I lined up with the 9 minute mile pace group, but I did not have a chance to talk with those around me to see if 9 minutes/mile was realistic or if they just lined up there.  I held myself back at the beginning because I wanted to make sure I had enough in me to conquer the hills.  I watched the video of the course and it did not seem nearly as hilly as it was in reality.  I felt pretty good for the first half of the race.  I was using 4/1 ratio and sticking to the plan.  I did not allow the hills to frustrate me and they really weren't all that bad at the beginning.  My biggest miscalculation was that I thought that after I made it to the 10K mark that it would be fairly flat.  It wasn't.

Here are my splits.

Mile 1: 9:24
Mile 2: 9:12
Mile 3: 9:28
Mile 4: 9:43
Mile 5: 9:29
Mile 6: 9:58
Mile 7: 10:16
Mile 8: 10:24
Mile 9: 10:47
Mile 10: 11:04
Mile 11: 12:01
Mile 12: 11:12
Mile 13: 10:45

More data about my race than you'd ever want to know: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/393375059

I'm pleased with the first 5/6 miles, but I'm not sure what happened during the last 6/7 miles.  I think my legs were tired because of the hills.  At some point near the 10K mark I realized that it was not likely that I would finish in less than 2 hours as I was struggling a little bit.  On my slowest mile (11) I switched my ratio to :30/:30 so that I could get a better grip of where I stood with getting a new PR.  I knew that I had to finish in a time faster than 2:18:40 seconds because I needed a PR today (using walk breaks).  I knew that I had to kick things into gear.  When I saw the Hershey Park Stadium I went for it.   According to my Garmin it was an 8:12 during the last .18 miles.  I past several people on the way to the finish line and had my hands up at the end.  I believe I #ranhappy and had a smile on my face for most of the race.

Things I learned running the Hershey Half Marathon:
1.  The most important thing is to do my best on that given day.  Specific goals may not happen, but it does not mean that I wasn't successful.
2.  It helps to have a running buddy.  I didn't have this and I felt the difference.
3.  Run/walk/run is my preferred method of running.  I was able to get a PR on a challenging course while using walk breaks.
4.  I love running and run/walk/run makes it even better.  I was able to enjoy my afternoon with my wife.  We had a date Sunday afternoon.  I was able to walk and go about my business as though I didn't just race 13.1 miles.  Good stuff!
5.  I look forward to my next race and giving it my all.  I'm going to take things fairly easy and just enjoy running for what it is and use conservative walk breaks.
6.  I love and appreciate my TNT friends and those who were out on the course to cheer us on to the finish.  It was awesome to see so many faces and also for those perfect strangers who yelled my name in encouragement.  It's the best.
7.  I love run/walk/run and I'm thankful for my e-coach Chris Twiggs who helped me get to the finish line with a smile on my face, upright, and ready to do it again.
8.  I appreciate how much sacrifice my wife and daughter have made for me to do things like this.  She got up at about 5am this morning to help me get to the race early enough so that we could be relaxed.

So what's next?  Well I have a 5 miler in November along with Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.  Nothing else is officially on the schedule, but I'll sign up for another half in a moments notice.  I would like to do the breast cancer marathon (26.2 with Donna) in FL in February 2014.  We'll see if I can convince my wife that it's a good idea to go to FL in Feb.

Anyways, I look forward to writing more.  I plan to still blog once a week during the slower time of the year.  You better believe that I will continue using run/walk/run and I'll see you out there!

#runhappy, #runforthosewhocant, #runwalkrun #hersheyhalfmarathon