Today I ran the Indy 500 half marathon. At the start of the year I set this as a goal race to try to break 1:30 for the half. However, two sub-par months of training leading up the this race caused me to reevaluate my goals. So today I wanted to have a respectable race and use it as something to build on. I thought something between 1:33 and 1:36 would be good.
1- I started out pretty easy since there are 35,000 runners in this race and I didn't want to waste a lot of energy dodging other runners. I came through the first mile in 7:21 which was slower than I wanted but not bad in the traffic.
2 - After this I was able to pick up that pace a little as the runners thinned out. Felt good and tried to settle into my pace and came through in 7:01 probaly a little faster than planned.
3 - Still was feeling good and just keep going at the same pace. Had a lot more running room now so it was easier to settle into the pace. 7:01 again.
4 - More of the same. No problems yet but I was starting to get the sinking feeling that I would pay for this pace latter but I felt good and just went with it. 7:00
5 - I started to have some mild stomach cramps and the pace started to feel harder so I was getting concerned that I would not be able to maintain this pace. I slowed down some in 7:08.
6 - Still not feeling very good. I felt like I was working way harder than the pace indicated. I actually thought I had picked the pace back up but actually came in slower in 7:18.
7 - I am definitely in a rough patch now. Still didn't feel very good it showed in 7:25.
8 - At this point I got mad at myself. I was not feeling the best but I knew that I could do better than this. This was one of those points where I could have just slowed down and ran 8:00's in or I could try to get myself back on pace. I decided to just push it some and see how it worked out. Not really anything to lose at this point. I was able to pick up the pace and ran 7:09.
9 - Now I was actually feeling better even though I was running faster. I felt like this was a pace that I could maintain to the finish. 7:12.
10 - I was passing a lot of people and feeling like I got a second wind. Each mile was coming much easier than just a few miles back. I had a few other runners that I was working with to try to keep my pace up. I could definitely feel the extra effort but felt good to be back on pace. 7:02
11 - At this point I was just thinking 5k to the finish. See if you can run it strong. I wanted to try to hold the 7:00 pace to the finish which would put me pretty close to my goal. This mile was fastest so far in 6:59.
12 - Now is the payback time for the poor training leading up to this race. I really started to feel rough like I was totally out of fuel. There are no shortcuts in running and the lack of mileage/long runs the last couple of months was having its effects. I was able to hold it together pretty good in 7:22.
13 - Now it was just trying to get myself to the finish line without giving back too much time. It was pretty discouraging to watch some of the runners I had just passed come back around me. I felt like I was running 9:00 miles but actually came by the last mile in 7:25 which was better than I expected.
13.1 - Glad to see the finish! 1:34:01
Overall, I was pretty pleased with the race. I ran about what I expected. I wasn't as prepared as I should have been and I was kicking myself for letting my training slip the last few months. I had such a good Nov, Dec, and Jan but then lost it. It does give me hope that if I can keep the training going I will see the expected results. This was only a couple in minutes off of my PR and I probably had the worst two months of training that I have ever had leading up to a race this long. Hopefully this will give me some resolve to keep up the training through the Summer and see if I can run a good marathon in the fall and some PRs in shorted distances.