No racing for me this week so I’ve asked Scott to drop by and blog on his race at the North Shore Half Marathon. I thought a little different perspective and commentary might help keep things fresh around here:
Mary asked that I take over the mantle of family blogger for a day so I thought I throw in a little race report from over the weekend. For those of you who have no idea who I am or what I’m doing with myself, a little background. I’m Mary’s husband and coach. I’m a sometimes but not currently a triathlete. Back in the day (pre-kids) Mary and I would race tri’s together but post-kids we realized logistically it wasn’t going to work to have us both doing triathlon training full-time so I switched over to run-only mode. Believe me, I’m totally fine with that. I’m a mediocre swimmer (in spite of Mary’s exuberant attempts to rectify) and while I do miss the biking sometimes, I love the simplicity and solitude of running and have been quite content just spending the last few years chasing various run-only goals and personal bests.
Now let’s be clear. I’m not a “great” runner. I have very little natural athletic talent, so I have to work my ass off to get anywhere, but I’ve made some gains. I trained and ran the Chicago Marathon last to disastrous weather-related results, and while my ultimate goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon, that’s a little out of reach for me at the moment.
So this spring I decided to focus on getting a PB in the half-marathon. I always have to have a goal, and by goal I mean race to shoot for. I like training with a target in mind, and training with a structured plan to follow. Great race…did it last year. Beautiful rolling course mostly flat with one steep but very short hill stuck right in the middle.
My half-marathon PR is from back in 2004 when I ran the Seattle half in 1:36:38. Back in the day. When I was young and…young. That’s a 7:23 pace and my goal this time around was 7:15 even. If you run long enough, you get to really know (with the help of McMillan’s formula) what pace goals are doable or not. Throughout the last 3 years I’d been running shorter stuff regularly so I pretty well knew where I was and what I was capable of. I also ran this same race last year and did 1:36:46, in spite of some weird health issues that derailed my training but turned out to be an undiagnosed sodium deficiency.
This winter and spring my training has been going great. I was nailing all my training runs. I was injury free. My (normally) wonky IT band and ankle tendinitis were not flaring up. I also switched to Newtons and really liked them and that was also helping me improve my form and efficiency. Usually the thing that has bit me in the ass has been the weather. Either snow and ice (Shamrock Shuffle, Santa Sleigh Run) or hot as heck (every other race I’ve done in the last 3 years). This year for the North Shore – the weather was perfect. 58 degrees race morning, no wind, slight overcast. Going in it was like the stars were aligned. I felt great, the weather was ideal, and I was confident I could do my 7:15s.
Race morning arrives…to be continued.