Saturday, October 1, 2011

Check your Ego and Hubris at the door!

So I managed to run that half marathon up in Bristol, NH.  The scenery was awesome, the weather was ok (cool and rainy), the race was cheap ($45 for race day registration), and it was well organized.  It was also good to go up and see a friend who is busy teaching at Dartmouth for the fall.

As it turned out, I wasn't the only arrogant SOB who tried to swoop in for an easy win.  Three other competitive runners toed to the line with me.  After our 5:42 first mile I thought to myself: "Shit, this is a race."  Two of the three runners dropped off the pace by mile 3.

The hills also started at 3.  I should have known better that a race in New Hampshire though beautiful, was going to be a roller coaster of despair.  By mile 5, I had realized that I was going to have to kill myself and ruin my step back week to keep up with the remaining runner.  He was able to bust out the downhills better than me, and each time I had to work twice as hard on the flats and uphills to catch back up.  By 5 or 6, I realized that was it.  It also didn't help that I probably should have gone out at about 5:50-6:00 pace and then eased into the 5:40s on the second half of the course when it flattened out.  This was definitely a strategic race and not a time trial race, though I tried to run it like the latter.

So I backed off the pace, which had already slackened thanks to the hills and cruised through the rest of the race at roughly 6:05-6:15 pace (one slow mile thanks to a hill).  That allowed me to actually admire the scenery a little bit.

I crossed the finish in 1:18:45 by my watch; the official timer was off as they had tried to start the half at the same time as the full even though the half start was at the half way point of the course, so it was off by about 15 seconds.  The winner finished in a rather impressive ~1:15 and change.  I would have needed my A game to beat him if I even had a shot, not my "I just did a really hard workout Tuesday, signed up for this last minute, and thought it would be an easy win game."

I did end up 2nd overall.  My legs felt a little shot, partially because I was not prepared for such a hilly race, and partially because I've had 4 plane rides in the past 3 days which I have never, ever done!  I actually don't know if I got cash or not because the timing company was unable to present the final results due a malfunction of some kind, so all awards are being mailed.  I guess I'll find out...

Now off to half marathon #2, which is just going to be a run that happens to be during a triathlon, in which I get a free tri top and didn't have to pay anything thanks to Cera Sport, a company that has a line of electrolyte replacing drinks.  Since it's a triathlon relay, I won't even have anyone to race so I really won't get tempted to get away from my plan!  Just a shake out run at this point...

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