Short version: 5 months since my first half, where I ran 1:50:45, finished my second half in 1:28:10.
A little background first, for those who don't know. This time last year, I hadn't even started running yet (April 4th is my 1 year runniversary). I had already decided to get healthy tho, and had dropped around 40lbs from changing my diet. Then I decided to start running, and have since lost another 45lbs, dropping from 270lbs down to 185lbs. I hated running when I was in the Navy, I was a member of what we used to call the 3 mile club, meaning that the only time I ran was for the 1.5 mile physical fitness test twice a year. But I knew running would be good exercise, so in my quest to get healthy and lose weight, I decided to start. Little did I know that I would soon come to love running, some might say become addicted even. lol It's a huge part of my life now and I love it. I ran my first 5k in June of last year, then an 8k shortly after that, then in July/August timeframe, I had gotten my long run up to 13 miles, so I decided it was time to run a half.
Ran the Rock n Roll Half in Virginia Beach last September, with a goal of sub-2:00, finished in 1:50:45 and was very happy with that. Signed up for the Shamrock half almost immediately afterwards, so that I could train all winter and see what kind of improvement I could make. Over the winter my running has improved a good bit. My local running club puts on a distance series to prep for the Shamrock, a 10k/15k/20k series for the half and a 20k/25k/30k series for the full. I opted for the short series for the half and ran the 10k in 41:35, average pace of 6:42/mile. The 15k got canceled due to weather, but I came out of the 20k with a 1:24:55, average pace of 6:50/mile. My goal for the half was sub-1:30, which 6:50/mile would have gotten me, but I felt like I had left a lil bit on the table at the 20k, so I decided to shoot for a 6:45/mile pace.
Woke up at 4am this morning to get ready for the race, it's only about a 40 minute drive, but with the race starting at 7, I wanted to make sure we got there in time to get decent parking (read: near the finish line lol). Forecast was for low 40's with some wind, but not too bad. I figured it would be fine so long as it wasn't raining. The weather for my 20k was the same, but with rain, that sucked. Got to Virginia Beach and started heading to the starting line (about 10 blocks away from the finish where we parked). Not sure what the official speed on the wind was, but it was blowing pretty hard and cold, not good. Oh well, at least it wasn't raining, time to suck it up, right?
Got a good warmup in, couple of miles with some strides, feeling good. Get in my corral with just a few minutes to the start, just starting to sweat, perfect timing. Then the start gets delayed about 15 minutes. Seems there was some construction on the course that no one bothered to make sure was cleared for the race. So much for warming up. I try to keep moving. Then I notice some folks from the front of my corral take off and we think the race is starting, nope, they just decided that they needed to warm up again, so I went out and did a bit more warming up, only a few minutes tho before they decided it was time to actually start the race. So not the warmup that I was planning, but I figured I'd be alright.
Went pretty much as expected, usually not much drama in the first half of the race. Although, I will say that facing a head wind for a couple of miles while going through Fort Story kinda sucked. I had already decided that I would try to hold 6:45 until mile 7 and then assess how I feel and see if I needed to change my pace. I felt good, but I didn't want to risk pushing it too hard and blowing up before the finish, so I decided to hold my pace.
Once we got out of Ft Story and back into the neighborhoods, the wind died down, which was really nice. Made it much easier to stay on pace, since at this point I was having to focus and push to stay on pace. Lots of great crowd support, which is always nice. I've noticed that I get a solid 10-15 second/mile boost from crowd support. At the end of the course, you turn onto the boardwalk, and finish on the boardwalk next to the beach (same for the RnR half), which is a great way to finish a race. Altho, when I took the turn to go towards the boardwalk, the wind coming off the beach was like a wind tunnel on that street, it was a lil crazy. But then it was ok on the boardwalk and I was able to give a lil kick to the finish. Not a huge kick, which tells me I properly paced myself, but I finished strong, around 6:20/mile coming down the boardwalk.
Finished in 1:28:10, 6:44/mile average pace, 118th overall out of 8,424 runners, and 18th in my age group out of 477.
I could not be happier with how much I've been able to progress in a year. When I went out for my first run on April 4th last year, I couldn't even run a mile without stopping. Can't wait to see what the next year brings!
After the race, which was sponsored by Yuengling, there was plenty of beer and irish stew available. They had a good band, and two more were scheduled to play today. I wasn't able to warm up at all after the race tho, or else I'd still be there partying, so we headed home.
No official pictures yet, hopefully there will be some good ones. Here's a few that my wife took.
Getting a rock out of my shoe while walking to the starting line (not very exciting, but it's the only prerace pic I have lol):
Floating down the boardwalk to the finish.
With my medal after finishing.
Cool sand sculpture for the race.
The family bling from Shamrock weekend, 8k medals for my wife and oldest, Leprechaun Dash medal for my youngest and my half medal.
My running blog
Goals | sub-4 trail 50k | complete first 100 miler without dying
It writes upside down.
Wow, D2, you just killed it!!! That is amazing! Great RR and cool pictures as well. You should be very proud of yourself. Man, that is too cool!
Thanks Jack! I'm extremely happy right now.
Dave, I can't wait to see what you do in the Marathon. !!!!!! CONGRATS !!!!!
The "Schedule" 04/30/2016 Illinois HM, Champaign (R)
05/07/2016 Indy Mini (R)
05/15/2016 Cleveland HM
05/22/2016 Chicago Spring HM
08/07/2016 Bridge of the Gods Run HM (R)
10/15/2016 Des Plaines River Trail HM (R)
YAYpril - B-Plus
Congrats, Dave! I knew you would blow your PR out of the water. Great job. Kick back and relax - you earned it.
Feets don't fail me now
Dave, you killed it!! We all knew you would, but huge congrats. I've been excited for this race since your first HM!!
Excellent time! Congratulations on such a great PR!
PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013
Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013
18 marathons, 18 BQs since 2010
Incredible improvement! Love the family bling shot, too. Congrats!
Ball of Fury
That is amazing progress...you should be proud!! Congratulations!
PRs: 5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15
Jerry, thanks! I'm looking forward to running the full next year, can't wait to see what I can do with some good marathon training over the winter.
Thanks April! I don't think I have much of a choice but to relax at the moment, my legs are toast lol
Thanks Liz! All winter I've been looking forward to this race, but it always seemed like a long ways off, then all of a sudden, it was here! I have another half next month, hoping to shave a lil more time off, but nothing like the jump I made today, maybe a minute or so.
Lily, thanks! I couldn't be happier right now.
Thanks Supersono! It was great having the whole family out there!
Thanks Ami! I am.
Smaller By The Day
Dude...I knew you were fast, but that is just blowing my mind. Excellent job. I'm seriously impressed.
Weight 100 pounds lost
5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)
10K 48:59 April 2013
HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013
MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013
Jess runs for bacon
Can I just say, BAMF????
I'm just curious. Your training log still shows that almost all of your miles are easy with the rare tempo run. Is that true?
And to think, this is only the beginning of the race season!
That is an incredibly talented age group that you were a part of when a finish time like that nets you 18th. You should be good for quite a bit of age group bling as the year progresses.
Way to knock your goal race out of the park!
The glass is half-full has wine in it. Same difference.