I wanted to begin by saying that, I started running about 18 months ago and have been mostly a lurker here and RW but I have learned a lot from the regular contributors and I want to thank all of you very much.
My plan when running was that I would run a 1/2 when I had 13 months of injury free running. My goal would be 2:30. I began my training schedule on the first of the year and changed my diet (quit drinking) on Feb 1. Things really started to come together. My mileage was increasing and I was feeling good. 2:30 was not going to be a problem. Then I began reading, from the regulars, all of the advice regarding speed work. No thanks, that hurts. Well I tried and WOW, did it help. 2:15 was the new goal. The winter dragged on and the cold dark mornings and the windy runs at lunch began to take a toll on me mentally. I needed a break. I took some days off and decreased the intensity of some runs and got through it. I really feel as though the mental aspect of training was the most difficult. I struggled with time management and the guilt of not getting miles in. I wondered how other 41 year old fathers were able to log so many miles. I am pretty sure that I am not the only runner with a young child and a full time job. Then I realized that they are more dedicated to running than I am and that is OK. I am competing with myself not with anyone else.
Last week I asked for help regarding what to do the week of the race. I was given great advice and as you will soon find out it helped.
Kids Fun Run: My 3 year old daughter took part in the Fun Run on Saturday and received a medal and T-shirt. Even with all of the hard work and training this was the most exciting and rewarding part of the weekend for me.
Race day: Frederick Half Marathon
Rise and Shine at 4AM and struggle with usual stresses of food and bathroom strategy. The race was only 20 minutes from my house, so I arrived in plenty of time to deal with any issues.
I have never run with anyone before but a friend joined me for this event. An under trained but younger and more athletic friend. My goals changed while standing at the start and I decided to shoot for 2:10. My naive friend was shooting for under 2:00.
The beginning of the race was the same as most races for us middle of the pack runners. You start out too fast because you need to get out of the pack.
Miles 1 & 2:
Too fast but I felt OK. I know the area pretty well and I know the course is pretty flat. I train on big hills. Miles 3-6 were probably the best parts of the course. Historic buildings and historic neighborhoods. Market Street and then Baker Park and then the historic homes with all the residents in the front yard.
Way too fast, I let my under trained friend go ahead. I needed to slow down. Mile 7, I made a conscious effort to slow down. But when looked at my watch at Mile 8 I realized that I had slowed way, way down. I must have walked that mile. Damn, now I am all messed up in the head and feel that I need to speed up. If I speed up though, I am going to crash. Mile 9, Damnit, I misread my watch at Mile 8 and I was still way ahead of pace. Mentally, this was the hardest part of the race.
Now I decided that I was just going to keep getting it and see what happened. I had never run further than 4 miles at a pace less than 9 minutes. I stopped thinking so much and just ran. Enjoyed the crowd and kept positive. I knew the hill was coming but I trained on hills, I was good. I got on to the horse track and gave it everything I had. The crowd was loud and I was pumped. I knew would crush my goals.
I don't think I would have done that well if I had started out on my own. But I was pretty damn excited.
I thought my friend would fall back to me some but he finished 1:44. I am always humbled when I race. Whether it is a senior citizen beating me in a 5K or a friend who was under trained and crushing me in a half. I realized that it is really all about me. Maybe this is why I enjoy running. It is one of the few things in my life that allows me to be selfish and it is all bout me.
Thanks to everyone here. I learned more here than I did in any article or magazine.
Baltimore is next.
Don't call me Buttercup!
Holy crap, look at you!!!! You did AMAZINGLY!!!! Congrats on your first half! I'm doing Baltimore in 2014, probably (already have something else planned that weekend for this year). You'll have to write a RR for that one, too, and let us know how it goes. Congrats!!
Slow and steady wins the.... wait a second! I've been lied to!
Fantastic race!! Congrats on your debut HM!! You totally CRUSHED your goals!! Keep up the hard work!!
But The Smile That I Sent Out Returned With You.
From first time estimate of 2.30 down to a sub 2 hour on first attempt. Amazing stuff. Keep up the hard work and don't be too hard on yourself when training isn't perfect.
"It's not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves."
~ Sir Edmund Hillary
Awesome! I am so impressed with your debut time! Having this online community as a resource really does make a huge difference!
"I stopped thinking so much and just ran"
This was my favorite part of your RR. It's good to run a "smart" race. To know your strategy, limitations, whatever. But sometimes it feels great to tell your brain to STFU and just run! Congratulations on having such a wonderful first HM!
"It doesn’t matter how often you do it or how much you accomplish, in general, not running is a lot easier than running." - Meb Keflezighi
Congrats on a great race and smashing your goals!
The obstacle is the path. - Zen proverb
Ball of Fury
Congratulations!! That is a great time for a first HM!
PRs: 5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15
GREAT job! You absolutely smashed your goal.
Wow! What an excellent debut! It is wonderful that you beat by so much your initial expectations. Way to go! Congratulations!
PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013
Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013
18 marathons, 18 BQs since 2010
Congratulations on such a terrific debut HM. You really did well.
Sub 2 for your debut HM is awesome. Congratulations!
Congrats. You killed sub-2!
First off, stop lurking.
Secondly - sub-2 on your first half... So impressive!
Those splits are impressive for a first time half marathon! Mine looked like the Dow Jones graph on Black Friday lol!
Thanks everyone. I appreciate it.