It’s been a fun five months of marathon semi-retirement. Back in December when I decided to take a backset to the marathon and focus on getting faster, the Frederick Half Marathon was always the end goal I had in mind. I was really encouraged about another PR after the Chambersburg Half in March with a 1:36:22 PR on a hilly course. On a flatter course a sub1:35 was definitely in the cards. Cycle really ended strong and felt really good physically. Recent events in Boston leading up to Frederick made me decide that I was going to take a shot at a BQ later this fall. That said I wanted to take a shot at a goal of 1:32-1:33 in Frederick to validate that goal even if I did not fully believe I was ready for that. Regardless I was going to take a swing at it and if I fall short still plenty of time to be in BQ shape this fall.
Picked up my race packet day before race as Frederick had very limited race day pick-up. Small little expo at fairgrounds. Not bad for a decent size half marathon. Slept pretty good that nite which is surprising as usually that is not case with a goal race. Woke up around 3;30 and got ready. Left a little early as it was a 45 minute drive and wanted to leave myself plenty of time. Arrived at fairgrounds around 5:30 with plenty of time before race started at 7am. Ran a short warm-up around fairgrounds and on racetrack where race finishes. Calmed me down a bit and was ready to go.
Met up with my friend Allison and lined up at 7:00 pace marker ahead of sub1:40 group which felt weird to me especially last fall that was my goal I was barely able to accomplish just 9 months back. Played national anthem and Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline in tribute to Boston. If that does not inspire you to race what really will? Race started, hit the timing map and we were off.
Mile 1 – 6:57 – mostly downhill for most part, but way too fast Billy! SLOW DOWN!!!
Mile 2 – 7:10 – settled in at better pace and made up for Mile 1.
Mile 3 – 7:02 – right on pace this mile and feeling pretty good. Saw my buddy Rick screaming my name “BILLY GUNN!!!” High fived him as I passed and got me all pumped up.
Mile 4 – 7:00 – right on pace and feeling strong. Saw Rick again!
Mile 5 – 7:16 – some minor hills with slower mile than I would have liked.
Mile 6 – 7:03 – dialed back in at goal pace. Saw Rick one more time.
Mile 7-9 – 7:18, 7:19, 7:18 – lot slower than I would have liked, but a bit of fatigue setting in with lot of turns as wind picked up. Kept pace consistent at very least.
Mile 10 – 7:34 – slowest split yet. Some gradual hills and just trying to maintain. Knew at this point 1;32 was not going to happen and focused on my original goal of sub1;35 as that was more realistic at this point.
Mile 11 – 7:25 – after last split needed to dig in deep and finish this strong. Found my second wind.
Mile 12 – 7:21 – lots of downhill and that helped me pick it up. Almost done and I was determined to get this done.
Mile 13 to Finish – 7:14 – feeling good about a sub1:35 and just kept pace going. Small hill to race track and there was Rick again running by me pushing me up hill. Race Directors are really cruel with these kind of hills towards end of races. Hit racetrack and gave it all I had left. Hit finish mat at 1:34:40 and was ecstatic with my finish time. Could not believe I ran a half that fast and still can’t a few days later.
Very happy with my time even if the 1:32 goal was not meant to be. 1:34 is not a time to be ashamed of and a time I never thought I’d hit 3 years ago when I started this whole running thing. Gives me hope a sub1:30 very possible in the near future. You really can’t be upset with a 2 minute PR and over 5+ minute PR over the course of a spring. Mission accomplished! Overall taking a step back from the marathon worked out well and I am a better runner than I was 6 months ago. Definitely something I’ll do again in the coming years as a runner. That said I am ready to jump back in to the deep end of the running pool and go get that BQ in Philly. Do Work! Get Faster!
PR's - 5K - 20:15 (2013) | 10K - 45:14 (2011) | 13.1 - 1:34:40 (2013) | 26.2 - 3:40:40 (2014)
Great race Jedi. Sounds like you ran it on the edge, and it paid off. Great effort. Now go get that BQ!
PRs: 21:35 (5K); 1:46:46 (HM); 4:30:46 (FM)
Ball of Fury
Great race Jedi!! I admire that you went for it, even if you weren't sure if you were ready and you laid it all out there!! Now, go get that BQ! We really need to have a Donuts FE in Boston 2015!!
PRs: 5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15
Excellent race report! How inspiring that your friend was there to push you at the end. I believe Boston is in the cards for you very soon. Congrats!
PRs: 1:39:24 (HM) 3:47:02 (FM)
PRs: 47:54 (10K); 1:46:36 (HM); 3:50:52 (FM)
Recovering from injured knee (PCL/Lateral Meniscus)
Great race Billy. Taking some time off marathoning to work on speed seems to have served you very well. Looking forward to tracking your progress with Hansons.
Just kidding of course. Very well done. I am with you on the speed and strength training.
I echo others in looking forward to seeing your BQ post.
PR's : HM 1:51:15 - 5K 21:27