I am still thinking about the race. This is what I wrote down to help me
analyze the entire process I went through to get to this point in my
As you all now, I am new to running (although I have been active all my
life). It will be a year in February. For the first 4-5 months I was in
10-15 miles/week range, totally unstructured training. Starting with July I
bumped it up to 20-30. For the last 3 months my average was 35 miles/week.
On July 5th I ran a 5K race (23:23). I used that race to determine pace for
fall's HM and training runs. Started with training (Ryan Hall's HM 10 week
plan) on August 12. My goal for the half was sub 1:50:00.
Following the plan:
I tried to follow the plan as much as I could. I really enjoyed it and did
not have a problem to meet everything the plan asked for. But a mistake
that I think I made was that I ran all my runs faster then I was supposed
to. Especially the long and easy runs. 3 weeks before the race, my legs were so tired and heavy. I started tapering a week earlier.
My original plan was to run the HM at 5:08 min/km (8:13 min/mile) = 1:48:18. Six days before the HM, I ran a local 5K race which I ran much faster then I expected (22:30). I decided to adjust my HM pace from 5:08 to 5:00 min/km (8:00 min/mile) = 1:45:30 HM. This was based on some good tempo runs I had too.
The race day came. I found my coral and started chatting with other runners
and looking for pacers. I wanted to follow 1:45 pacer, but the one there
was "10 minutes run - 1 min walk". I did not want to walk, so I decided to
follow 3:30 marathon pacer. But that one did not show up. I had to go on my
The race started and it took me almost 2 minutes to cross the start line.
Another couple minutes to find some space to run. The weather forecast was rain and 30 km/h wind. It really rained only for the first 5-6km. The wind was not that bad.
For the first 10km I was fine. The pace was good, I enjoyed the ride and
everything was just right. I was right on the target, 5:01 min/km. Km 13, I
was still OK, 5:02 min/km.
But after 13km a small hill slowed me so much. My shoes soaked in water
became heavy, I had hard time to keep the pace and I started counting every kilometer. I was not in control of my race any more. I had to slow down, thinking that it was my last HM.
Finally I found some energy and managed to finish it. My pace for the last 8km was 5:22.
Gun time: 1:50:22 (5:10 min/km)
Chip time: 1:48:43 (5:09 min/km)
10km: 50:08 (5:01 min/km)
13km: 1:05:43 (5:03 min/km)
Placement (overall): 1504/9648
Placement (Age Group 45-49): 120/514
I was happy I finished the race and met the goal of sub 1:50:00. I was a
bit upset because I made a rookie mistake starting too fast and not be able
to enjoy last 1/3 of the race and strong finish. I was one of those who
everyone passed at the end. But lessons learned, I am smarter now for a HM.