Hi everyone! The temperatures have gone down a bit and the humidity has lifted around my house, so that made a great combination for a race! I think my coach groaned when I told him I had committed to a half marathon just 8 days before my goal marathon. The Boy Scouts Half Marathon is a race I’ve run for several years now – it’s never been a PR for me, mostly due to the hot temps that happen on Labor Day weekend, but it’s fun to see my running friends and kick off the holiday weekend with this race. Last year I skipped it before my Erie marathon and just volunteered at it with the kids, and that was fun too. Especially the part where Alan mixed up his pills. But I digress…
I did have a tempo (MP pace) run on my original Hansons schedule for this weekend, so my coach turned that into the following race day plan: 9 miles easy, 4 at marathon pace, 1 mile cool down. Originally I added it up and thought that would get me in just under 2 hours. Perfect! However, the more I investigated (so bad at “running math”) I realized the combination of running 9:30 (easy) and 8:45 (race pace) would actually finish just over 2 hours. What?? Not really what I had hoped for. I know I am not racing this half, but still, I wanted to finish just under 2 hours.
So I came up with the following modification: 3 miles (9:30), 3 miles (9:20), 1 mile (9:00), 5 miles (8:45) and final 1.1 miles (8:30). Still going easy for a lot of the race, and giving it a little kick at the end. If at any point I felt I was working too hard, this plan would be over and I’d just run at a slower pace to finish. My point was to have a good “supported training run”.
Race morning was *perfect*! It was 53, and no clouds. It felt chilly! I even started wearing arm warmers, but quickly took them off in the first mile. Glad I had sunglasses because it was full sun in our eyes on part of the course. Here’s how I did on my pacing plan:
Miles 1 – 3 (9:30) = Not quite. For the first miles, I wouldn’t say I was caught up in the race start, but I was not hitting my plan at all. I kept looking at my watch telling myself to slow down. Finally, by mile three I was getting more comfortable at the slower pace. btw – “slow” feels so much different when it’s not 78 degrees and humid!!
Miles 4-7 (9:20) = Pretty close! I continued to check my watch and adjust my pace to get around 9:20. The miles felt quite easy. I was feeling good!
Mile 8 (9:00) = Almost spot on!
Miles 9-12 (8:45) = Excellent!! Time to pick up the pace. I was concerned it would difficult, but it was not. In fact, by that time everyone else had settled into their paces, I was picking up pace so I was passing people left and right! I felt speedy as my pace increased and put the hammer down.
Mile 12 – 13.1 I looked at my overall pace and was ecstatic that I was going to come in under that 2 hour mark for sure. My last mile was 8:27, and I my trek to the end became a full out sprint for me at 7:44! WHEW!
Finish time: 1:57:36 That was good enough to get me 2nd place in my age group! Alan also had a speedy race at 1:27:52, 2nd in his age group too! We got some nice glasses as awards.
This half marathon had a new course last year (and the same this year) which took us all through town, through neighborhoods, and also along the Slippery Elm bike trail, which was nicely shaded. So if you are a local and thinking about doing this race next year, I highly recommend it! It has parking super close by (no race day jitters about parking!), a great group of runners (lots of my friends!), and great early registration rates! ($ vs $$$!)
While this race was far from a PR for me (mine is 1:47 last Fall), this race was a great confidence builder for me that I could really succeed at Erie next Sunday. It’s fun to run a race without any goal expectations and just enjoy the race. And to negative split the course was by far the best
Happy Labor Day weekend! Hope you are enjoying the long weekend! We spent the rest of the day at the Fair.
Q: Locals, did you run the Boy Scouts half this year? How was your race??
Q: Do you stick to a pacing plan (aiming for negative splits maybe?) on race day?
I usually go with the “fly and fry plan”… stick with my goal pace (or slightly faster!) as long as I can, and then end in a flaming mess. haha! We were being honest here, right?
Q: What Labor Day plans do you have?
I’m just enjoying some race taper time and not running!! Chilling with my kitten…