Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Finish

At the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon last month in DC, which I'd signed up for in the spring and trained for all summer with two training partners, one of whom had been unable to compete, I met my goal of running a sub-two hour HM by hanging ontl the fast pace of the other training partner Lia the first half of the race and then, when I could no longer keep up with her due to weariness, I hung on alone the second half of the race as best I could while Lia ran a negative split and smashed her PR by throwing down a 1:50:59 (8:28 pace).  Proud to know ya, Lia!  (Done!)

The last part of the race was looming and I felt like I was merely shuffling along as I headed towards Haines Point and the race's last four miles on its interminable loop.  Obviously I had a six-mile base, which I already knew, and could extend a run past that point (the rule of thumb is that you should be able to go two and a half times past your base in a race, perhaps not prettily), and I suspected I could finish without stopping to walk, even through a water stop, but it was getting ugly.  (The last little uphill as seen on my first post-race run.)

I had brought one gu pack with me, a wonderful 1.1 ounce pasty elixir of mocha chocolate infused with double caffein and I distracted myself for a mile or so by deciding upon MP nine as being the best place to consume it and then being in the throes of anticipation as I looked out for said milepost and contemplated the fuel pack's magical restorative powers.  I ran by milepost nine as the Jefferson Memorial came into view with George Mason's bigger-than-life seated statue standing nearby and had my gu.  Revived a little, now it was a slog to the finish as I plunged down Haines Point counter clockwise and passed MP 10, having slowed to a 8:54 pace for the last two miles with my overall race-pace being 8:40 at that point, still well within the necessary requirement of running a 9:09 pace to break two hours.  (Done!)

My last 5K from there was a slow 28:09 (9:04 pace) which was still faster than the last 5K I did on a snowy day in the spring (28:30) but I felt as if the wheels were coming off as I left Haines Point to labor up the little uphill past the Bureau of Engraving building in the last half-mile, trying to quicken my pace for the finish.  Thankfully the finish line was on a little downhill in the shadow of the Washington Monument and I crossed it in a time of 1:54:53 (8:47), mightily pleased to have broken 1:55 as well as two hours.  I owe my satisfactory time to my training partner who put in those long training hours with me and who ran a perfect first half of the race with me to put my objectives for the race before me for me to fulfill.  (Lia's husband came to cheer us on.)


Dori said...

Congratulations on an excellent race, Peter! I'm so envious of your speed. Thanks for commenting on my post. I don't get to blog much any more and I miss my running blog friends.

Mark said...

Good job!!