Yesterday was the start of the 2012 race calendar although not in my regular category, the triathlon. Instead I ran the the 2012 Rutgers 1/2 marathon. Way back in 2011 I promised a friend of mine to help her through her first 1/2 marathon, but as she got injured back in February and I mostly put focus on triathlon training I hadn’t really set up a focused training plan before the race.
My long runs during the winter/spring have only been around 10k with just one 12k run put in there a few weeks ago and I hadn’t tapered at all up to the race with just one rest day in the last 10 days leading up to the race. So early on I decided to think of the race as more of a really long training run instead go going all out.
The day before the race the weather looked far from perfect with the forecast promising 40mm of rain of the day of the race, but fortunately the rain was postponed and it and it didn’t really start to rain until after the race.
The race stared at 8am so as I always do before a race like this, I got up at 5am and got some wholesome cereal with raisins and a glass of orange juice (I can’t wait for next week’s 6:50 am race start…)
At 6.30 I was picked up by another friend that also participated in the race and although I was still quite sleepy, we drove off towards Rutgers University.
I started off with an intention of just running a 1:40 race (i.e. 4:45 pace/km), but the first 5k was done in 4:37 pace and it still felt like I held back a lot, but I also knew that with the lack of training and tapering then the long distance would get back at me in the end if I didn’t watch out. So I slowed down a bit and did the next 8k with a pace of 4:41.
At 14k I was still feeling really good and just minding my own business when it happened – my mind played the oldest trick on the book on me: Another runner passed me running really effortlessly at something like 4:30 pace and my mind instantly told my feet to speed up and try to draft a bit – after all I couldn’t have somebody pass me! and my body felt a little bored after the long run and slowish tempo. I guess the competition gene just couldn’t be stopped.
So the next 4k was done at 4:29 pace – quite a bit faster than I had promised myself. My body still felt fine, but hearing my breathing getting more strained and seeing my heartrate spike to race levels made my mind come to its senses again towards the end of the race. I slowed down a bit got my heartrace and breathing to a comfortable level and finished the last 4k at 4:38 pace.
Overall I finished the race in a time of 1:37:36 so a bit faster than my intention, but without going for it 100%. Now I can start my tapering for next week’s sprint triathlon. I just have to get on my bike now and do an easy 1 hour roll.
You can see my race activity here: