Gotta start with saying the WPFS Half Marathon was fantastically run – very clean and organized. Fantastic volunteers – overall just great.
It was a changed course this year as one of the parks decided not to let the run go through this year. This took some of the scenic aspects out of the course and put the first several miles on pretty bland city streets. Nothing too exciting there but about half way through the course got a lot more scenic which was nice.
Weather was perfect too – cool but not too cold and no wind. Great conditions with a nice sunrise.
So what happened? Why was I slower? Well – probably a few reasons but I will get to that.
I went into the race not really sure how hard I wanted to push and thought about lining up around the 2 hour mark and taking it easy – I certainly wasn’t out to prove anything this race. In the end though I saw the 1:45 pacer and figured I would line up near him and if I had to back off I would and still maybe be close to my 1:46 PR. I wasn’t training lately to go extra fast so I didn’t think a PR was likely but stranger things have happened.
So I followed the 1:45 pacer and felt strong and was able to keep up nicely. Around mile 6 or so I was actually ahead of him for a bit and still feeling good. He did end up passing and around mile 8 I had to stop for a quick walk. I was able to push the speed and had him well in sight until mile 10ish when I stopped for a second quick walk.
Then around mile 11 I was going strong and still well on track for around 1:46 and then I accidentally pulled my earphones out and couldn’t get them back in without walking again.
Got going again but didn’t have a lot more speed left – steady but no burst power.
Coming up near the end I was still going strong and passing a few here and there and also being passed – but still good. Got around mile 12.5 and saw some guy was trying to race me – kept looking around to make sure I was still behind him and I could tell he was struggling – weird. I could have blasted past him – was feeling damn strong but that isn’t my game and I didn’t want to risk tripping or causing a problem. Just stayed nice and tight and let him have his finish. My PR wasn’t there so there was no point in going crazy.
No tummy troubles or equipment issues at all – was comfortable the whole race.
So I’m not entire sure why I was slower than my race a month ago but I think there are a few reasons:
- to start with I wasn’t hungry for it – didn’t put any pressure on myself
- I haven’t done any real speed work in a month (not since the Fort Garry Half Marathon 4 weeks ago) – everything since then has been about endurance and running on tired legs.
- That being said the legs are probably a bit tired too – especially after running a 12 hour damned near 50 mile run 2 weeks previous
- I haven’t been as focused on speed training since I set my half PR back in May so I have probably been slowly training myself to be a bit slower all summer (especially since I was looking at that 12 hour run)
So lots of reasons why I wasn’t faster – but still I ran a strong half and felt comfortable enough to contemplate a run later that night. I have trained and locked in endurance and quick recovery – just what I need for the Dopey Challenge in January.
Now that tells me my training plan is working and I will be ready for Dopey – that being said I will most likely make sure that I push my speed work harder over the next couple months!
Again – a great race! Half marathon #14 in the bag.