Saturday, September 24, 2011

Half-Marathon Prequel

It's never been a secret that I've hated the half-marathon. Yet somehow I am drawn to them. They're a very popular distance to run these days, it seems. It's not quite as long as the marathon, so people are less afraid of it. But it's long enough that they feel they can still challenge themselves to do it. I ran my first one as a sophomore in college in February, 2003. I'd already run a marathon at that point, so the half-marathon distance did nothing to intimidate me then. Besides, I was just going out for a fun run with my roommate, Ryan Stevens. We ran together for about 7 miles and then I pulled away from him. But if I recall correctly, I was 20 and he was still 19, so he earned an age-group award and came home empty handed. We debuted at 81:17 and 84:15, respectively. Not bad for not really doing any training for it. I'm happy to say that it's the slowest I've ever run a half-marathon.

Since that day, leading up to last weekend, I'd run 19 half-marathons. I've run the Colonial Half-Marathon every year since 2003, including a few days after my Dad died, with the exception of 2007, when I had a broken foot. Since leaving Williamsburg, I've ventured to other venues. I've done Shamrock and Rock 'n' Roll in Virginia Beach, I've run the Blue & Gray and Marine Corps Historic Half, and I even went to Philly in 2008 to run the now defunct ING Philadelphia Distance Run. In those 19 races, I've trained hard for some and I've trained poorly for some. Sometimes I have a good day, but more often than not it seems that I blow up. That's part of the reason why I never liked the half-marathon... I could just never seem to get it right.

Even after snOMG during January & February of 2010, when I had 3 solid weeks of training uninterrupted by school, I went to Colonial and Shamrock and couldn't put it together. I did PR at Shamrock, for the first time in 5 years, but only by 4 seconds. Other people ran minutes slower than their goal, myself included, but my PR was so slow that I was still able to eclipse it by the narrowest of margins. Rick Platt was shocked.

Here is a list of all of the half-marathons that I've run.

I'd run under 75 minutes 11 times, and under 74 minutes 6 times.  11 times within a 94 second window is pretty consistent over 13.1 miles, I think. But it's always been too slow. It's nice to finally get out of that slump. It was also really nice skipping over 71 and 72 minutes completely. Maybe now I don't have to hate the half-marathon anymore!

[I know the suspense is killing you all!]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting on my post. I will review your comment as soon as possible.

Race Photos