ENOUGH WITH THE SMALL TALK. HOW'D IT GO?
I am really on a roll here. I ran a 1:30:06 to beat my PR by 36 seconds. That's the 5th straight race I've run a PR. My age-graded score of 79.2 is also a personal best.
DID YOU WIN?
I was in the money with a 2nd-place age-group finish (out of 50). Overall I was 19th of 737.
HOW'D THAT HAPPEN?
Coming off my great race last Sunday, I had a terrible week of training. I cut 2 of my 3 runs short because of headaches and amassed just 7.5 miles before today. My main goal, ahead of time or place, was just to get through without my head exploding.
I was worried early on that I had relapsed and gone out too fast like I did in the old days. My first 2 miles of 6:35 were a good 15-20 seconds faster than I'd wanted, although those miles each included downhill sections that accounted for the speed. I had hoped to check out some of the finally-finished trail by the spillway, but the course dumped us out onto Garland Road instead.
I passed the 5K mark in 20:47 or so and remained worried about the pace I was on. This was not your typical mostly-flat loop of White Rock; this was the first time I'd gone up the hill to the dam, run across, zigzagged down the ramp and climbed back up another hill right afterward. I knew I was ahead of PR pace, but without having a solid time goal in mind, I wasn't really sure where I needed to be.
The first half took 44:41, though I didn't give more than a fleeting thought to that big 1:30 milestone. I'd been keeping myself mentally occupied by figuring out where I was relative to 6:55 pace, and just staying on track with that was occupying all of my mathematical processing for the morning.
Each passing mile was a little more challenging, but I managed to keep my pace remarkably steady. By mile 10 I concluded that I pretty much had a PR in hand, which was a good thing because my energy was starting to tail off. I picked up my effort at the 11-mile mark, but my speed didn't follow along like it did at my last half. We got to the closing hill -- that same one we came down for the first eighth of a mile -- and I was just swinging my arms away and hyperventilating to get up the friggin' thing. That ordeal didn't last long, thankfully.
I might have been completely zoned out but I'm almost positive there was no water stop at mile 5 like there should have been. I think there was water more or less at all the odd mile markers starting with 3, but I don't remember one at 5. That would have been nice.
The internet community of 2011 came to life as I bumped into fellow dailymiler Lesley J., who'd seen me at three races before we finally crossed paths. She saved her best race for another day, but among those who'd run well enough to earn awards, turnout was shockingly low in the Winfrey Point clubhouse. Even though the awards were handed out only 45 minutes or less after most of those folks crossed the line and cooled down, most names were called to no response other than polite applause. I can understand not waiting around if the awards ceremony is overly late or the weather's bad or somesuch, but what prompted so many folks to skip out? It was disappointing.
6:59 pace last 0.18
OK, WHAT ABOUT THE REAL REASON WE ALL RUN, THE STUFF?
There's not a whole lot of stuff to be had. There is no goody bag -- you get a shirt, period. Though it is a tech shirt, it's not an impressive one (put the sponsors on the back and make the race logo bigger on the front).
Also not really impressive, the medal:
But, the awards were nice. I got a glass trophy to match the one from the 2009 Tyler Half:
Post-race food and beverages were basic but ample. The massage tent looked inviting even though I really didn't need one.
Run the Line Half Marathon, Texarkana, TX/AR, Feb. 20.