ENOUGH WITH THE SMALL TALK. HOW'D IT GO?
Fantastic! I broke a PR for the 4th race in a row, posting a 1:02:57 to crush the old mark (set at this race last year) by 3:41. My age-graded score was 78.7, tying my best from the Boo!Run Half Marathon last October.
DID YOU WIN?
No, but probably more so than any race to date that I've left without a medal (for placing or finishing), I didn't care. I was 4th of 44 in my age group (2:30 out of the medals) and 28th of 657 overall.
HOW'D THAT HAPPEN?
It wasn't by choice, but I started a little off the line for a change, crossing about 5 seconds after the horn. This turned out to be a good thing, as the traffic in front of me kept my speed down and quashed the temptation to run out with the 5Kers. I settled into a good pace immediately as I covered the familiar White Rock terrain.
Coming up on the 2-mile mark I started to think the long-sleeve shirt was a bad idea, since the morning was a few degrees warmer than expected. I quickly chased that thought with another, stronger thought: No excuses. From there on out it was just a matter of keeping a steady pace until mile 7, when I'd kick it up a notch for a couple miles before turning everything up to 11 for the last third of a mile. I had been keeping tabs on my likely time as each mile put me further under my 1:05 goal, but when I saw the finish-line clock, I went into full-on ass-hauling mode to get in under 1:03.
I might need to tinker with my race schedule yet again. Not to spoil the splits you'll see in just a moment, but I ran the first 5K in 21:16, the middle 5K in 21:04 and the last 5K in 20:37. Math is hard, but I think that comes out to 41:41 for the last 10K -- and my 10K race PR is just 43:30. I need to do something about that, but the next 10K on my schedule is the Dublin Dr Pepper race in June, and by then it'll be warm enough to wipe out the gains I've made. I had the Tyler Azalea 10K on my calendar for 2012, but I'm thinking I should strike while the iron is hot and run that one this year and the Dr Pepper one next year. The Tyler race is the day before the Rock 'n' Roll Dallas Half Marathon so I might be spoiling the latter race, but it'll be worth it if I can slice a couple minutes off my 10K time.
6:08 pace last .35
OK, WHAT ABOUT THE REAL REASON WE ALL RUN, THE STUFF?
Once again the Run On! folks put together a long-sleeve white T-shirt with a simple logo that I'll have no trouble working into the rotation. The beanie will replace the one I left in Tucson. Those who were fast enough to earn an age-group award took home a classy-looking silver medal in the shape of the familiar mitten logo.
The finish-line area drew quite a collection of vendors handing out things like bags of Community Coffee and cans of some green tea-derived energy drink called Celsius, but they all might as well have packed up and gone home at 10 when the beer taps were opened. That line was 100 deep in a blink.
Texas Half, Dallas, Saturday.