ENOUGH WITH THE SMALL TALK. HOW'D IT GO?
This was my slowest half marathon in 15 attempts. I set a reasonable goal and came up plenty short, easing to a 1:42:08. Yes it was hot, but it was also hot at Too Hot to Handle and I managed to be 3 minutes faster through 15K there. I think I have to blame this on disinterest; I had been looking past this race to my next one for weeks. If this were college football, you could say I was looking ahead to the Texas game and lost to Baylor.
DID YOU WIN?
Not at all, although my placing looked respectable: 75th of 1379 overall, 16th of 138 in my age group.
HOW'D THAT HAPPEN?
I started slow, very slow. A little past half a mile in, we split from the 10K runners and headed over the footbridge along Mockingbird. Nothing will deaden your stride more than trying to bounce along that bridge with several hundred other people at the same time. One step comes up short and feels like you stepped in quicksand. The next step goes long and you try not to fall over.
I found my stride for a little bit after that, but I could tell my pace was getting away from me. I hardly looked at my watch -- maybe this was why -- until mile 11 or so, just to see if I still had a shot at 1:40 (I didn't). There's really not much else to say; I just plain didn't run as fast as I should've been able to.
In rapid succession between about 6.25 and 7.25 miles, I crossed paths with three dailymile friends and a co-worker. Judging by the trend in my splits, those friendly faces gave me about a 15-second boost, so go make some friends out there!
Aside from my time goal, I wanted to finish first again among the participants in the Four Seasons Challenge. Those results aren't yet posted, so we'll see. I know there was one guy who beat me, but he didn't run the Texas Half so we really shouldn't count him.
7:40 pace last .22
OK, WHAT ABOUT THE REAL REASON WE ALL RUN, THE STUFF?
I like the red tech shirt, but as with Too Hot to Handle, if you're using the heat to sell your race, you really ought to go with a tank. It's just more appropriate.
The medal is not bad, though turning this into a bottle opener would've really been going the extra mile:
Flatlanders 12-Hour, Fenton, MO, Sept. 4.