ORN: October 19; 13.1 miles, 1:58:03, 9:00/mile, run
It was nice to have a real race in my own backyard last week. The Boilermaker Half Marathon covers familiar turf, starting and finishing outside Purdue's football stadium and touring West Lafayette, Lafayette, the Wabash River and the Purdue campus.
As a Purdue grad and citizen of West Lafayette, it was great to be part of this event. As a runner, it also served as a dress-rehearsal for my attempt, two weeks hence, to run a sub four hour marathon at the Monumental Marathon in Indy on November 2. So, my objective in this HM was to emulate exactly what I want to do over the first half of my target race coming up.
The weather was in the low 40s and it was rainy when I arrived. About 10 minutes before the gun, the rain let up, runners quickly bustled out of the warmth of their cars and we were ready. Just then, the son of some good friends spotted me and asked if he could run. He had finished his first marathon just 6 days earlier, running a 3:31 at the Chicago Marathon. He wanted to just "work out the kinks at an easy pace" and my 9 minute plan sounded good to him. Off we went, with Ross and me in active conversation about all that is the Chicago Marathon...it was nice.
At around mile 4, Ross pealed off, looking for some other friends and I ran most of the rest of the race by myself, even though there were lots and lots of familiar faces to greet. I really wanted to focus on hitting my marks and keeping the 9 minute pace with continuous running. Both of you long-time blog readers will recognize this is a shift from my usual run/walk approach.
There were hills in this race, much more than I will see at the Monumental Marathon. But they didn't seem bad to me at all, though others complained loudly about them afterwards. I hit one odd spot, mentally/physically, around mile 8, when I wondered if this was really a good plan. By mile 10, I was fine again. This was a good reminder that I will hit ups and downs at this level of effort and my mind needs to remind my legs that "this is the plan...stay with it."
My mile splits worked out like this:
1-5: 9:06, 8:49, 8:48, 9:18, 8:32(downhill!)
6-10: 8:52, 8:42, 9:28, 10:12 (uphill!), 8:55
11-13: 8:53, 9:17 (last hill), 8:31
I hit the finish at 1:58:07. My race stats were also encouraging, as I placed 472 of 1,285 overall (I'm seldom in the top half) and 4th of 16 in my brand new age group of 60-64 (did I tell you I turned 60 on October 9??!! Ha!).
Post race, I saw and talked with Stan, a friend of many years who began running a couple years ago. What fun to see good people and have substantive conversations!!
My finish time worked to an exactly 9:00/mile pace...just what I want do to in 2 weeks. If I can hold a 9:00 pace through mile 19, then hold a 9:30 pace to the end, I'll have a sub 4. So, things are lining up for my second attempt at going sub 4. We'll see how it works out and will report it all, right here.
Persevere, at whatever pace works.