The swag (there's a darker wine in the box, the bottle on the right is a custom label I had made for Abby's first half/33rd Bday:
Going long again - for me anyway. After finally getting back under 17 with a 16:41 5k last week, it was right back to the half marathon distance, but this time without the brewery visits beforehand. And a little more training.
The bonus would be that this was in wine country, and would be Abby's first half marathon EVER.
We grossly overpaid for a standard hotel, though Dave got his own lil' kids room, and we loaded up on the carbs for a couple days beforehand. I had tweaked my left calf (probably due to the Achilles) three days before, but by race time, it was feeling pretty good by my standards. I did a little bit longer of a warmup to get ready, and we were off. The leader was a 14-minute college 5k runner, so nobody tried to hang with him. Then a pack of 3, with me hanging on the back. Pretty quickly we started to break up. I was in 3rd by mile 1 (a slightly downhill 5:43) and would stay there the rest of the race. 2nd would usually put a few seconds per mile on me pretty regularly. Though I could see him most of the time, this was a very lonely run. Just me and the clock. I was able to come through halfway slightly under goal pace in about 38:16. I knew it would be hard to hold that pace and hit my 1:16+ A goal, as I was feeling it already, but all I had to do was run within 10 seconds per mile to hit my B goal of 1:17 & change.
I kept a close eye on my watch as the miles ticked off, and although I ran a couple of the harder miles at 6 minutes+, I was still on pace at each and every mile (total). I hit mile 13 in 1:16:56 and was closing well. Should be under or at 1:17:30. Then, the last 0.1 miles took 1:15 (shoulda been about 33 seconds). What the cake?! When I saw 1:18 on the clock my heart barfed (you didn't know that was possible, did you?) and I crossed in an official 1:18:11. Fortunately, I wasn't the only one to notice this, and all 4 GPS watches we checked had the course at 13.24-13.28 miles. I'm happy that I hit my goal, but disappointed it doesn't show in the results.
Abby managed to break 2:00 in her first ever half, running 1:59 (1:58) & change, and Dave shaved a few seconds of his pr, even with the extra couple hundred meters.
Although the drive in both directions was ridiculously slow, this was a super fun trip. Thanks to Jim and Betty for taking the kids for the weekend. I plan on keeping an eye out for at least one more fast half to run before the end of the year...I really want to get a 1:16. Til then...
The borrowed dog: