Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sick Day and Half Marathon post mortem

I'm sitting at home today, off work for the second day in a row. I haven't done that in a long time. However, I've been sick twice in the last three weeks and my body must be telling me something:). I got my first upper respiratory infection and then sinus infection just a couple of days after the half marathon. I got my present upper respiratory infection at the end of a pretty brutal week of training as well as a pretty brutal couple of weeks of life. It just goes to show that stress plays a big part in our health. So, staying home today seemed like a good idea. Besides, I'm taking tomorrow off for my daughter's 18th birthday and want to be well enough to go near her! I'm using my resting heart rate to keep me in check. On Sunday it was 56! That may sound low to most people, but when I'm well rested and feeling good, it is as low as 36, and normally runs between 38 and 40. I was all set to do my workout prior to checking my resting HR. Mind over matter:) Fortunately, I checked and ended up spending almost the entire day in bed, I think I slept 14-15 hours! That's another random thought. Sleep. If I don't get 8 hours a day, I'm in trouble. My resting HR went down to 47 yesterday and is 42 today. I'm on my way towards a good recovery, but have to be careful, California 70.3 is less than 6 weeks away.

Now, I never did my post mortem on the Surf City Half Marathon. I felt good the morning of the race, although I have to admit I was only feeling fairly good the day before. I felt like I got off to a good and well paced start, keeping close to 6:50 pace for the first few miles. This is what I would need in order to break 1:30.

It was foggy and therefore humid at the start, and I was aware of the humidity almost immediately in the race. Really tried to pace myself at the beginning, went out breathing every 4 steps, effort was solid, but not too hard, At mile 3, in my haste to drink some water, I splashed it up my nose! Felt like I was in the pool, and just laughed it off. Did fine up the main hill in the race, and was feeling ok coming down the hill, although glasses were fogging up by now. Breathing came up to every 3rd step in the middle miles. Effort gradually increased, but I noticed feeling slightly "sluggish" around mile 5-6, had head wind to contend with, hit the 6 mile mark just under my goal pace; but at mile 7 realized that I wasn't going as fast as I felt I was going. Kept trying to pick it up, especially when someone passed me, but just didn't have an extra gear. By mile 8, I realized that I wasn't going to achieve my goal, but kept pushing, and really tried hard to pick it up at mile 10, effort was there (was breathing every 2nd step by then), but the pace just wasn't. In the back of my head, I thought about taking it easy, but the front of my head said no, keep pushing, keep the effort up. So, I was 4 minutes short of my goal and 1 1/2 minutes slower than my PR. The weather may have had some impact, but no reason to overthink this one, I really gave it a good effort and it was a very respectable time.
Mile Time
1 6:39
2 6:50
3 6:53
4 7:13 (uphill)
5 6:57
6 7:03
7 7:03
8 7:16
9 7:16
10 7:23
11 7:29
12 7:29
13.1 8:17
Final Time 1:33:54
22/529 in age group
219/4230 of men
257/10743 overall

The comparative results were pretty similar to my race two years ago, which was faster but had better weather conditions. That said, it's still pretty remarkable for someone who would have been in the middle of the pack just 5 years ago. Maybe next year, when I'll be in the next age group.

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