Sunday, December 04, 2011
Today's event went great! Now, understand that I am nowhere near fast, but this event is a good one to try for a fast pace. The course is fairly flat, and does a big loop, starting and ending near the Scottsdale Civic Center. The weather also helped - it was cool and the sun came out for most of it.
I took the early start at 6:30 AM. It was still dark, and there was a fairly small group of us that started early. I started out doing my 4:1 alternations and just reminding myself to stay at a comfortable pace. The course goes out to Scottsdale Road, and then goes north all the way to Doubletree Ranch Road. There is a long but very very gradual uphill slope to this part of the course, and at the top you have gone by mile 5. This stretch went well, with each mile in about 11 minutes. Then the course takes a right and goes east to Hayden Road. This section is pretty flat, and adds another 2 miles. I was feeling really good on this stretch so I decided to try and push things a little.
At Hayden, the course turns back south. This section has a couple of very slight hills on it, but overall it is back down the slope we came up originally. I decided to do 6:1 alternations as I started this section. I figured that if I was feeling bad, I could always go back to the 4:1. However, I was able to keep to the longer runs all the way back down. I was starting to feel pretty tight in the legs at mile 12, but I pushed on, realizing that I could get under 2:30:00 if I kept my pace. There is a perfectly flat stretch in the last half of mile 13 and all the way to the finish line, and I kept my pace and felt pretty good at the finish. I hit 2:26:05 at the finish. This is the best time I have had for a half marathon since 2003, and I have only ever done one race faster, which is my PR of about 2:21.
So, now I'm wondering - if I keep up the training, lose a couple more pounds over the next month, and push myself a little at the event - can I set a new PR at the Disney World Half Marathon on the first weekend in January? I guess we are going to find out!
Have a great week!