tehuti: (Running Wolf)
[personal profile] tehuti
As I walked through the chute after finishing the half marathon Saturday, I turned to the Princess and remarked that, one year ago, I'd never have imagined completing that race. The fact that it was my third timed half marathon this year would have been complete lunacy to contemplate. But there I was, walking through the line to collect my third finisher's medal in as many months.

I often forget that I've only been running for slightly more than one year. Sixteen months, give or take a week. I know that my hiking experience gave me a good base to build on, but it still feels like I shouldn't be able to enter or complete the races I've done this year.

But enough rambling. This post was supposed to be about the Hartford Half Marathon. As I mentioned briefly on Facebook the other day, I am ridiculously pleased with how this race went. So let's get to it, shall we?

First, the technical stuff: 31.11 miles, 2:45:22 gun time, 2:41:05 chip time. Gun time means from the moment the starter's gun fired. Chip time starts the moment we crossed the start line. Aimee and I were near the back, so it took us a few minutes to actually get going.

Splits:

Miles Time

1 10:51.5
2 10:50.0
3 11:25.7
4 11:37.9
5 11:56.7
6 11:56.1
7 11:38.2
8 12:14.3
9 13:18.1
10 12:51.4
11 12:49.9
12 13:15.8
13 13:08.9

For the non-runners reading this, these splits are really good for runners like us. Like most racers, we started at our planned race pace (a bit faster, actually, but that's also normal) and lost speed as we got tired. The goal was to finish sub 2:45, which we achieved. Up until the last two miles, we were as much as seven minutes ahead of pace. We were so far ahead that, at about the eight mile mark, we took a potty break and still made our goal. Our average pace was 12:18 per mile, which is a really good time for us at this distance.

Physically, we both held up well. We're planning to go for a short run tomorrow, to stretch the muscles a bit. The first time I ran a half marathon, it took me a full week to recover. Aimee wasn't any better. So not only are we getting better at running this distance, we're also recovering faster. Another thing to be pleased about.

A few quick points before I post this and head to bed:

The weather was fantastic. A bit cool at the 8am start, but it warmed up nicely. So did we, which helped.

The rain the day before made for a muddy post-race party. Mud and Vibram Five Fingers don't mix well. Bushnell Park was all squishy! :-P

As we crossed the finish line together, Aimee and I rang the cowbells we snagged halfway through the race course. The crowd's cheering was awesome.

Sadly, they weren't cheering for us. The winner of the women's marathon happened to be crossing the finish at the same time we did. Completely stole our thunder. Sigh...

Didn't see as many toe shoes this year as we did last year. Not sure if that means anything, just an observation.

Did see one guy running the half while barefoot. I thought we were hardcore...

Michy and Ian found a nice little breakfast place on Main St. Turns out that the course ran right past it. Also turns out that she came out with the baby at just the right moment for us to run over, swap kisses and keep on going.

Going to the Town Line Diner for our family post-race meal is now officially a tradition, because I said so.

So are chocolate milkshakes.

Next year, we have to finish a lot faster. We crossed the line in 4736th place, out of 5156. The lines for everything were so long, we skipped a lot of stuff, including the free beer.

It's kinda nice being near the back of the pack, though. We all know we're slow, and encourage each other. It's a nice camaraderie, and I hope that we don't lose that if we get faster.

Micah's Racing Goals: Don't be last (check!), finish the race (check!), post a personal best (check!). Two out of three is a win. Three out of three is fantastic.

Was it really only last summer that I struggled to finish a 5k? Feels weird, looking back now.

Even weirder? When we ran the 5k race in Hartford last year, Aimee was four months pregnant. Where the hell does the time go?
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January 2012

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