Monday, May 14, 2012

Halfway

This was originally posted on a separate "30 Before 30" blog, but I'm now deleting that and combining all past and future blog posts with this one. I'm copying over past posts with the original post date.

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Halfway to my goal of running a marathon, that is. I ran my first half marathon this weekend! It was an all women race, which helped diminish the intimidation factor.



My time was 3:06:09, which I'm content with. I was very impressed with myself at the beginning, as we ran the first few miles at about a 12 1/2 minute pace. I couldn't believe it when we saw the first mile flag - surely I wasn't running that fast! My average pace was 14:25. A friend of mine who has done a few halfs and one full marathon ran with me, as she has injured her knee and didn't want to push herself too far. Having her with me definitely kept me going, and going faster than I'm sure I would have by myself.

A few weeks prior to the race I had set a goal of three hours, but with subsequent practice runs realized that wasn't practical. I ran some analysis on the prior year results, and determined that the longest time in my age bracket (25 - 29) was about 3:30, so I wanted to beat that and not be last in my age bracket! I also set 3:15 as an extra goal, as that was about the 3rd quartile in last year's results. I walked a bit, but not so much that I can't say I "ran" the race. I have a threshold that if I walk about a third or more of a route, I won't say I "ran" it. I did the first 2 1/2 or 3 miles without stopping to walk, and for the first half the race only walked for up to 2 minutes at a time. By the last few miles, I think I was alternating sets of running for 1 - 2 minutes with walking for 5 - 6 minutes, but in total, I'd guesstimate I walked at most a fourth of the race.


I ended up finishing 96th out of 105 for my age group, and 1468th out of 1860 over all (within the top 80%). 


This summer my plan is to back off of distance, and work on speed and not walking. I'm planning to do at least three 5k races, and maybe find a good 10k to run. I'm going to start training in my barefoot shoes and accustom my leg and foot muscles to running exclusively that way.


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