It's about time I had a "perfect" race: well paced, well executed, and I hit both my time goals. I finished in 1:42:28, and I was extremely pleased with how it went.
Yesterday I hydrated with 56 oz of Infinit, ate a chicken/pasta lunch, and lasagna for dinner. My own mini carbo-loading protocol! During the race I brought 2 7 oz fuel belt bottles of Infinit - I like to take a sip of sports drink more often than the water stations.
My previous half marathon PR was 1:50:22, set in December of 1999. I felt like I could improve on that time, since I've been running more, have a larger exercise base, and have been speed training.
My strategy was to hold an 8:00 minute/mile through mile 10, and then take stock and re-evaluate how my race was going. My primary goal was to beat 1:50:22, and my secondary stretch goal was to come in under 1:45:00.
I seeded myself near the front - even though I'm not that fast by running standards, my experience here is that lots of people are wildly optimistic in their own placement. I just wanted to dodge fewer people - again, I'm not that fast, but I knew any more than 20 or 30 seconds back from the start would be a nightmare for the first mile.
I kept it right around 8:00 through mile 5. It felt like I was running a lot slower than I could have, but I knew that this was necessary for me to hold the pace the entire distance. No use going out hard only to run on fumes at mile 10!
Things were looking really good when I came to mile 10 at 78 minutes, 2 minutes ahead of schedule. I decided 1:45 was looking good so I picked it up slightly.
I had minor delusions of finishing under 1:40, but I was not able to hold the necessary pace from mile 10. Maybe that will be my next goal.
Unfortunately, my footpod was way off at this race - it measured 12.7 miles. That is a 3% error which is pretty big. I replaced the battery recently, but what I probably need to do is recalibrate the footpod at a track, while running 8 minute miles, in order to get as much accuracy as possible.
Overall, this race went very well and I'm going to treat myself to a nice milkshake this afternoon. :)