I am both happy and disappointed with how the half marathon turned out. But the happy definitely outweighs the disappointment. And I know exactly where things went wrong, so that I can hopefully fix it for any future races.
What went wrong? I went out too fast.
I was so caught up in the crowd and loving how beautiful the weather was that I just got too excited and my pace for the first four miles was under 10 minute miles. My thought process was “hey, this is what we trained for; to go all out for the actual race”. Unfortunately that plan backfired around mile 7 because my right leg started to hurt and it became difficult to maintain a good stride. I ended up doing a lot of walk/runs for the last 5 miles or so.
At the start, I even told myself to stick with the 2:15 pacer because that would be a great time to end with. But at the beginning, I went past her and she ended up passing me between miles 6 and 7. At that point, I just told myself ‘”don’t let the 2:30 pacer go by you”. And thankfully that didn’t happen.
But I should be happy that I at least accomplished the three goals that I had for this race: #1: Finish. #2: Do better than the last half marathon I did, in 2017 (3:03) and #3: Do better than my first half marathon in 2007 (2:28). Getting a PR was definitely a pipe dream (2:09), but for those first few miles I actually thought that might happen.
My official time was 2:26:26.
And here are my splits:
Any tips on how to reign in the excitement at the beginning? I need to learn how to push myself, but not so much that I burn out.
At this point though, I think I’m going to hold off on running any more half marathons. I’d like to get better at distances of 10K or even 10 milers. I think that’s the sweet spot for me.
What is your favorite race distance?