This is my 4th year doing this race so I've already yacked about it quite a bit... it's a pretty flat 1/2 in Febuary, course isn't all that special, can be windy.
What I would like to add - KUDOS to the new race director, he did a fantastic job! The association with Pepsi was clear and awesome (great loot!), the shirts are wicked, and the organization was flawless.
This was really a trial run before my true 1/2 marathon goal, the Whitby 1/2 in May. I wanted a sub-1:45 finish, but it was kind of a long-shot goal. Really I just wanted to have a solid race and do my best.
I was pretty calm at the start, my friend John was with me and I just tried to keep focused on staying above 5:00/km but below 5:10/km. Tough to keep such a specific range, I would look down and see 4:50/km then 5:15/km. I felt like my pace was reasonably steady, though.
My plan was to stay above 5:00/km for the first 7km, then pick it up to 5:00/km even to the half, then try find something for the back half.
This worked really well for me... I was comfortable for the entire first half, pace was bang on for the negative split. 53:28 at the half, on place for a 1:47 finish... but I wanted more!
I kicked it up a notch, the goal now being to see 4:XX/km for the rest of the race. And for the most part, that's exactly what I did. There was a brutal headwind at times on the way back, which in the past might have messed with my mind a bit, but mentally I just put it aside and focused on my pace. I drafted behind people when their pace allowed for it, just to get a break from the unrelenting wind.
The last few kilometers were grueling... I could feel the pace slipping away, and it started to feel very very difficult. The fatigue washed over me, it was a fight to keep under 5:00/km, but I fought and fought. My finishing kick was a lot weaker than I'd have liked, it was so hard just to keep going. My stomach was cramping and I felt drained.
Final result: 1:45:26.2 (152/513, 12/27 M30-34)
Can I get a Wh00t?
I'm delighted... a personal best by over 2 minutes!
Sure, I was 26 seconds off my ultimate goal, but I have another race in a couple months to get there. I feel I got as much out of myself as was there on this day, my race strategy was spot-on. There wasn't 26s more in me today, that has to come with training and hard work! I'll get there.
And what's not to love about this progression a this race?
2010 - 1:45:26
Wh00t!!! If this trend continues... Boston someday??? :)
Oh, and you'll note that my Garmin says 21.17km... I'm 99% sure the course was LONG. All their markers were bang-on my Garmin until the halfway point, then they were off. So I would have had it!!! Ah well.
Next up: Paris to Ancaster. Back on the bike and ready to rock!