May 6, 2007

Huron Lighthouse Half-Marathon

Saturday - What was supposed to be a warm and sunny morning ended up being cool and overcast! Running on a sunny day goes a long way in lifting your spirits but can also beat you down after a while... especially if you're racing, so I was happy with the weather. My parents and I arrived at Huron High School's football stadium about 35 minutes early, which allowed me plenty of time to grab my race packet, head back to my car and loosen up a little before the 8:30 start. My Dad was curious as to how I was going to approach this race compared to how I approach a marathon. I didn't have a good answer, to be honest. I told him I would run faster than my planned marathon pace - which is easy to calculate based on whatever time I set as a goal (keep in mind, I like to run even splits) - but slower than 5K or 10K pace. Let's think... divide by two, carry the 1, yeah... my half-marathon pace should be right around 6:15/mile. Fast forward past some inaudible race instruction and a pre-race prayer and we were off and running.

I started off at a comfortable pace as four others shot out considerably faster. By the 3/4 mile mark, one of the four had a shoelace issue and had to pull off to the side. The other three were pacing off of each other at what seemed to be a 6:00/mile pace. Mile 1 - 6:13 and I was already in no-mans land feeling a little tight and not entirely relaxed. Mile 2 - 6:15 and watching up ahead as one of the three leaders was falling behind. Miles 3-4 averaged out at 6:18 and I was almost caught up with the third place runner. I passed him during mile 5, which was either short or downhill, 5:52. My parents drove by a couple times at this point and even pulled off the side of the road to snap a few photos. I started to feel really strong and had a solid sixth and seventh mile, 6:12 and 6:07. Overtook second place by mile 8 but was too far back (or so it seemed) to make an effort to chase down the leader. One of my friends who has won many races and competed at somewhat of an elite level told me never to stop running hard because you never know the condition of the runners in front of you. Mile 10 - 6:13. Mile 11, 6:12, took us onto a dirt trail heading directly back to the stadium. Mile 12 - 6:13. I made an attempt to run a fast 13th mile and did OK, 6:10, but was starting to lose steam. I did well to listen to my friends advice because the leader was just finishing as I hit the track for the last 1/4-mile. Official finish time, 1:21:13 (6:12/mile), which is a personal best for me in the half-marathon.


Sunday - Hit the road at 6AM for 4 miles before meeting up with Cathy at 6:30 to run the last 16 miles of my final 20-miler before Cleveland. Again, it was a little on the chilly side but there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I had warmed up by 3 miles and ran comfortably throughout. I remember running one other "effortless" 20-miler before Boston '06 but they don't come along very often.

It's officially taper time!!

7 comments:

A. M. Mericsko said...

Nice work Brian!

Neese said...

excellent!! and beyond my comprehension how anyone runs that fast, you're awesome! congrats on the PB!

SoupKitchen said...

Wow! Congratulations! 6 minute and some change miles for 13 miles! Wow. I wouldn't be able to hold that pace for more than a mile! You're a pretty amazing guy Mr. Whittaker!

Papa Louie said...

Brian, congratulations on your half marathon personal best. Good race strategy! Enjoy some rest before you smoke the Rite Aid.
I'm running the 10K. See you there.

DaisyDuc said...

Wow, I guess your friend's advice was good for you!!! Such an impressive PR!!! I am sure your parents had to be proud!

You are so ready to tear up Rite Aid---perhaps I will see ya up there!

E-Speed said...

hey glad someone got a PR this weekend :) Great job!!!

Curly Su said...

congrats on the PR; looking forward to hearing about cleveland!