August 19, 2006

I did well in the Great Salt Lake Half Marathon

I completed the race in 2:21:16 and won first place in my age category of 70-74. Of course, my son reminded me that I also was last in that category since I was the only one in it :) I threw in a kick at the end and sprinted for the last 100 yards or so.

My goal was to complete the race in 2:30 or less, and I beat that with my 2:21. My other goal was to run most of the race at a pace of 11 and then to speed up during the last couple of miles. I reached that goal with my average pace of 10.7. I feel good about my performance, especially since my fastest training time for 13 miles was 2:41.

The one thing that needs improving is my consistency in pacing myself. My lap times were

1. 9:39
2. 9:53
3. 9:55 ;* Includes a water stop and short walking break
4. 10.04
5. 9:55
6. 10.12 ;* Includes a water stop and short walking break
7. 10.30

; The following laps had a walking break of approximately a minute at the end of the lap.
8. 10.41
9. 11.02 ;* Includes a water stop
10. 11.40
11. 11.21
12. 12.24 ;* Includes two hills and a water stop
13. 11.57

I knew that I'd started out too fast, but my body wanted to go at that pace, so I let it do that. That pace felt comfortable, and I was surprised when I looked at my Garmin the first time and saw the 9:39. It was kinda dark, and I couldn't see the watch very well. I thought maybe I had set it up wrong. When the 9:53 came in I could tell that the watch was working correctly, and I was really surprised that I had maintained that fast pace for two miles. I ended up maintaining that fast pace for the first 6 miles and a slower but still fast pace for two more miles. I realized at the end of 8 miles that I was slowing down, and I started taking walking breaks at the end of each mile.

In looking back on the race, since I was guaranteed a 1st place in my age category (I didn't know until the race was over that I was alone in my age category) I'm glad that I did well so the blue ribbon isn't just a default gift.

Here we are on Antelope Island enjoying the good feeling that comes with a job well done. With me are Bruce from Las Vegas, my friend from, Beth from Chicago who is in Utah for a wedding and learned of the GSL from my blog, and Ben my colleague at Westminster College before I retired.

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