November 6, 2011

The Sacrifices We Make

So it's the 4th week of training left before my next scheduled marathon.

52.18 miles on the feet. Tired, but not exhausted. The NY marathon inspired me, with friends who did well, and, the always amusing and awesome Lauren Fleshman's pre-race insight was awesome too.

I sincerely enjoyed a powerbar and skinny vanilla latte before today's dismal half-marathon performance (2:06:27) -- but, honestly, I'm not too upset. They re-routed the course and added an extra half mile up the marin headlands around mile 7. I walked. You know, don't lose the energy in the beginning, save it for the end.

Jen Ran.

She met our goal time. Less than 1:55. Also, she has been in better shape than me on our latest tempo runs, so this is not remotely surprising.

What was surprising (to me) was that by following the ("Save Energy For When You Need It") standard advice, I hit ridiculous traffic of people trying to cross each other on the bridge due the the 1X1 cross-traffic between miles 7.5 and 9.5 or so.

Ouch. 1 person per lane and thousands waiting to cross.


My favorite bay area race, definitely not in its best form for the 10th anniversary.

In hindsight, I should have ran the entirety of their additional hill up. I totally ran downhill (that's how I roll), but the 2 minutes of walking where I only lost about 30 seconds of running time? Yeah, that was probably 50 people who passed me, and then stood there in front of me at the 1X1 intersection no the bridge...

Tick, tick, tick went the race clock.

But, whatever. I am continuing my streak. I've started the US half in November every year since 2005. I love this race, and unless I have a good reason not to be in town (NYM would be a good reason, in my book, but we'll see), I plan to run it every year.

2005: 1:57:06
2006: 1:58:54
2007: 1:58:35
2008: 1:55:54
2009: 2:19:38
2010: DNF
2011: 2:06:37

Also, this year, I suspect there will be many complaints about how poorly the race was organized and run due to the construction re-routes and runner delays due to back-ups on the bridge.

But man, we got a gorgeous November clear sky day in San Francisco. Rain was on the schedule, but not a drop. There are few things more glorious in the world than this course on a beautiful day.

Sure, some stuff could have been done better, but at the end of the day, this race is small, wonderful, and infinitely more pleasant and cool than many of the other SF races with which it doesn't even compete.

And, the last 3 miles are flat, flat, flat. I'd love to say I picked it up and killed it on them. But I didn't. I reserved enough to pass several people on the last hill in Fort Mason at the end, but truly, I should have killed the entirety of the 3 miles, the last mile's cardiovascular performance made it clear that I had it in me. But, either the cold or just general laziness kicked in and I didn't do it.

Overall, I'm thrilled with the weekend (pre-race dinner at Scoma's was delicious!) but I'm disappointed with myself. I'd hoped for a better showing. But given the cold, the course changes, and the fact that I smoked at least 15 people on the final hills into the finish in fort mason, I'm still feeling pretty good about my training.

I can't help it, I'm a bit of an optimist.

Sure, it's scary to finish a 1/2 marathon 4 weeks before the full at 1 minute per mile slower than full target pace. (yikes!) For comparison, my last marathon, where I bonked was at today's pace.

Holy crappy half marathon pace today.

But, I'm just going to regroup. Get over this cold. and I've got the ATL half marathon in my sights now. Healthy to the start line and a good race to help me pick an appropriate goal pace for CIM. That's the goal.

Wish me luck. Onward.


Arvay said...

Good luck!

bt said...

Thanks Arvay!