So, more than 24 hours have passed since I finished running the Orange County Half Marathon - my 20th half marathon! I was blessed to have had the opportunity to compete with two amazing girlfriends and congratulate both of them on strong races. As for me...this was not my fastest half marathon ever, but the fastest one for me since October of 2011. I'm super thrilled on so many levels...but then also thinking, "what could I do different next time to insure that I'm faster and stronger?"
First of all, let's look at my splits:
Mile 1 - 12:18
Mile 2 - 10:26
Mile 3 - 10:34
all "within" my goal pace of 10:44. Not a bad start.
Mile 4 - 10:23
Mile 5 - 10:32
Mile 6 - 10:25
Mile 7 - 10:27
Mile 8 - 10:50
Mile 9 - 10:32
Mile 10 - 10:02
Okay, here's where I become inconsistent.
First, I need to train more on hills. Elevation changes at mile 7, 9, and 11 clearly affected my splits.
And secondly, i need to carry my own damn hydration on race day. I skipped it this time, but that was a mistake. The water stations were relatively inconsistent and then not well managed. Waiting for water or gatorade became an issue. If I'm going to set a PR in October, I need to be able to hydrate on my terms.
Mile 11 - 9:56
Mile 12 - 9:51
Mile 13 - 9:43
The best section of my race and closest I came to reaching my race pace goals. Pretty sure these last three miles are the only reason I finished at 2:18:31. What I'm most proud of with this section is:
1. Negative splits from mile 9 until the end of the race
2. I was strong enough to run faster at the end of the race and beat my intended pace of 10:14.
So what's next? Crystal heads home tonight and I reluctantly go back to work for Commencement Week. And then take a little time off of running while my muscles heal. The Long Beach Half Marathon is October 12 and I have a good amount of time and training ahead of me. As this will be my last half marathon in 2014, the pressure to PR is heavier than ever. I'm confident that I'll be ready now that I have invested this much focus and intent. BRING. IT. ON.