The Sixth Time is Not a Charm


This was my sixth consecutive Flower City Challenge Half Marathon.  Training all through the winter had been remarkably good.  When I had stepped off of the treadmill and onto roads about one month prior to this race something wasn’t right.  I was concerned but hopeful that everything would be OK for the race.  I intended to push.  I hoped to run the fastest I’ve ever run that course but as race day approached my observations forced me to lower my expectations.  By the time race day came I had very low expectations but I was still full of hope that things would go well.

I did everything right leading up to the race.  I took very good care of my body.  I ate right.  I slept well.  I prepared for everything.  The weather for the race was predicted to be colder than I liked but not oppressively so.  On the morning of the race I felt very good.  The warm up felt fantastic!  The weather wasn’t as cold as I thought.  My legs felt great.  I was in a good mood!  I even got to warm-up with a friend.

After a final kiss with Amber I lined up.  I turn off auto-lap and rely on course marking to determine my pace.  I glanced at my watch in the first mile and saw what I wanted to see.  I knew that the marker for mile 2 and 3 would be off.  Indeed it was but when I saw my split for mile three I was not pleased even though I knew it was wrong: 7:50.  Even adjusting for the short mile I knew that I had run a “slow” mile.  I didn’t let it bother me and chugged along.

As the miles passed by my splits became more and more disappointing.  I felt fine, good even.  Just as I had experienced in the month leading up to the race I simply didn’t have speed.  My brain was convinced I was running fast but the clock doesn’t lie.  As my worst-case goal of 1:30 slipped out of reach I didn’t get upset.  I didn’t give up.  I continued to run with effort worthy of a race.

It has been three weeks since the race.  I still have not figured out what is going on with me.  Something is off.  I feel OK when running (never great but almost always OK) but the pace I’m running is significantly slower than I am used to.  I’m trying B12 and to simply clean up my diet.  I haven’t seen an improvement yet.

I’m more confused by the race and my body than I am disappointed.  I’ll figure the riddle out…I just hope I can do it soon because I want to BQ to run with Amber at the Boston Marathon.  I have a lot of work to do right now to reach that goal.

Approximate splits:

Splits (GPS Interval)
Type Distance Duration Total Duration Pace Avg HR Max HR Notes
1 Interval 1.01 mi 6:44.52 6:44.52 6:41
2 Interval 0.94 mi 6:23.96 13:08.48 6:49
3 Interval 1.11 mi 7:51.04 20:59.52 7:05
4 Interval 0.98 mi 6:46.72 27:46.24 6:56
5 Interval 0.99 mi 6:53.96 34:40.20 6:59
6 Interval 1.02 mi 7:02.36 41:42.56 6:55
7 Interval 0.98 mi 7:16.36 48:58.92 7:26
8 Interval 1.03 mi 7:32.44 56:31.36 7:20
9 Interval 1.01 mi 6:50.36 1:03:21.72 6:47
10 Interval 1 mi 7:01.60 1:10:23.32 7:02
11 Interval 0.73 mi 5:02.08 1:15:25.40 6:54
12 Interval 1.29 mi 9:12.40 1:24:37.80 7:09
13 Interval 1.01 mi 6:51.12 1:31:28.92 6:48
14 Interval 0.12 mi 0:40.49 1:32:09.41 5:38

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