Today was my first half marathon of 2008...The East Beach Norfolk Half and 5K...Another race that I had wanted to run last year but was unable to because of injury. Another race where visions of breaking the 1:30 barrier danced through my head for the past four weeks...visions that seemed unlikely this last week because of a bad cold that had invaded my body with fever and chills...my head and chest with congestion...keeping me hostage at home for two days. But the training continued, although it was a trimmed back version to give this old body energy to fight back the viruses. By Friday evening, most of the body felt good except for a lot of coughing...the body's way of trying to get rid of all that phlegm still rattling around in the upper chest, but I knew that I would still run this race. I still felt confident that I could beat the 1:30 time I had set for myself.
The race takes place in the East Beach section of Norfolk, a picturesque setting along the beach with new high priced houses, condos and townhouses along with the older established homes, apartments, stores and restaurants. The course last year was a simple out and back and flat, but because of some construction going on this year, the out and back portion was shortened and a two-mile loop was added at the beginning and the same loop again at the end.
Woke up Saturday to cold temperatures but clear skies...I like the cold! The forecast called for race time temps in the 30's to 40's with sun and a bit of wind...a perfect day for a race! Drove down in plenty of time and picked up my packet, bib and chip and did my two mile warm-up. Everything felt good and the coughing wasn't too bad.
The horn starts us a few minutes past eight and we are off on our initial two mile loop through the new neighborhood with it's beautiful homes and condos. The first mile came in at 6:16...entirely too fast! I thought I let up the pace a bit but the next mile came in at 6:17. It felt easy and my coughing was only sporadic but I still tried to ease up the pace. We had now finished the loop and were headed out to the long nine-mile out and back. The three-mile mark came in at 19:02 and six miles in 39:09. We reached the turn around point and headed back. Mile nine came in at 59:04 and mile 10 in 1:05:48...again a new 10-mile mark. Reaching mile 11 in 1:12:34, I knew breaking 1:30 was in the bank with only the two mile loop to finish, so I let up on my pace and just cruised around the loop and crossed the finish line in 1:28:03 gun time...broke my PR by over four minutes! Oh Happy Days...The 1:30 is history! With my new time, McMillan says I can do a 3:05 marathon...I wonder if that is true? It doesn't sound possible. The Striders Distance Series 30K in two weeks should tell me more...I want to be healthy for that race and give it a good effort. After the race, a nice new medal for my growing collection along with good eats (Pizza!) and drink, a beach blanket as an AG prize and good runners to celebrate with!
There were 22 finishers in the Male 50 to 54 age group and 312 total finishers.
Overall finish place was 31 of 312
Age group finish place was 1 of 22
Time: 1:28:00.55 for an overall pace of 6:43 per mile
Mon: 31 min elliptical, 46 min cycle, 16 min stairstepper
Tue: 2 miles run, 15 minutes of pushups and crunches
Wed: 8.8 miles run, 30 min elliptical, 30 min cycle, 10 min stairsteppper
Thu: 50 min elliptical, 55 min cycle, 13 min stairstepper
Fri: 2 miles run, 24 min elliptical, 23 min cycle, 11 min stairstepper
Sat: Half marathon, 15 total miles run
Sun: 30 min elliptical, 31 min treadmill, 46 min cycle, 16 min stairstepper
Next week is the second in the Mud in Your Eye cross-country series...a 6K race...here in Chesapeake. I'm thinking about running a practice run on the course tomorrow...just so I will know what to expect this time.
Happy running to you all!