Monday, September 21, 2009

Race Report: Queens Half Marathon


Hadn't really raced for the the last few months, nor have I done any speed training. This has been one of my most relaxing marathon training sessions in a long time and I've been really enjoying it. Not that I've been taking time off completely. I've just been running really reduced mileage. Max mileage in a week so far has been 38 and change, and longest run some 18 and change.

To start mixing things up a bit and give this season a semblance of training, I thought I should at least try to race the Queens Half today. Last time I ran this race a couple of years ago, I was so late that the timing mats at the start were gone. I saw some poor runners experience the same today. At mile 3, the shuttle buses were just dropping them off...they still had to run to the start! But I digress...

This year, I got there in time to start around the back. At least the timing mats were still there. I wasn't sure how I would push, but the first few miles I couldn't anyway because it was so crowded. I ended up running on the sidewalk for the first 4 miles. Here's a play by play of my splits:

Mile 1: 7:52 - stuck in a crowd in tight streets
Mile 2: 7:21 - as I warmed up, I started to pick up the pace
Mile 3: 7:18 - many turns in this race
Mile 4: 7:04 - feeling decent, so I start to continue to ratchet up the pace slowly
Mile 5: 6:47
Mile 6: 6:50
Mile 7: 6:54
Mile 8: 6:45
Mile 9: 7:52 - 1.15 mi on my Garmin. Regardless, I remember this mile because this is where some wicked hills started to show up.
Mile 10 -11: 13:49 - Forgot to hit the lap btn. After the 7:52 on mile 9, I decided to take it easy because the pace I ran felt unsustainable. Took a walk break at a water station.
Mile 12 - finish: 7:59 - Tried to at least finish strong. A guy passed me with about 100m to go, and I wanted to finish before him at the finish. Luckily was able to do it.

Official final results: 1:34:15 (7:11/mi)

The race was a lot of work. I do not enjoy racing down hills. I actually prefer up hill running. There are also a lot of hills at Central Park. I think I'm going to stick with that course from now on. Queens was too inconvenient a race, but I had a lot of fun.

Congrats also to my colleagues who ran their butts off today. You know who you are :-)

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