Sunday, October 05, 2008

Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon


Splits:  5:13, 10:35 (5:22), 15:55 (5:20), 21:24 (5:29), 26:44 (5:20), 32:20 (5:36), 37:34 (5:14), 43:00 (5:26), 48:30 (5:30), 53:57 (5:27), 59:17 (5:20), 1:04:42 (5:25)

My goal heading into this race was to break 1:10, which comes out to 5:20 pace. The course is as flat as it gets so I was expecting it to be fast. My only concern was the foot injury that I've been battling for the last few days and I wasn't sure if I'll be able to make it through the race. I was hurting a bit on the warm-up but I was hoping that it wouldn't be an issue once the race started. I didn't get to the start line until 5 minutes before the race, since I couldn't run any strides in my corral, so I couldn't get on the front line. I managed to get out well, though, and quickly joined the elite women pack. It felt like the pace wasn't as fast as I wanted so I moved out on my own and tried to catch up on a group of guys ahead. That didn't really work out, though, as they were moving faster so for the first mile I was running all by myself. In retrospect I should have stayed with the women as they came through close to 5:20 while I was a bit on the fast side. Somewhere in the second mile the pack, with the top women and a couple of other guys, caught up and I settled in. I was running at the front of the group and was basically setting the pace. I probably got some good TV coverage as there was a crew following the women closely. The only annoying thing was that the crowd kept yelling "go ladies", which felt somewhat embarassing. I wasn't feeling that great for the first 3 miles of the race, in part because my foot was hurting, and I was even considering dropping out. Pretty much like my last few workouts it took a while to find my rhythm but after the 3rd mile I got into the groove and even stopped noticing any foot pain. Not much changed until mile 6, I was still leading the pack, running fairly even, coming through the 5K in 16:39 and the 10K in 33:20. It didn't feel like we slowed down much on the 6th mile but we surprisingly split a 5:36. It's possible that the mile mark was slightly off since the 7th mile was a 5:14 and I didn't feel like I sped up. At the time I thought that I was slowing down as I dropped off the pack but I guess the pack might have picked things up. The first woman ended up finishing at 1:10:03, which was right where I wanted to be, but at that point my legs were already feeling it a bit and I knew I was only about halfway through so I didn't stick with it like I should. At least I didn't fall apart, though, and kept people in front of me in sight. I managed to move up a few places after mile 10 but that was mostly because other people were fading while I was maintaining my pace. Aerobically I wasn't feeling that tired but my legs were beat and I couldn't move any faster. It felt like I was moving faster towards the end but the times seem to disagree. I was spent at the end and had a hard time getting a decent cool-down in. I wasn't as fast as I wanted today but I still ran a PR so I can't be too disappointed. The last few days have been rather rough with my foot hurting and I'm just glad that I made it through the race and managed to come close to my goal. 

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