Pace 6:56 min/km
A very good day!
I did not set a new PR, but after my 9K run yesterday, I was not expecting this. I was secretly hoping to crack 33 minutes, but I did not pressure myself or make the focused effort to accomplish this so it is what it is - just over 34 minutes. My Garmin told me that my time was 34:04 so there's 11 seconds to debate! :)
I took a cab today because my Sweetheart needed the vehicle and I rolled up just in time to cheer the half marathoners on from their starting line. There were just over 300 participants. I can see myself doing this half marathon in the future, but after doing my first half marathon 7 years ago in Vancouver, I really want my new & improved "first" half marathon to be at a big city venue again. I do not think its easy to run this half marathon with a route cluttered by recreational runners, cyclists and elderly people strolling. I felt bad seeing how the slower runners (i.e. the ones who were more scattered from the running bulge) were not receiving the "right of way" respect I feel they deserved. I found it demoralizing and I wasn't even in the half marathon! :) Also, the one group of runners appeared to be "slow" since they were far behind the bulge of fellow half marathon runners, but when I checked their results later in the day, this group actually ran their half marathon race in ~2:20, very respectable! Faster than MY predicted time next month so it goes to show how it "looks" with only 300 running versus 1000+. It cemented my feeling that aiming for a large city event is the best course of action for me.
I ran behind two runners in particular and followed their pace while keeping an eye on my Garmin. It is hard to say if this was a factor in my slower pace than I originally aimed for, or, since I was already tired from the 9K the day before, it was just easier to follow them then to push it. The one runner eventually pulled ahead - she set a good pace at the beginning, very steady, and then seemed to gain steam in the last 2K. Kudos to her. The second runner, however, slowed down and I felt bad passing her after I had used her as a pace bunny for the run so I made sure to thank her for setting a good pace as I ran beside her. I was kind of hoping that she would match my pace and keep up with me to the finish line, but she was clearly tired and sticking to her slower pace. At one point, an older woman passed me, I think at the 3 1/2K mark, but by the 4K mark, I passed her as she, too, seemed to be running out of steam. I felt steady and strong for the duration, even though I did not not push my pace to go faster. And yes, I feel good in the grand scheme of things when I can pass several runners in the last few K, making me feel good about my resolve to stick to a steady pace right from the start when everyone else is running ahead of me (and something that has yet to happen in a 10K race - oy!).
I was across the finish line and had passed through the food and beverage line before watching the winner of the half marathon cross the line in a record breaking 1:09. He looked beautiful and very strong as he crossed the finish line. A fellow runner/friend later told me that she saw him run so much further ahead in the first loop, and had wondered if he knew he was in a half?!?! Apparently he was ahead the entire time by a large margin. Isn't he good looking?, she gushed to me. :) :) And yes, he was eye candy! :) :) The second place finisher crossed one minute later, but looked as if he were about to die. Stark difference! And the third place, etc. winners were 5 minutes later than this! Incredible.
However, after all this race stuff, I am even MORE proud of myself for walking/running the 5K+ HOME from the park after the race. My average pace was ~9 min/km which proves I went faster than a walk at times, but that I did walk for periods inbetween running. I have had a haphazard week of training so "making it up" by adding this to my shorter actual training mileage made me feel much better! :) I am going to do my best to be stricter about sticking to my planned schedule from now on. I have a 9K scheduled for tomorrow. This was planned before last week's edits so I do not think it is "doable" but I am going to force myself out there tomorrow and run for as much as I can in order to get back on track.