According my running logs, the 2012 version of the Dick Beardsley half marathon will be the 7th time I’ve run this race. Twice (2006 & 2007) was with my wife and dad, so it’ll be the 5th time I’ve actually run it solo. I’ve run 10-12 miles (around the lake in Detroit Lakes, MN) an uncountable amount of times. Yet, I’ve never actually run this race well. My race PR coming in is 1:40:25
Mile 1 – 7:07 – Was hoping to go out close to the same pace that I went out at the Fishhook Challenge (7:00). Had a panic moment when I hit play on my iPod and the volume started immediately going down to mute. I’ve had this problem before and had to have my Nano replaced. BTW – I love me some Apple products, but I’m 100% convinced that the current version of the iPod Nano is the single worse product they’ve ever released. My wife and I both got them for Christmas (9 months ago) and have both already had to send them back multiple times. Can’t wait to get my money back on this thing in the inevitable class action lawsuit in a few years…
Mile 2 – 7:30 – Some hills in this mile, but was hoping to be closer to 7:00. Oops.
Mile 3 – 6:50 – That’s more like it. Feeling really good and I’m passing a group of about 5 runners.
Mile 4 – 7:00 – Running well… my goal for the race is to run somewhere around 1:34 which is 7:10 per mile. Right now, I’m sitting at 13 seconds (total) quicker than 7:10 pace. My goal is to hit 10 miles as much as possible under 7:10 pace because I know I’m likely to slow a little bit.
Mile 5 – 6:48 – Best mile of the race. Feeling incredibly strong like I can run this pace for a long time. Unfortunately…
Mile 6 – 7:20 – I know that the big hills are coming up. The first five miles of this race are relatively flat and the last 8 miles are continual rolling hills.
Mile 7 – 7:09 – Feeling really good because I’m over a minute ahead of goal pace. Saw my wife and daughter for the first time. It’s always a big boost seeing your family cheer you on.
Mile 8 – 7:30 – Still over a minute ahead of pace, but I’m definitely feeling the hills taking their toll on my legs. I just don’t have that same pop in my legs that I had a few miles ago. They don’t feel as bad as when I’m at the end of a long run when I’m completely out of shape, but I just can’t turn them over as easily as I’d like.
Mile 9 – 7:27 – Starting to come to terms with the fact that I’m not gonna be breaking 1:33-1:34. Goal now is just to keep it in the 1:35s which I know is going to be tough. My least favorite miles of this course (which I’ve probably run over 100 times) are the next three coming up.
Mile 10 – 7:49 – Total time is 1:12:35. For some reason, I’m obsessed with a 70-minute 10 mile split (exactly 7:00 pace). I’ve broken it twice in my life (both times in 2008). To me, it’s the benchmark two what kind of shape I’m in. Needless to say, the goal is to be under 1:10 at the 10-mile mark in 6 weeks when I run another half.
Mile 11 – 7:34 – Hills! Wind!
Mile 12 – 7:58 – …and my legs are officially dead. My breathing is just fine, but these two dead legs just aren’t doing the job in projecting my body forward.
Mile 13 – 7:37 – I’m really pushing myself as hard as I can. Closed a little slower than I did in Park Rapids, but at this point, I’m pretty sure my time is going to be a shade better than my last race (on a much tougher course).
Last 0.1 – 0:36 – Felt really good about my kick. There were no runners in front of me to catch, but apparently some guy was only a few seconds back of me (according to results… I never saw him).
Finish time: 1:36:23 – Exactly 30 seconds faster than my race three weeks ago, but on a tougher course. I feel good (enough) about this one. I was hoping to go somewhere between 1:33-1:35, but the hills and wind really took it out of me. I’ve got six weeks between now and my next half marathon, so I’m really hoping I’ve got another big drop in me. Ideally, I’d really like to run a 1:29:xx and break my all-time half marathon PR, but I don’t know how realistic that is at this point. Anything faster than today will be a positive move forward. At the very least, I’m moving forward and not backward.