Sunday, January 24, 2010

Manhattan Half Marathon Report

Today was the first test of the Boston Marathon training. I really only began Jan. 1, since December was probably my worst month for running in a decade. My training log shows just 31 miles run in the entire month, a mere mile a day. Lots of stuff prevented me from getting out there as much as I'd have liked. That's alright, since the body needs time to regenerate. Even mentally, I can't train hard all the time anymore.

Rather than regurgitate the details, I'll re-post my race breakdown from DailyMile. This qualifies as a success in my book. According to the MarathonGuide.com race predictor, my time puts me on track for a 3:08 marathon. Right where I'd like to be.

DM post:
A successful race overall. The Manhattan Half has special significance to me because in 2002, when it was still held in August, I suffered mightily, kept stupidly pushing a sub-7 pace in 90 degrees, and ended up collapsed at mile 12 with severed dehydration. Ending a race at Mt. Sinai Hospital is never a good thing. Thankfully, the race subsequently was moved to the winter, so that wasn't going to happen again.

Going in, I didn't have any defined goal, other than run under 1:35 and feel strong throughout. i borrowed a number from @jim k b/c he wasn't able to run the race. The downside of this was getting corralled farther back than I should. The upside was passing lots of people. I forgot to bring a gel. That's OK because the half distance is right between where I feel like I need that kind of boost. The splits all over the place. Central Park's topography is probably partly to blame -- there are rolling hills with two significant ones, cat and harlem hills. The course was two loops of the park with an extra 1.1 tacked on at the end.
Mile 1: 7:56, good practice of squeezing through tight spaces
Mile 2: 7:06, finally getting room to run normally
Mile 3: 6:47, a surprise split but the fastest part of the course going downhill before Harlem Hill
Mile 4: 7:01, this is the biggest hill of the course
Mile 5: 6:50
Mile 6: 6:42, completed the first loop
Mile 7: 6:44, a DM sighting of Running L pacing some runners to 1:35
Mile 8: 6:54, includes the second time up Cat Hill
Mile 9: 6:44, like mile 3 a fast one
Mile 10: 7:06, Harlem Hill for the second time
Mile 11: 6:47, always find it much easier running a course I know quite well
Mile 12: 6:42
Mile 13: 6:37, still had energy
final .1: :40

Not a bad day, particularly this early in training. Throwing out the crappy first mile, I averaged 6:50 miles on a tough course. The only mile that stands out as weak is the 7:06 at mile 10. Still, it's understandable all things considered. I'm most encouraged that the last mile was the fastest and I didn't end totally wiped out -- or with an IV in my arm. It ranks in my top five fastest half marathons.

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