Benjamin and I ran the 3M Half Marathon yesterday morning. We completed all 13.1 miles in 2:26 (a pace of 11:13/M). The weather was beautiful and the course was great. We felt very good all throughout the race. At the end of the race we were both tired but not beat up and were very pleasantly surprised with our times. jonobie and jeffford both appeared to have a great run as well and finished faster than their expected times.
I think several things helped Benjamin and I have a great run:
- We established our own pace. In the RunTex 20-miler we ran with jonobiewho’s pace is slightly slower than our own. While we really enjoyed her company I think this hurt us overall.
- We kept our pace. In previous races we went out too fast and were just decimated at the end of the race. This race we did better about keeping ~10:00/M throughout the race which is our goal.
- We stretched every two miles. Benjamin’s knees give him problems as do my ankles. Taking the time to stretch every two miles really helps in keeping the pain at bay.
- We carb-loaded the night before. For past races we had eaten at Bear Rock Cafe the evening before the race. For the 3M we joined jeffford & jonobie at Johnny Carino’s for lots of bread and pasta.
- I ate something along the way. At the RunTex 20-miler I learned just how important it is to have something to eat in the middle of the race. This time I brought along a Chocolate Chip Clif bar and ate half of it at the half-way point and the other half at around mile 10.
- I had pseudo-fans. There were all kinds of people along the way cheering for various people. No one came out to cheer me on personally although that didn’t stop me from adopting fans. At one point there were two women who had signs for ‘Helen’. When we approached them I said “You can call me Helen” which got a laugh and lots of cheering encouragement. A bit later I saw Vanessa, a fellow IBMer, who had come out to cheer jonobie but cheered me on when she saw me. Finally, closer to the finish I saw another group of people holding signs to encourage ‘Kathleen’. I pulled my “You can call me Kathleen” line which got me cheering and encouragement (hey – the Kathleen people and Helen people didn’t know each other and it worked!).
- The race was down-hill. While this one isn’t something we can actually control, I know it helped us. The 3M Half Marathon isn’t a loop but rather starts in north Austin and finished downtown – a not-insignificant decrease in elevation. The Freescale Marathon is also pseudo-linear and downhill which will help.
I’m not sure if Benjamin and I had another 13.1 miles in us on Sunday but we’re going to have to find it somewhere as the Freescale Marathon is coming up on February 19th.