Palmetto Half Marathon
Inaugural race, run right through my neighborhood. Capped out at 1200 runners per the website, though there was a 5k too, and I dont know if this number included that race. Absolutely perfect race weather – clear, light wind, high 40’s at 7:00 am race start. I lined up front and center with this one because of the number of people. I had tapered the last 2 weeks (28 miles last week and only 16 this week before the race). Took the last 72 hours off. I had a group that we had planned to do 1:35. Felt this to be aggressive, but I have very little as a point of reference given I’ve only run one half (a 1:45 in Nov 2009). I knew I could cut a large chunk off that, but how much was anyone’s guess. Out and back course with rolling hills.
Hit the first mile in 6:58 with all the adrenaline. Felt very good with all the recent downtime. I had already unintentionally ditched my group. At this point I decided to revise my plan and just go for it, and try to keep the pace around 7 minutes as long as I could. First 10k was super fast for me, as they had a race clock at mile 6 and I hit it right at 42 minutes, very close to my 10k PR pace. Splits in the early going were 6:58, 7:11, 6:51, 7:00, 7:05 and 6:52. My Garmin was a few seconds ahead of the actual markers though. Hit a hilly section on miles 6 and 7 but came back to a flat stretch for miles 8-10. My wife and kids were at the front of our cul-de-sac cheering me on at mile 8, whcih was awesome. Mile 8 (which included a large hill) was 7:26, so I picked up the pace again on the flat stretch and did brought it down to 7:08 the next mile. At mile 10 I knew there was only a 5k to go, and the official clock was at about 1:10:20. Decided to run it hard as I could all the way from there – 6:50, 6:58, 6:56 on miles 10-13. Was really laboring that last mile but the finish line was a huge motivator. Saw 1:31’s as I approached the finish and sprinted to the end, finished in 1:31:55. Extremely excited about the time. A PR by 13 and a half minutes! Finished 22nd overall and got 2nd in my AG. So happy all this training is paying off.