I ran, for the third time, the Chilly Half-Marathon. I’ve run this race the last three years.
You can check out my review from running the race in 2012 for a description of the race itself. It is a well run race. There aren’t too many frills — the start/finish line isn’t a carnival or anything. It starts early in the morning and it is nice that given the time of year, you can stay in the high school to stay warm.
I was generally pretty pleased with my time – 1 hr 40 minutes. It was 1 minute faster than my previous half-marathon (last year’s version of the same race). It was a personal record. It is not entirely surprising that my time only came down by 1 minute. My training hasn’t changed significantly over the last year. I prepared by doing the same program I did last year.
This was the first race I’ve ever run with my GPS watch so I can see bit more data about my performance. After a slow first mile warming up (8:11), the splits show that I ran pretty fast for miles 2 – 6. All but one of those miles were in the 7:30 – 7:35 per mile range. At this point, I was thinking to myself “Lets see if I can slice a big chunk more off my best time.”
Then the hills of miles 6 and 7 hit. This course has a tough stretch at this point with a steep, extended hill. I knew it was coming and I worked hard to power up the hill. My mile 7 pace drops down to 8:06 however.
Once the bad hills were behind me, I made a strong effort to return to my 7:35 pace. But by mile 11 I could feel myself fading and the hills had taken a lot out of me. I struggled to keep a 7:40ish pace the rest of the way. I passed a bunch of folks coming in the last mile or so, but was also passed by few as well. At the 12.5 mile mark I was really dragging and I did not feel strong at all — but powered hard for the last half mile.
I’d be interested to see what I could do on a “flat and fast” course. Maybe something in the spring. With some real hill training in my plan.