New Half Marathon PR 1:49:55

  So. This thing with not looking at the GPS watch is working for me. As is doing the things that scare me. 

I ran a hilly half marathon today in Lake George, NY. The race’s website even called the course “challenging”, with two long climbs and then some rolling hills throughout. I drove it yesterday after bib pickup and was having some second thoughts about running it. But my plan was to do this as a training run, not race, and save my next PR attempt for a more forgiving course in two weeks. 

The weather was awesome, mid-40s and overcast with little wind. I wore throw away arm warmers and a tank top. I really wanted the arm warmers to cover up my watch so I wouldn’t be tempted to peek at it. 

I used the first few miles as a warm up and let people pass. I knew the first big hill started in mile 2. I think only one person passed me for good from that point on. For the next bunch of miles, I just tucked in behind a couple gals running at a pace I felt comfortable with and we traded positions a couple times. One was rather hilariously singing along to her music. Badly. She entertained me for about 8+ miles. 

This was a smaller race (it was a victim of previous years mismanagement by the now defunct Reinke Sports Group, which is now subject to lawsuits nationwide from what I can tell via Google), with an out and back along Lake George. The route was really pretty. I was surprised when it was around mile six before I saw the leaders pass the other direction. The turnaround was just past mile seven. While the course was challenging, I think the field was slower than previous years due to the bad races by Reinke. Still, I was excited to see that not that many women were ahead of me. 

it still looks like winter. seriously, there are still no leaf buds on the trees

We had a couple good climbs on the return, and I think those may have worn out the people I was shadowing. By mile 11, I passed about 5 people. I felt really strong and knew it was mostly downhill to the finish, so I hit the gas a little. Some guy, one I hadn’t noticed so he came from behind, flew by me (awesome kick, dude!). But basically I was alone the last two miles. 

The course ran through town, then we had to take a hard right then hard left up a crushed stone path that was at an incline. Not terrible, but it’s always one of those things that’s tough mentally at the end of a race. I couldn’t see the timing clock until I had maybe 100 meters to go and was shocked to see it was at 1:49:4x. My previous PR was an even 1:53 on a flatflatflat course in New Orleans in January this year, but my goal had been sub-1:50. When I noticed the time, I exclaimed aloud, “Holy shit, are you kidding?” And then I floored it and crossed the finish at 1:49:55. 

 

pint glass AG prize

Splits: 8:27, 8:24, 8:42 (hill), 8:51 (hill), 8:29, 8:40 (small hill), 8:35, 8:32, 8:25, 8:43 (hill), 8:20 (hill) 8:03, 7:49 (these are slightly off because my garmin went a little haywire during the second half so some of these paces were actually a bit faster but who knows how much in each mile. Can’t quite count on the Garmin 100%, so it’s good I’m relying less on it during runs).

Shout out to 3C Race Productions for putting on a great event. I’d been worried about the shoulder being a little narrow, especially around blind curves, but they had the entire route marked with cones and gave us reasonable space (although if it had been a larger race, passing would’ve been tough) and I felt safe. I ran without music/audiobook, and I was really glad I did because we ran with rather than against traffic. 

I knew it was my head that’s been holding me back, but I still have to say I’m stunned I PR’d by so much on that course. My goals going into this were to get in hill practice (both up and down), not hurt myself and not walk. The back-of-my-mind goal was to sub-2 hour it, but I really didn’t expect to. It’s a good thing I didn’t look at my watch and psyche myself out because I know I would’ve freaked if I’d known my pace. 

I was 5th female and took second in the 40-49 age group and got a cool pint glass.

Not a bad training run. I got out of my own way. 😎

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21 thoughts on “New Half Marathon PR 1:49:55

  1. Doug says:

    Give it hell. Our Texas (what passes for winter) is hanging on longer than usual too. Seems like they are calling for temps in the 50’s tomorrow. Which for May is like a deep freeze.

  2. Well done. I watched the huge coverage of the London Marathon on Sunday morning here… my daughter was talking about training for an attempt in 2017…. we’ll see

  3. AWESOME! πŸ™‚ So glad you hit a new PR!

    And LOVE Lake George, so beautiful … though I might be a bit biased since our wedding reception was overlooking the lake (Fort William Henry Inn … was gorgeous in the stone ages when we got married, didn’t look as beautiful last time we drove by!)

    Keep up the great work and I’m sure you’ll have an awesome Wineglass!

  4. Darlene says:

    Great race! I ran the first annual in the freezing rain with the Reinke group – it was disastrous. I ran Saratoga with3C and it was so much better organized. You should do the Adirondack Distance Run – it goes from Lake George to Bolton Landing – 10 miles – ends at at park at the lake and you can run in.

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