So good news is I got a Masters (over 40) personal PR (as it's the only half-marathon I've run as an old guy), bad news I didn't hit the time I was wanting.
The day was cool but not raining which I'd take any day over H2H weather to start a run. I never usually wear gloves during a race but I'm glad I did this time. When I turned on my Garmin before the start of the race the screen read "Low Battery". Crap, how could that be? Oh, yeah, I remembered I hadn't charged it lately. I haven't seen that message in a while and didn't know if it would last another hour-plus for the race so as a back-up I stuck my regular watch in my water bottle holder. Sure enough about five minutes before the start it died. Suddenly I had the realization I'd have to be doing the math all race to figure if I was on pace. Plus the course is marked in kilometres (I'm a miles guy) which would definitely test my mental skills to compute my pace while running hard.
I stayed on a 6:00 mile pace (about 3:45/km) until a long hill at the 6km mark where I knew I had to gear down and grind up it. I was in second place at the time and the first place guy was roughly 45 seconds ahead of me when I did a time check. At the top of the hill there was a straightaway of a mile and when he turned the next corner his lead was around a minute. I could see him most of the race until the last couple k when he must have poured it on (admittedly, not to take anything away from him, I'm sure I slowed down, too) and I lost him. Back at the 12k mark there was a long steep downhill where I thought I might have made up some time for my goal but more mind-twisting computations revealed I was off the pace by about a minute fifteen.
As we hit the spot where the 10k runners turned around, there was suddenly an ocean of people ahead of me heading towards the finish. The lane that was coned off for us to run in wasn't wide to begin with and with all the runners vying for the lane I took the high road and ran outside the cones. Often there were three or four people running shoulder to shoulder which made it challenging to get around (this HAS to be the reason I didn't hit my time goal).
In the last km (it got easier as I got closer to the finish to do the calculations working down instead of up) I knew I'd need to run it in 2:15 to get my sub-1:20 goal which, on the best day, would be damn near impossible. I settled for the fact I should get under 1:21 but when I turned the last corner, saw where the finish was, looked at my watch, saw I only had 45 seconds to spare, I gave it all I had but still finished 6 seconds over 1:21. Second place overall, 1st in the 40-49. Good news it's a 40-44 record for myself that probably won't be beat because I don't plan to do another one of these for quite some time. Not a fan of the suffering it takes.
Then after I was done I thought of how, if I wanted to run a 2:39 in a marathon, I'd have to run FASTER than that for twice the distance!! Maybe my 2:44 marathon record will stand forever.
Now do I do the 25k or 50k at the Dirty Duo on March 10?? My trip to Chuckanut this week should decide it for me.