Saturday, November 3, 2012

Monumental Redemption

Ah.  That feels good.  After two demoralizing half marathons, this result is exactly what the doctor ordered.  Of course, the weather was just about perfect (high 30's to low 40's, cloudy), and I was determined to make a better showing than I did in May.

I set my pace alarms at 12 and 11 minutes/mile and made sure that I responded to them with no exceptions...for the first 6.5 miles.  At the half way point, I let loose the legs and ran what was comfortable, which happened to be right around 11 minute miles.

At the 10 mile point, a young lady by the name of Audrey came up behind me and asked me what my planned finish time was.  I responded with 2:30, to which she said, "I'd better pick it up."

So I asked her what time she was shooting for and she said 2:25.  Well, since it was only three miles to go, I decided to pick up the pace with her and told her so.  You can see that mile 11 was the fastest to that point, and by the time we hit the mile marker, Audrey mentioned that we had already sped up quite a bit.

So, for the last two miles, we did sub 10 minute miles with me shouting encouragement to her, which in turn spurred me on.  It really was great to help someone achieve their goal and in so doing, do better than I expected.  At mile 13, I did what I normally do: sprint.  I turned my legs over as quickly as I could and crossed the finish line at a 7 minute/mile pace.

Audrey did make her goal as she was a minute behind me when she crossed the starting line. And, yes, I do take credit for her time as we left her running partner in the dust.  She deserves just as much credit for my time also as I don't think I would have picked it up that much if she hadn't unwittingly laid down the gauntlet.

Some side notes:  I didn't stop to hit the potty while on the course.  This is a first, so my official time and my unofficial time are within two seconds of each other.  I GU'd before the race and at the 6.5 mile point.  My newish underwear was perfect, and I experienced no chaffing.  I took water at three or four stations and Gatorade at one, with none of them coming after mile 8.  Thinking about running the Santa Hustle Half on Dec 16.

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