When I’m peaking for my A event, I like to get in a good, hard long tempo run. There’s a hilly 9-10 mile route in Umstead I’ve used a lot for this, but this year I opted for this hilly, women’s half marathon in downtown Durham.
This is a first year event that had about 2000 people sign up– mostly women, because, ummmm…it’s for women. Except until that email I saw that mentioned that men could sign up, because what man doesn’t want a bright pink race shirt and finisher’s medal? The event was well done, started about 6 miles from my house and was sure to have friends out on the course. Plus, it was a race. If I want a good, hard effort it really helps for it to be a race.
My goal was to hold about 7 minute pace, holding back for the first half and then pushing the back half. On the start line, I wasn’t confident I could run that quickly, but I figured I should be fit enough to pull it off without having to dig too deep.
It turns out this hilly course was hilliest on the second half, which I thought was pretty fun. Maybe it was fun because I ran the first part controlled and I felt good when everyone else around me was regretting their more aggressive earlier paces. I was reeling people in on all the ups and downs. I’ve gotten a lot better at downhill running and could really open up some gaps with my falling, flailing approach. Hard to argue with what works.
In the end, I finished in 1:30:23, which is a 6:52 average pace I think, for 7th female and 2nd master. Even though I flubbed my Garmin start, I still got the last 11 1/2 miles of the race in mile splits. I ran surprisingly even splits with all the ups and downs. My fastest mile was 6:44 and slowest 6:57. I’m pleased.
Now 3 more weeks to tune up and taper for Worlds.