Sunday, I ran my 2nd half marathon in 8 days. This time up in Syracuse, New York.
I had a goal, sort of. I set out to come in at 2 hours 5 minutes or better, but I really wasn’t certain that was possible because I just ran a PR the week before in DC at 2 hours 6 minutes 10 seconds and I had never done half marathons on back-to-back weekends.
Again, I followed a similar formula to DC – just taking what my body gave me. I had no music, there wasn’t even any along the course. I wasn’t going to check my pace on my watch or anything like that – I was just going to go run, with all I had. The one slight change was that I did have a cup of coffee, so a bit of caffeine before I ran.
So mind you, I was due to get into Syracuse early Saturday afternoon, however, due to weather in New York City, my flight was cancelled thus I was stuck another night up in Burlington, VT. So I didn’t get in to my hotel in Syracuse until about 10:30 pm Saturday night. No worries, but not ideal when you have to get up at 6 am to go run and really even though I know I am not going to win, I always want to give it my best. But, some times you just have to roll with it and since stressing over it wasn’t going to change anything I didn’t.
Sunday morning had a little snow and temperatures somewhere around 18.
I told my mom that my goal was to run under 2 hours in Canton at the Hall of Fame race at the end of April, if the conditions were ideal because to shave 6+ minutes off my time in 5 weeks was still significant, but doable.
So I will say Syracuse puts on a good race. They kept us inside until about 10-15 minutes before the start of the race, which was nice given the temperatures. Every mile they either have a clock or someone calling out pace times, so yes, it was easier for me to tell how I was doing. I didn’t start with the clock nor did I know how much time difference there was, but as I got closer to the end, I got a better idea and knew at the 10K mark that I was at least on pace with what I did in DC. But again, I just said keep taking whatever your body is giving you. When I saw the finish line and the clock and it read 1 hour 59 minutes, I thought holy smokes, I can get under 2 hours on clock time, so of course the last 0.1 I kicked it up a notch, but otherwise, I think I just ran my race. My official time was 1 hour 57 minutes 55 seconds – cutting over 8 minutes off my time from the week before.
The race is set-up nicely for negative splits, which I did.
5K Split: 29:24 (9:28 minutes/mile)
10K Split: 57:28 (9:15 minutes/mile)
15K Split: 1:24:45 (9:06 minutes/mile)
Half Finish: 1:57:55 (9:00 minutes/mile)
My first mile was over 10 minutes and I never would have thought that I could break the 2 hour mark with even one mile over 10 minutes. The first 3 miles were a bit congested and maybe that helped me control my pace and not start out too fast, which I have done in the past. I don’t know. Mile 9 was my fastest and 10 of the miles were all sub 9 minutes miles.
So I guess getting in late, flying on a plane, to catch a train, with a little snow and well below freezing temperatures all made for a PERFECT DAY!
It is the first time, I have probably really been proud of my running and now I just want to run more. I can’t wait for my next race, which is an 8K in 3 weeks, I could change it to a half, but I have never run an 8K, so I figure it will be fun to have a little variety. I want to run a 5K because I realize that my PR from last September is just 10 seconds per mile faster than my time in this weeks half marathon and kind of wondering what I could do now.
I haven’t run a 5K since September and maybe I would mess up the shorter distance now. But I am looking for a good race to run and give it a shot.