Half Marathon #41 done! (But who's counting?) I think this is my 5th or 6th run in this particular event.
Perfect weather and great swag (embroidered and silk-screened canvas luggage, attractive navy-blue LS tech shirt, nice medal) at the B&A marathon and half marathon today in Severna Park, Maryland.
My training buddy Dave and I had been signed up for the full marathon, but with the crazy record-beating snowy winter we had, neither of us got in enough mileage to survive a full marathon in good shape. Fortunately this race allows last-minute transfers to the half.
The race runs mostly on a fairly level, straight asphalted rail-trail with the exception of a mile or two on concrete roads at the hilly turnarounds. The weather was perfect - 40s, full sun, and no wind.
My course PR was set about 3 years ago when Dave and Chuck paced me and pushed me the whole way, with a 2:26:38 finish. This time Dave ran with me at much slower pace until about mile 10, which was very helpful in keeping my pace consistent and steady. Then he ran off to finish up a faster 25-minute final 5k. I still maintained the pace for another mile when *TWANG!* suddenly my 2nd toenail of my left foot ripped and consequently hurt like a mofo. I had to stop to retie my shoelaces so the toes wouldn't hit the end of the shoe, and walked a short ways, and said many cusswords.
Still, I managed to limp-jog a couple more miles even more slowly and make it to the finish line by 2:34:56 by my watch.
Well, 8 minutes off my course PR for 13.1 miles is certainly not super-speedy even by my standards, but I still handily beat my goal for today of a 12 min/mile pace. I don't think I lost as much fitness over the winter as I had feared, and I think I'm in reasonable shape to start the season again.
Here we go....
Whoops. I just found my old blog post where I ran this same course in 2:24, unpaced, in 2008. I've got some serious work to do. Or else I'm aging very quickly. Or that silly toenail slowed me down more than I thought. Oh well, it is what it is....