I thought my legs would be a little fresh since yesterday was a complete day off from running. Well, I guess I can't call it a complete day off because I was on my feet majority of the time and was lacking sleep. I originally planned to run a half-marathon (Hope Mills YMCA Half-Marathon). I woke up contemplating whether I should run the half with the legs feeling like bricks. I thought, "Oh well. I'm using it as a training run, so I might as well just run it."
Let me tell you - this YMCA Half-Marathon ranks as one of the worse organized race I've done in a long time. I didn't expect much, but with the race being held for the 8th time I thought it would be somewhat organized. A late start, mile markers put out but completely inaccurate, 2 fluid stations (only 4 oz. cup of water - no gatorade), and tons of right turns into dead-end streets only to turn around at the cones. Oh, to make things better it was windy as hell.
After a 10-minute late start, I took off running side-by-side another runner (Shane). I was planning to run the race with the 1st half right around marathon goal pace (somewhere around 5:55 - 5:59) and then running the 2nd half a little faster. As Shane and I headed out on the main streets, we encountered the never ending headwind. Around 10 minutes into the run, I asked Shane if he wanted to work together and take turns breaking the wind. He agreed and we took turns leading every half mile till around mile 7. At this point my legs started to feel better and I decided to push the pace a bit. It was very tough knowing what pace I was running because the mile markers were all jacked up. I ended up ignoring the mile markers and just ran what I thought felt like marathon pace. As I increased the pace, I noticed that I had immediately put about a 10 meter gap on Shane. The 10 meter gap increased dramatically and I was no longer in Shane's sight. I crossed the finish line in 1:17:39 (5:56 pace). I actually thought I was running a bit faster than 5:56 pace. Was the course a bit long? After the race, Shane told me that his Garmin clocked the course at 13.4 miles. If the Garmin is accurate, then I ended up running averaging 5:48 pace, which I feel is about right. Regardless, I'm satisfied with my run, especially that I stuck to my plan of running the race as a training run.
Today's Run: 1:57:24 (includes 2M - WU, half-marathon, 3M - CD)