Yesterday, I ran the Saucony Halve van Hoogland half-marathon as my tune-up for Munich. It was only my 3rd race of the year (Rotterdam marathon in April and a 10K a few weeks ago being the other two). I won the race, but even more exciting, my girlfriend who is visiting also came in 1st. I went into the race confident that I'll PR based on my training. Unfortunately, strong winds (13mph) from 8K to 13K ruled out a PR. I was still happy with the win despite only running a 1:14:08.
The race was pretty close for the first 3/4 of the race. Me and a Dutch runner practically ran stride for stride up to 15K. We clicked off kilometers splits of 3:25 - 3:30 (5:30 - 5:38 pace) for the first 8Ks until we turned a corner and ran straight into 13mph headwinds through open farmland. The next 5K (9-13K) was the toughest part of the race. We went from running 5:30ish pace to 5:45-6:00 pace. After leaving the open farmland at 13K we were finally back to running 5:30ish pace (14 & 15K were 3:29/km - 5:36 pace). At the 15K mark I was still feeling very good and decided to push the pace. For the next 3Ks (16-18K) I ran 3:25, 3:24 and 3:23 (5:30-5:27 pace) and easily dropped the Dutch runner. I knew I had a great chance at winning with only a couple more miles to go and still feeling strong. I made sure the win was in the bag with a 3:22 (5:25 pace) last km. The race was a big confidence booster leading into Munich, especially that I felt strong the entire race with 80+ miles in the legs pre-race. Results here.