It’s not every race you see Michael Myers pass through the finish line but that’s what we saw on Halloween Sunday at the Halloween Halfathon in Fort DeSoto, Florida. This was my first 1/2 marathon race in five years so I was excited to see what I had to give. Here I’ll share my race experience and what lies ahead.
Where does the time go? It’s been almost five years since the last time I raced a 1/2 marathon. I’ve run a few in triathlon and duathlon races but not a straight 1/2 marathon. Since that time I have focused on sprint and olympic distance racing for triathlon and duathlon so I targeted my run race seasons at the 5k and 10k distances to match.
After this duathlon season I decided I needed a change up so I determined I was going to race my first marathon. In preparation I wanted to test my long holds in a race at the 1/2 marathon distance so that brought Sunday into the picture.
I LOVE racing for speed so for this distance I knew my biggest hurdle was my head. I train high volume so I knew my legs would be there but it’s this head that I have to contend with… My plan was to run to a specific heart rate for a good portion of the race and then let it go. This would mitigate my risk of blowing up late in the run. I had my target goal pace as well so it was going to be an interesting experiment where the heart rate and goal pace took me.
I got off to a quick start as I usually do before settling into my target heart rate. I was running slightly below my goal pace so that was a positive force in my head early. At mile 4.5 my heart rate strap unhooked and I had to throw into the woods so I could retrieve it later. It was quite comical as in a straight 5k or 10k race I never look at heart rate. It’s all based on pace. This distance I was going by heart rate for a good portion and I lost my input…
On the plus side, I knew what my body felt like running at the target heart rate so I didn’t give it another thought. I was going on feel of the target heart rate till at some point I was ready to amp it up. Somewhere after mile eight my legs felt strong and I decided to pick up the effort. I was hitting my paces and that continued to motivate. It was a most glorious 13.1 miles of discomfort as I passed through the finish line ahead of my goal with a 1:31 finish placing 3rd Overall and 2nd Overall Male.
It came together on this day experimenting with the 1/2 marathon distance again. The training block leading up to the race, game plan, and execution worked. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Five years ago I was slower by over four minutes for the race and 22 seconds per mile pace. I now have more data to work with as I approach my marathon later this month. I can’t wait!
A few quick reflections as this 1/2 Marathon has come and passed:
- Do your passion…find what jazzes you and do it!
- Enjoy the journey including the hard work that tests your mind and body
- Change things up to be fresh and take on new challenges…so rewarding!
- Surround yourself with positive people (look at mine in these photos…love my circle!)
- A whole plant foods lifestyle continues to drive my performance and overall health…feels great to feel great!
– Add Health to Your Life