Sunday, August 24, 2008


I was originally planning on using Saturday’s half marathon as a workout by mixing in marathon and tempo paces. I’m not sure if I wanted to stick to Daniels’ program as closely as possible or if I was just scared of putting up a bad time and then having to deal with the negative feedback.

Well, while I was driving to the race, the idea of using the race as a workout went out the window and I decided to race. I wanted to take advantage of the unplanned mini taper – unplanned because I had some car problems and ended up taking Friday off – and the great weather. Friday it was 85+ degrees with a dew point of 67. Then a cool front moved in and Saturday morning the temps were in the 50s with the dew point even lower.

If you happened to read my race report from 2006, you know I went out way too fast (6:16 first mile) and died a painful death over the next 1:24. This year I definitely wanted to avoid that fate. During the first mile I felt like I was holding back and actually had thoughts that it was too much and I was going to pass the mile in 6:50 or slower. When I passed the mile in a controlled 6:27 I realized that with 12 more miles to go, I should be feeling comfortable.

Actually, having only held 6:25 pace for 15K two weeks ago, I was a little concerned that I was a tad quick. However, I felt in control and I was running with a nice pack of 3 other guys. We rolled off the next two miles in 6:28 and 6:26 and started to catch a few people in front of us. About this time it sunk in that I was feeling pretty good and that I could handle the sub-6:30 pace.

The next mile was 6:24 and I latched onto a different group of three, which included the lead woman. The two guys were chatting it up so I just tucked in and let them do the pacing. Mile 5 was the quickest of the day in 6:22. I missed the next two mile markers and when we hit mile 8, we had covered the last 3 miles in 19:21 or 6:27 pace.

This is where I made the mistake of thinking about mile 13.1 instead of staying in the moment and focusing on mile 9. As a result, the group of three got away from me and they would go on to put about 10 seconds per mile on me over the last 5 miles. While I struggled a little, I still managed splits of 6:29, 6:35, 6:29, 6:38 and 6:31. Results have me 20th overall out of about 600 in 1:24:38.

My 15K race report from two weeks ago made it pretty clear that I was not very happy with 6:25 pace for 9.3 miles. So running 3.8 miles more and only slowing down 3 seconds per mile is a step in the right direction. Maybe I’m actually racing myself into shape a little bit.

Finally, congrats to Kirk on his 2-minute PR. That’s a nice chunk when your previous PR was already sub-6 pace. Maybe his performance will inspire him to post on his blog and tell us all his secrets.

Quote of the day;

“I didn't know exactly where I was at fitness wise. Because of running more workouts in the heat, I was never nailing my tempo runs the way I have.” – Ryan Hall after finishing 10th in the Olympic marathon


Anonymous said...

NICE race Chad!

Double your half marathon time & add 10 minutes and you are conservatively looking at a sub 3 marathon.

Your persistence is paying off!

Taake care,

Mark in New England

Runner Susan said...

20th is pretty darn good! The six minute plus pace just really blows my mind.

Andrew said...

Great pacing and good race!

crossn81 said...

Nice job Chad.

Anonymous said...

Your in the driver seat. I'd love to be sitting right where you are at this moment. Go over what has work in the past this far out from your goal race.