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St. Michaels Running Festival Half Marathon - Run

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St. Michaels, Maryland
United States
Eastern Shore Endurance Events
63F / 17C
Total Time = 1h 33m 3s
Overall Rank = 25/1180
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 2/71
Pre-race routine:

Woke up about 5:30 and just relaxed with some breakfast and coffee. Got ready to go about 6:30 and walked over to the start line at 7:00. Nice easy and relaxing morning.

It was decently warm out but a stark contrast to Friday where it was sunny and 85 degrees. The wind was a bit up but not too bad... last year the flags were flying stiff as a board, but this year they were just waving. Weather Underground had the temps at about 60 degrees and the wind out of the south at 8 MPH.
Event warmup:

Not too much... the walk to the start and then some dynamic stretching pre-race.
  • 1h 33m 3s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 27s  min/mile

So this was my very first half marathon race... I've done a few half marys before, but I've always done them with my wife, so I've never gotten the chance to race one. I knew that I had 1:40 all day long, and thought that, under better conditions, I could challenge the 1:30 mark. But with racing the Police Week 5K last Saturday I wasn't too sure what would happen in the later stages of this race. My quads were still a bit sore on Thursday so I really didn't know what would happen. I decided that I would shoot for 1:35 and adjust as necessary.

My plan was to go out fairly easy, try to let the pack disperse, and warm up the legs to see how running a decent pace would feel. I eased into the first 2 miles just as planned ticking them off in 7:24 and 7:20. The legs felt pretty good and by this point in the race things thinned out and I decided to pick up the pace a bit.

Miles 3, 4, and 5 looped though a golf course community, since the road was sort of winding the whole way it was tough to see where folks were in relation to me, but I just figured that I was going to run my pace and try to take advantage of any drafting opportunities that I could. The notched up pace still felt good, my legs didn't hurt at all, and my HR was nice and settled. Miles 3, 4, and 5 came in at 7:06, 7:10, and 7:18.

Coming out of the golf course the course started its out and back portion on the main road into/out of town. The turn around point was at the 7.5 mark so I was anxious to see where I stood. On the main road it was easy to see folks up ahead so I just picked out the next person ahead of me and made them my target. This was the part of the race where I amped it up just a bit more as I tried to pick up as many places as I could. As I approached the turn around point I started counting people to see where I was. Once I reached the turn around I was in 38th place. Not what I was hoping, but I was still running strong and had picked off about 10 folks on my way to the turn around. Now it was time for me to pick off a few more. I kept my foot on the gas at the turn around and ran pretty hard back into town, picking up 5 more spots to put me at 33rd, running shoulder to shoulder with another runner as we started to reach town. Miles 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 came in at 7:01, 7:02, 6:57, 6:58, 7:02.

Once we hit the 10 mile mark the steady breeze was smack dab in the face and there would be no break until we got into town and eventually on the trail. I just tried to keep the HR in check and not blow up trying to fight the wind for sub 7 minute miles. Surprisingly, my legs still felt pretty good and I was able to convince myself that once we got into town I was going to put the hammer down if I still had anything in the tank. Miles 11, and 12 were a bit off pace due to the wind, but still a respectable 7:14 and 7:12.

Once we hit town I knew that it would be a few quick turns and then onto the trail for the finish. I had managed to close the gap to the next few runners and I had a good 7 or so folks ahead of me, but not by much. I knew that could take them down. I dropped the hammer for the next 1.1 mile and just kept running. The final mile ticked off at 6:31 with the 0.1 coming in at :37.
What would you do differently?:

Not too much, this was a very good race for me. Its the first time I've "raced" a half mary so it was largely new territory for me. I know that I could have push a bit harder but all in all, I think that I paced the race well.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked for a bit and then did some stretching to ease the muscles. I had to loop back to the finish line to wait for my wife. She was hoping to go sub-2 hours after setting a PR at the R&R in NOLA. I was watching for her to come in and unfortunately she missed her goal by 7 seconds... that was a bit devastating for her, but she still set another new PR by over 1:40, so she had a great race.

After she finished we walked back to the post race party, had a our free beer, listened to some music, and picked up my 2nd place AG trophy.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing really. I had a very good race.

Event comments:

This is the 2nd year of this race and they did a great job. It was much bigger than last year yet they still managed to learn from the year-one mistakes. Very good race, a great town, and I will be back again next year.

Last updated: 2013-05-20 12:00 AM
01:33:03 | 13.1 miles | 08m 27s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/71
Overall: 25/1180
Performance: Good
7:24, 7:20, 7:06, 7:10, 7:18, 7:01, 7:02, 6:57, 6:58, 7:02, 7:14, 7:12, 6:31, :37
Course: A flat course that wound through downtown St. Mikes, out the main road and through a golf course community, then back on the main road to the turn-around point, back in town we detoured off the main road to a rail-to-trail path for the last mile or so.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-05-20 9:20 AM

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Subject: St. Michaels Running Festival Half Marathon
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date : May 24, 2010
author : Coach AJ
comments : 0
My question is am I playing with fire entering the half marathon this close to my primary goal for this season which is the HIM?
date : June 15, 2009
author : Ali Winslow
comments : 0
I just ran the Boston Marathon under nine minute miles, can I run eight minute miles for my half Ironman training runs? Or should I go slower?
date : November 17, 2008
author : mat steinmetz
comments : 7
I just started doing tris this summer and I have two under my belt, both sprints. Is it reasonable to build up for a Oly in early ‘09, with a HIM in Oct of ‘09
date : January 15, 2008
author : MLT1
comments : 4
The triathletes really inspired me. I watched them in awe as childlike thoughts went through my head like, "I want to do that!" But then reality set in. “Who are you kidding?
date : January 29, 2006
author : sl2302
comments : 0
I just had a couple of problems, I could count the number of triathlons I had contested at zero. Secondly, I could count on one hand the number of times I had been swimming in the last 17 years.
date : October 24, 2005
author : mikericci
comments : 0
This program should be used for an athlete whose goal is to run a marathon in the 1:30-2:30 range and has a good running base in the past 8-12 weeks.
date : October 2, 2005
author : smeeko
comments : 2
I will assume you have not run consistently more than 6 miles and have never completed a half-marathon. I believe running your first half-marathon is a big task which requires dedication and work.
date : January 10, 2005
author : ewkfit
comments : 0
My training was taking off. I had never felt stronger. I was making bigger strides than I ever had. I was stronger and faster than I had imagined myself ever being.