splits: 1--5:44, 2--6:14, 3--5:49, 4&5--12:12 (6:06 pace), 6&7--12:19 (6:10 pace), 8&9--12:19 (6:10 pace), 10--6:14, 11--6:13, 12--6:48, 13.05--6:06
4:00am - the morning begins. i picked up james at 4:30 and we drove up to the university of utah to hang out in james' office until the race started. this was great because it allowed us to relax and prep for the race in a low-stress environment. it also meant unlimited access to private bathrooms, which of course is the most important aspect of any race...
we ran two miles around campus to warm up, then headed up to the starting line. it was nice to see michelle lowry and julie thomas. there were a few other women that i didn't recognize, but it looked like it was going to be a fun race.
i started out running with michelle for the first couple of miles. i felt great from the start but was nervous about pushing the pace too much -- history would tell us that i have no idea how to pace myself in a half marathon. but the pace felt manageable so i just decided to roll with it and see what would happen. the thing that i loved most about this course was that it was a giant conglomeration of all of my regular running routes. i think the familiarity helped a lot (that, and the downhill).
i moved into first right at the turn onto 2100 south (mile 3), and surged down 2100 to try and build a bit of a gap. it was here that i started asking myself what in the world i was doing. i wasn't confident that i could sustain the pace for 9 more miles, but i figured i should just keep it up as long as i could manage. i was surprised when things actually started feeling better and better with each mile. i was comfortable with the pace and my legs were still feeling fresh (even my shin). i spent the next few miles trying to catch up to scott ensign, who was running about 100m ahead of me. i slowly closed the gap and finally reached him sometime during mile 9. we ran together through liberty park, and he really helped me to stay on pace here when things flattened out.
the long mile up state street was predictably the slowest of the race (6:48). i wasn't feeling great here, but the hill that i had been dreading wasn't as evil as i had imagined (it was still bad, but not too bad). i really started pushing the pace when i reached south temple, as i realized i had an opportunity to go under 1:20. just before the turn at the union pacific building, i saw my dad on the sidewalk cheering me on. awesome. that gave me one last burst of energy as i pushed toward the finish.
it was really fun running down the final stretch at gateway. the crowd was loud and full of energy and i was excited at the prospect of breaking 1:20. i was watching the seconds tick away on the clock as i neared the finish line, and i tried my best to speed up but my legs wouldn't turn over any faster. i crossed the line in exactly 1:20:00. i was bummed that i didn't break 1:20, but i was definitely happy with the race overall. i have never felt good about any of the half marathons i have run (my previous half PR was 1:24:20 from TOU full). today i think i finally figured out how to properly pace myself for this distance. i had a great time running this race. i really liked the course and the weather was very pleasant (other than my cold hands -- but that will never change).
after the race i ran back up to campus with james to cool down, then we finished out the day with the usual spread of weights and other random exercises (including plank!) at the field house.
fun day today. congrats to all of the half and full marathoners, and best of luck to everyone running boston on monday...