I never thought this was going to happen. I was supposed to have my orientation for my new job but early Saturday morning I got a call. They had cancelled orientation. That left it wide open to run the Chambersburg 1/2 Marathon. That's just what I did.
My goal in running this race was to run right around 1:38 to 1:40. Last year when I ran it I finished in 1:48:12. I can honestly say that I was coming off of injury and wasn't even supposed to be running at the time...A car pulled out in front of me a few weeks before the race and I had to jump on and over her car. On the other side I came down wrong on my leg. Needless to say, I paid for it. This year was going to be different. We arrived a little after 8:00 in the morning and I met up with my Coach, Jamie Boward. We talked and stretched some, then went on a 20 minute warm up around the neighborhood. We still had some time to kill so we just mingled, stretched, and waited for the weather to get warmer.
My friend Steve, whom I run with all the time, had wanted to run under 1:45. As the call went out to "GO", Steve stayed right with me. I kept wondering why we were with some of the faster runners at the start. I realized when we hit the 1st mile in 7:08 that we were going quicker than planned. I knew that right after the 2nd mile there was an extremly long steep hill to deal with. We hit it and I could just feel the legs burning bad, this hill hurts!! Steve kept hanging with me so we made some chit chat here and there and passed the 5 mile mark at 35:20. Last year I was at 40:25 at that point.
We kept on that pace and hit the turn around and passed the 7 mile mark feeling good. I had seen some runners who were way ahead of me last year at this point and there was no way I was letting them beat me this year. We went through 8 miles at 59:20 I think and that's when I started pulling away from Steve. As I made the right at mile 9 1/2 and started climbing a incline that lasted 1 mile. It's a brutal climb that just sucked the wind right out of me. This is when I started picking people off left and right. There's no better feeling than blowing by someone on a hill and leaving them wondering.
I had been pacing a 22 year old kid that was in front of me the entire race. My friend had told me earlier in the race when I started pulling away "To go after that kid". At mile 11 I made my move on him. I caught him and we talked for a few minutes. At mile 12 he gave up staying with me and slowed down. I had slowed a little on the long climb between mile 9 1/2 and 10 1/2 so I knew I was going to have to buckle down and go. From mile 12 to the finish I ran around 6:50 pace. Jerri was there hooping and hollering like a fan..lol..She was taking photos as I went by. I had looked up at the clock and wanted to break 1:37. I picked it up as much as possible...BUT...I came through in 1:37:00!!!
That's an 11 minute and 12 second PR on that course and a 7 minute and 28 second 1/2 marathon PR!!
Today was a perfect tune-up race for the Mountain Maryland Marathon on April 19th. That one will be roughly 13 miles up and 13.2 miles down, so to speak. I know while running the Chambersburg 1/2 I could have sustained another 5 to 6 miles easy at the 7:25 pace I was holding. It felt good to know that all of my training finally paid off. My friend said I could have went faster because my breathing wasn't labored at all. It would be nice to run between 3:20 to 3:30 for Mountain Maryland...and if I am on a good pace at the turn around I am going to go for broke and see if I can qualify for Boston...BUT that's a big IF..
In closing, I couldn't have done it without the Coaching of Jamie Boward and running for Mercury Endurance. His coaching just keeps getting better and better. I think I started off the racing year on the right foot and hope that the rest of my races this year go that good.
I also couldn't have done it without the use of "Injinji" Products. I spoke with 3 people and they all had blisters...and I had no problems with my feet and toes thanks to my "Performance Injinji Mini Cew Toe Socks". My "Injinji Race Hat" kept the sweat off my head and kept my head cool. It was as if it wasn't even there because it's so light. My "Injinji Patch"...well, that just made me and my ego feel good. I noticed many many people looking at the name Injinji so hopefully they will go home and check them out online.
Thanks for reading...I am sorry that I didn't have mile splits for you but I don't keep track of that because I don't own a expensive racing watch. I do know my overall pace was 7:25 per mile. I finished 50th out of 332 runners. I placed 8th in my age group out of 39....This area (Tri-State) has so many top 30-39 year old runners. I noticed today that I had beaten a guy that always kicks my butt in 5k's...He usually run's 18's for the 5k and today I beat him by over 3 minutes. That gives me hope on my shorter races as well. I am hoping 19 or better by the end of the summer...we'll see!!