Atlanta Half Marathon

According the McMillan calculator, I was supposed to run a 9:14 pace based on my best 10k time, but told myself to take it easy. My game plan for today was to settle in to a 9:30 pace, and maybe go for that 9:14 pace at the next one in 6 weeks.  My "race pace" workouts so far had only been at 9:30 for 5 miles.   Well, so much for best laid plans and good intentions. I ran the first mile in 9:10, and kept telling myself to back off a little, not let the "first mile exhilaration" wear me out. The further I went the better I felt, however, and never went much slower than 9:00 the whole race. I think I even managed to negative split (haven't downloaded the Garmin yet). My watch time: 1:57:20, or 8:58/mile. !!!!!. So I basically blew myself and my expectations totally out of the water. Cool

The race itself was great. It was in the high 50's just before sunup at the start. Just as the gun sounded, it started to rain. At mile 1 the heavens opened and we ran through a true gullywasher for about a mile. Everybody was cheering – we are in a major drought and water shortage here. After that it rained and drizzled off and on for the rest of the race. Lots of squishing shoes, and I got a blister on the ball of my right foot – Didn't notice it till walking the mile back to the subway from the finish. I had lined up fairly close to the front, and felt like I was going backwards for the first several miles. But from about mile 8 on, I was doing a lot more passing than getting passed. Once I got to that point I realized I was going to be able to hold my pace for the rest of the race. The last 2 miles I tried to really turn it on. This race had a nice long downhill straightaway to the finish.

Race highlights: One guy in a turkey suit being chased by a butcher with a cleaver. Also several platoons of Marines and Army Rangers marching in cadence. One group on PT outfits carrying a large flag, another in t-shirts, fatigue pants, combat boots, and FULL packs, bedrolls and all. They were on a 2:30 pace, but still in formation. Best sign of the day:

You guys are the
BOMB
I wish
IRAN
with you!
Big grin

1 – 9:10
2 – 9:03
3 – 8:56
4 – 9:04
5 – 8:59
6 – 8:50
7 – 8:34
8 – 9:22
9 – 8:41
10 – 8:59
11 – 8:56
12 – 8:49
13 – 8:05
Total: 1:57:20 (8:58/mile) watch time
(Official Clock time 1:59:05)
(Chip Time I'll guess at 1:58:30 – autostop feature on watch may have messed me up with a wasted attempt at a bathroom break – there was no line whatsoever, but they must have been going twosies Angry )

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