SF RnR Half Marathon 4/3/16

So like the only other story I’ve bothered to share here might as well start at the end. I managed to PR a half marathon and came in well under my goal of 1:52:00

Here’s the strava link to the results. Or I’ll just paste a graphic

Here’s me somewhere near the finish:

My recollection of the race was that relatively early I was a bit afraid that I was over-doing my capabilities on the first and second hill of the race [two big ones come within the first 5k or so] as I was watching my HRM data and saw that within the first mile I had already hit 150–152 which I took to be a negative indicator that I’d be able to have a good race post mile 8. It happened again on the second hill and I was a bit scared so I sort of backed off a bit until I could see a sub-150 HR. I’ll be honest I was kinda scared that I had blown my race when I was watching my HR creep up uncontrollably. That 2nd hill is a PITA because it just keeps going and going so it’s harder to plan for as you can never really see the end of it.

My plan was to keep it conservative until about mile 8 — then to re-evaluate and see what to do. After a much speedier experience on the GG bridge this time compared to last year [I was weaving in/out of traffic trying to just hold 9:00 pace last year] I remembered from studying the elevation chart that OUT to Sausalito was uphill, and that the way back was downhill but still ran relatively slow. If memory serves something like ~8:15 pace out/back averaged.

Around mile 8 I decided to pick up the pace and search for ~150-ish HR and it was on the nice flat areas around Chrissy Field that I finally found it — -around 7:45/mi pace or so. I was pretty stoked. I had been noticing that at the 5k marker and 10k marker(s) respectively I was running under goal pace of around 1 and 2 minutes respectively. Then the 10 mile clock came by and I mentally subtracted my wave offset from the gun-time [~3:00] and it showed right around 1:23:16 — I could basically go 8:50 pace for the final 5k and still go sub 1:52:00! Doing the mental math I determined that based on the last hill that a sub 1:50:00 was definitely in the cards and decided to kick it in gear. I pushed the effort well up into the mid 150s HR and tried to just power through the hill at mile 11 — -because I couldnt wait for that awesome near full-mile straight downhill into the finish.

I had been ‘stealing’ time all course by running aggressively downhill [well sub 7:00/mi pace] and wasn’t going to do anything different on the final downhill. I crossed the hill around mile 12 and everything was still in order — no fade. Was having a great race I guess! I averaged around 6:30/mi pace for the downhill section into the finish and wasn’t really working all that hard.

On a random side-note, Strava suggested I had a contiguous 10k effort in there of 48:09 so I dropped my 10k PR within this race too. Finishing 5k was 24:23 also — not bad imo for that big final hill which is entirely on mile 11.

In hindsight I must have left a few minutes on the course as my average HR through the entire race was only 142 — I believe I could have averaged ~155 or so on a good/great day so perhaps my next goal is to break 1:40:00

Maybe in San Jose?