Sunday, July 5, 2009

Miramichi Rock'nRun Half Marathon

The quick summary (results here): finishing time of 1:49:15. The weather was good, relatively cool and the rain missed us.

Longer, drawn out summary below ...

Heading into this half marathon, I was shooting for a finish of under 1:50, which would be a pace of about 8:25 per mile. After driving the route the night before the race, I decided on the following plan:

1) Do the first mile in 8:30, avoiding the temptation of going out too fast.
2) Do the next five miles at an 8:20 pace
3) The seventh mile was the only one with a significant hill on it (picture above). It had an on ramp to a bridge, and then the climb to the crest of the bridge. I decided not to go too fast here, so as to not burn out too soon.
4) Return to an 8:20 pace for the remaining miles.

If I were to assign a letter grade for how well I kept to the plan, I think it would be a B+. The breakdown follows.

Goal 1) First mile in 8:30
I covered the first mile in 8:07 - oh well, I felt good.
Grade: C+

Goal 2) Next five miles at 8:20 pace

I did them at a pace of 8:14. Again, I felt good.
Grade: A

Goal 3) Don't push to hard at mile 7.
I screwed up my Garmin shortly before this, trying to set a "lap" at the 10k mark. Instead, I hit "stop" on it - but just for a second, before restarting it. So ... mile ~6.25 to ~7.25 was completed in 9:00. I was fine with that, given that much of it was uphill. By the way, I completed the 10k in 51:17, six seconds faster than the 10k race I completed in Cobscook Bay last month.
Grade: B+

Goal 4) Return to 8:20 pace for the remaining miles.

I finished the remaining miles at an average pace of 8:22. I kind of fell apart in miles 10-12, going at about an 8:31 pace.
Grade: B-

Faith Ann had a rough time over her last few kilometers. Her time was better than her Tallahassee finish, but not quite matching her Fredericton result. Her training has been thrown off kilter a bit lately, with her job, a vehicle accident and other scheduling difficulties.

Overall, I was pleased with my result. Here is the complete history of my half marathons, all done this year:

Feb. 1st: 1:56 (Tallahassee)
May 10th: 1:52 (Fredericton)
July 5th: 1:49 (Miramichi)

I expect the improving trend will end before long, but for now, I kind of like it.


  1. Your grading is way too hard. That is an excellent performance. While we want good pace mgmt, a race is not a training run - meaning pace is always relative to terrain and what mile you're at. Tightening the pace variance over the whole distance is more a function of your training more than proper execution (although that does come into play). Your 10k split tells me that you might want to consider a riskier strategy for your next 10k race (go out very hard). Congratulations!!!

  2. Thanks Andrew! I always appreciate your advice.